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.
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. >.>