Witcher 2 Price Goes Up Down Under

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Witcher 2 Price Goes Up Down Under

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More good news for Witcher fans in Australia: not only will The Witcher 2 be censored in your country but you're going to have to pay more for it, too.

We found out yesterday, to nobody's great surprise, that The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings will be slightly toned down for the Australian market, in that you won't be able to choose sex as a quest reward. [On the upside, you'll apparently still be able to have lots of sex just for fun.] Today we discovered another little tidbit of happiness: the game is going to cost more than originally expected, too.

GOG revealed earlier today that because of "licensing reasons," the price of The Witcher 2 available through GOG.com is jumping from $42.27 Australian ($45.55) to $69.99 ($75.39), with a ten percent break for preorders that will drop it to $62.99 ($67.85). According to the GOG Facebook page, its pricing policy was in violation of legal agreements with other Australian distributors, forcing it to kick up the cost.

Fortunately, the guys at GOG are a stand-up bunch and they're doing what they can to soften the blow. It's too late now to preorder at the original price but its "Fair Price Package" is being extended to Australian customers, giving them a $26 U.S. credit to use on the site. That could easily add up to another four or five games and possibly more if you happen to catch a sale.

I don't know why Australia always seems to get the short end of the stick in these deals. You can only blame a dysfunctional rating system for so much, after all, and while it's not the most conveniently-located continent on the planet, I would think that digital distribution would make that almost entirely a non-factor. So what's the deal?

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings comes out worldwide on May 17, exclusively for the PC.

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The Australian government really does seem to hate games. That really sucks.

Ouch.

That's like what, a 20 increase? Ridiculous, but if its out of their hands, then at least they're trying to ease it up a little bit.

Now that just sucks. Glad they're at least trying to make up for it, but still, that sucks hardcore.

Why the hell are games so expensive in Australia anyway? I doubt localization would be the reason, since most games' default language is English, and almost all at least have an English option.

Just doesn't make any sense.

Wow. Australian game players, IMPORT THIS.

Typical. I'm surprised though, if I went to say, EB Games and bought a hard copy it would cost easily 100 bucks. So comparably...it's STILL cheaper.

Who knows, the dysfunctional ratings system that has yet to be rectified is a decent measure as any for the competency of the government in handling a certain part of the industry.

With such a restrictive and outdated system that games have to neuter themselves just to be released, its not surprising that the government wants them to rub salt and citric acid into the fresh wound before they can get the game to shelves (even through online) by jacking up prices.

If you can't strike something down directly, go after it through the economic market.

GiantRaven:
The Australian government really does seem to hate games. That really sucks.

Nothing to do with the government, sans the toning down of course.

All this will do is push more people to piracy, and do I care? No. I've been screwed over by distribution costs so much now I don't think they deserve to make a profit from us.

According to the GOG Facebook page, its pricing policy was in violation of legal agreements with other Australian distributors, forcing it to kick up the cost.

Sounds like price-fixing, but that's nothing new in video games. Everyone agreeing to cheat the customers is certainly much easier than making games people want to buy.

WOW! I am nowhere near Aussie land and this still hurts. Sounds to me like you need someone to import this for you?

Adzma:
Nothing to do with the government, sans the toning down of course.

Sorry. I assumed it was a law that the government had imposed.

This is probably the best look we've gotten at Aus. distribution that I've seen in years. I've always wondered why prices were so high down there. Government? Retailers? Publishers?

This deal points directly at distributors.

As I understand it:

You need a distributor to get you onto the shelves at retail outlets. You can't possibly call each and every Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, Sears, Gamestop, etc. This is particularly true if your company is based in one country and you're trying to sell in another. The distributor han handle contacting all the stores, getting you shelf space, and getting the product to the stores.

There must only be one or two distributors down there, and they must take a HUGE cut. Additionally, they will only deal with you if you agree to not undercut them online. You CAN sell games for $60 down there, but only if you're willing to forgo retail. A digital-only indie can do that. A AAA game can't.

Note that all of this is my own take on this, based on what we're reading. Other interpretations are possible.

Very interesting.

According to the GOG Facebook page, its pricing policy was in violation of legal agreements with other Australian distributors, forcing it to kick up the cost.

I hate it when physical distributors fuck around with digital distribution. Die out already!

At least GOG is nice enough to extend the Fair Price Package.

I blinked at the prices, thinking they couldn't possibly be right (see EBGames preorder page http://www.ebgames.com.au/pc-150896-The-Witcher-2-Assassins-of-Kings-Premium-Edition-PC), until I realised it was for the digital versions.

The AUD is about on par with the USD, a little better at the moment, and PC games cost between $80 and $99 RRP when they first come out, and console games are almost always between $108 (normal price) and $129 RRP. Yes, you read that right, over double the RRP of a US version, when our dollars are the same.

We get royally boned on game prices, and it's not tax as far as I've been able to tell, or import duties, hell PS3 games are manufactured in Sydney at the Sony Blu Ray factory, so it can't be shipping... but some how the price difference is massive.

And people wonder why I import all my console games.

I hereby declare it OKAY in the law of my own little world for Australian gamers to pirate EU or US versions of The Witcher 2.

Would be my pitch line if I wanted to be elected in Australia.
Given how many gamers there are in Aussie land, and how much they seem to hate the current system, I think it's a good plan...

Shamus Young:
There must only be one or two distributors down there, and they must take a HUGE cut.

I'm not sure about video games, but I know that 97% of anime is distributed by Madman Entertainment.

GiantRaven:

Adzma:
Nothing to do with the government, sans the toning down of course.

Sorry. I assumed it was a law that the government had imposed.

Nah it's a common misconception. It's actually because of Australian retailers. They claim that they can't compete with online distribution like Steam so we get the ridiculous markups of retail applied to our online purchases too.

Shamus Young:
This is probably the best look we've gotten at Aus. distribution that I've seen in years. I've always wondered why prices were so high down there. Government? Retailers? Publishers?

This deal points directly at distributors.

As I understand it:

You need a distributor to get you onto the shelves at retail outlets. You can't possibly call each and every Wal-Mart, Target, K-Mart, Sears, Gamestop, etc. This is particularly true if your company is based in one country and you're trying to sell in another. The distributor han handle contacting all the stores, getting you shelf space, and getting the product to the stores.

There must only be one or two distributors down there, and they must take a HUGE cut. Additionally, they will only deal with you if you agree to not undercut them online. You CAN sell games for $60 down there, but only if you're willing to forgo retail. A digital-only indie can do that. A AAA game can't.

Note that all of this is my own take on this, based on what we're reading. Other interpretations are possible.

Very interesting.

Is it any wonder then that Mad Max was conceived in Oz?

Man, that's bullshit. There's a legal agreement in Australia to increase prices? Isn't that like a mutually accepted monopoly?

Aussie gamers need to start a riot or something lol.

Wolfram01:
Man, that's bullshit. There's a legal agreement in Australia to increase prices? Isn't that like a mutually accepted monopoly?

Aussie gamers need to start a riot or something lol.

Peaceful protest would be better. It seems that the ratings board doesn't like video game violence, so if a bunch of gamers (I hate that word) start a riot, well... I assume you can figure that one out.

So first they censor it, then they put the price up. How about FUCK THAT and FUCK YOU.

kman123:
Typical. I'm surprised though, if I went to say, EB Games and bought a hard copy it would cost easily 100 bucks. So comparably...it's STILL cheaper.

They are being punished because they are offering the game at a really low price? Sometimes I love free enterprise. Stops crap like this.

Don't know if it'll work but it may be worth simply going to the EU or US versions of digital download sites selling The Witcher 2 and seeing if you can buy it from there. It works sometimes for D2D and is worth a shot at least.

People mention how games cost more in Australia all the time, so I looked up an interesting tid bit of info about the land down under:

'In 2010, the Federal Minimum Wage was raised to $15 per hour or $569.90 per week.'

Stop your belly aching you kangaroo riding heathens!

EDIT: Okay, heathen is a strong word, I apologize.

EDIT 2: Yes, I know things cost more there, but not double, and you get double (just about) our minimum wage. I am jealous.

remove stuff increase price ... force people to pay more for less with no good reason did a renegade prompt come up or something?

ok theres gotta be something ilegal about this someplace right? something in in fair trade?

Im not Australian but I still think this is a load of crap

Since this is online distribution, can't Australians just buy the version a different country gets? Or are there some sort of legal ramifications prohibiting this that I don't know about?

It's not hard or illegal to use the IP of another country... and with other digital distribution services the country you are from doesn't even enter into the price, or anything important at all for that matter, as far as I know.

Maybe you could get Saxton Hale to smuggle in a few copies in his mustache?

And to think I was considering buying this game.

*sigh*

I suppose I could always pre-order it and then get another copy from elsewhere.

Huh. "having the nicest beaches tax" that Yahtzee mentioned sure seems to be ballbustin'

Man, what a bunch of douchebags you have running the "show" in Australia.

ZombieGenesis:
I hereby declare it OKAY in the law of my own little world for Australian gamers to pirate EU or US versions of The Witcher 2.

Would be my pitch line if I wanted to be elected in Australia.
Given how many gamers there are in Aussie land, and how much they seem to hate the current system, I think it's a good plan...

That would be pretty cruel considering the developers have already removed DRM to see if it reduces pirating. Just do the sensible thing, tie 15 duck billed platupi together and head over to New Zealand.

Well this kinda sucks,I feel for you guys living in Australia.

Hope you will be able to get(somehow)the uncensored version,else without the excess of the "goodies" that the game has to offer,the game won't be the same.

ThisIsSnake:
That would be pretty cruel considering the developers have already removed DRM to see if it reduces pirating. Just do the sensible thing, tie 15 duck billed platupi together and head over to New Zealand.

Nah, if you went over to New Zealand you'd still be paying through the nose for the game (plus the same censored aussie version of Witcher 2).

When I was over in NZ for christmas, I wandered through many of the game shops there and they were all ridiculously overpriced than what I could get back home in Canada. Infact, in order to buy some of the games that Steam has on sale during the Christmas holidays, I had to work with Steam Support to have my Canadian account tagged so that I could make purchases while in NZ. The price differences from the north american to southern hemispherian were an eye opener even on Steam discounts (and game availability).

edit - must type faster and spell better

Jaeger_CDN:
The price differences from the north american to southern hemispherian were an eye opener even on Steam discounts (and game availability).

Indeed... and guess what prompts that? Publishers setting the prices on digital distro so it doesn't have a massive advantage ove the local physical distro.

Shamus Young:
This is probably the best look we've gotten at Aus. distribution that I've seen in years. I've always wondered why prices were so high down there. Government? Retailers? Publishers?

This deal points directly at distributors.

Correct.

It was even worse in the days of 'dual importation' laws which basically made it illegal to import media that was already under a local publishing and/or distribution deal... regardless of how long the physical distro of that deal may have taken (wasn't uncommon for Aus to get music releases pushed back as far as 18 months).

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