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KichigaiKitsune

Price-gouging assholes.

As the internet knows, we here in Australia generally pay way the fuck too much for our games. Not just games, actually, but software in general.

The government finally got around to checking this out, and really nothing has come of it. They merely confirmed that Australians are being ripped off - by local retailers, overseas publishers and services like Steam. This is not news to anybody.

How much? Up to 300% more. This is even after factoring in things like local value of our currency and the exchange rate.

But it's the sheer fuckstickery of services like Steam that make this mind-blowing. There is ZERO reason and less than zero justification for a game to cost anything more than its 1-to-1 exchange rate value of the American version here. As in, if it costs $40USD, it should cost the value of that in Australian dollars, as per the exchange rate. Fucking period. Anything else is dishonest, dickheadish price-gouging and those who indulge in it can fuck right off.

The publishers specifically requested that the prices Australians see and pay on services like Steam match the in-store prices which are unreasonably (as in literally without any reason) too high. That is just disgusting.

This video discusses it and designates August 12th "Gift a Game to an Australian" day, which is awesome, but lets stop for a moment here.

I don't buy new release or triple-A games on Steam. Why? Because they overcharge for it, of course.

First off, yeah, totally, the government here needs to step in and regulate the industry. It's price-fixing collusion; it is EXACTLY the circumstance where an industry needs government regulation, something I don't say lightly. Of course, the government didn't do it, because it doesn't have balls to do anything aside from send illegal immigrants, including unaccompanied children, to countries not signatory to any UN treaty on human rights.

But don't forget that, while they're trying their best to keep your blinkers on, Australians, trying to keep you blind to the extortion or at least incapable of working your way around it, remember you actually do have a way around it.

Not boycotting, no, Australians are too fucking pussy for that, aren't you? Yeah, you won't do it.

No, but you can actually ask an American to buy a game to gift to you, and you can pay them for it via PayPal or bank transfer. Completely circumventing this price-gouging, and our nation's un-elected, unwanted censorship (oh hey, are we gonna revolt or demonstrate about that? No?). In fact, that's a great idea for a business: some Americans should start up a service where you can send them the money for an American copy of the game, plus a small fee, and they gift it to you. Get to it, you enterprising Yanks! :D

We live in an era where this sort of thing should be gone by now. Make it so.

Oh, and if anyone wants to, say, gift a game to me like... hmm, ohh, the new Rise of the Triad remake, or something, that'd be sweeeell. :3
Actually, I'd really want Bioshock Infinite or The Last of Us, because I can't/won't pay $80-99 for these games. Fuck off. >.>
Viewed: 58 times
Added: 5 years, 3 months ago
 
RokukeShiba
5 years, 3 months ago
why not? Aussies make lots of money

16.37 an hour is the national min wage
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 3 months ago
Why not what? You didn't link that to anything. xD

It's irrelevant though. If an American product costs $40 bucks it should cost the equivalent amount of that in AUD as per the exchange rate. It's not another country's fault that your economy slumped or that your minimum wage blows. You, or rather, local distributors, can't just jack the price up randomly, so that it hurts us as much as it hurts an American to buy a game. It's an American product; instead of getting it for half-price as we should (due to the local value of our dollar vs the close exchange rate with the US dollar), we're getting hit for double the price, four times what we should be paying.

We have twice your minimum wage, because everything else is raised to twice as much. They don't directly compare! Just because both currencies are called "dollars" doesn't mean they have equal value in the two separate economies. It's like saying that the Japanese make so much money because their minimum wage is 685 Yen.

tldr: Don't go thinking that we get $16 bucks an hour and yet everything costs the same as it does in the USA. Things cost more of those dollars in order to make up for it. :P We don't freakin' "make lots of money."
If we're talking about an imported product (video games from the USA) then the cost should be what it costs us to buy the game at the original price as per the exchange rate, not a randomly jacked up price.
DestructiveImpulse
5 years, 3 months ago
If everything is twice as much there isn't it reasonable games are too?
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 2 months ago
no, because they're imported products from the USA. It's the same as going on eBay and buying an American product for the American price, the only cost increase should be the cost of mailing that shit. Which you may notice is nothing for Steam and other digital download games.

They don't have to do anything for Australian releases. Same language, nothing needs to be modified. No reason to increase the price except to gouge us.
Reyos
5 years, 2 months ago
But the value of money is determined by it's purchasing power, so in truth if a product costs US$X and over there costs AU$Y then AU$Y has the same value as US$X, regardless of what the governments/banks say the exchange rate should be, that's the value the money truly has as set by the market economy. If the higher price for games in Austraila is the same percentage increase as the higher price for everything else, that's not price gouging that's a proper currency valuation based on the market.

Just because a government uses artificial means to value it's currency in relation to other currencies doesn't mean that everyone needs to respect that valuation. Now I am not sure that this is what happened here, I'm just putting forth the argument from the other side. This said when the $AU moves into the states it is likely converted at the (I believe) artificial exchange rate which does net them a larger profit.
squirrelfox
5 years, 3 months ago
I'm pretty sure that doing something like having Aussies pay you for you to gift them games is against Steam's TOS, and that, if Steam found out about it, they would ban your account, and possibly those of everyone who took advantage of the "service."

So it's a great idea as long as you don't get caught.  XP

Also, while you're bitching about the prices, what about your fuck-tarded censorship board?
squirrelfox
5 years, 3 months ago
Clause in TOS stating that by using the service you waive your right to a class-action.  Granted, those rarely stand up in court, but still, I think you'd be hard pressed to find folks willing to pursue it.
ArielCelestia
5 years, 3 months ago
You could try buying games from a proxy server. In India, or where Steam games are cheap ;) Haven't tried it myself, besides getting the US version of Duke Nukem Forever. Since the Russian version was limited as crap and cost the same amount of money with no DLCs, or support and a crappy translation. Have a little 'vacation' in the US and buy a Steam game or two from that location ;)
KichigaiKitsune
5 years, 2 months ago
I wonder if that works... I'll give it a try someday!
ArielCelestia
5 years, 2 months ago
Best of luck!
Reyos
5 years, 2 months ago
I have heard alot of people use proxies to have steam detect them in other countries, some have used this to get around high prices, others have used them to get around censored versions (I'm looking at you germany) and still others have used this to get games at earlier release times.
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