Australia Asks About High Game Prices

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$100+ dollars?

Now I can see why Yahtzee gets really pissed when he finds games boring or unfulfilling.

Shamanic Rhythm:
Conroy had better bring the goods this time if he wants to redeem himself for the filter fiasco.

I was just thinking that...

uncanny474:
On behalf of my colleagues in Australia:

"It's about bloody time, ya wankers!"

There, did I say that right?

Yep. Now drink this VB and shear a sheep. *checks you have done that* You are now an Australian citizen! Congratulations!

About damn time they started looking into this. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Evil Smurf:
Yep. Now drink this VB and shear a sheep. *checks you have done that* You are now an Australian citizen! Congratulations!

We don't all shear sheep and to be honest, VB tastes like ass. I prefer Fat Yak or Strongbows.

While we're at it, can we lower book prices in Canada too?

ResonanceSD:

uncanny474:
On behalf of my colleagues in Australia:

"It's about bloody time, ya wankers!"

There, did I say that right?

Yup.

gmaverick019:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

Sober Thal:
But when a gov makes the minimal wage twice what 'others' pay out, then see products being sold for twice what 'others' pay for...

Er, uhm... Never mind. I've bitched the same song often enough.

EDIT: *smiles at the above post ; )

both of these

yes, everything might be expensive in australia, but so is it over here, gaming is no different from any other market. seriously, try surviving on 8$/hr while scrounging for solid hours at a job, it won't get you many video games after taxes and other bills kick in, i promise you that.

Thank you for saying that. I get so annoyed when they're like "YOU GET PAID MORE SO IT'S OK TAHT EVERYTHING IS MORE EXPENSIVE"

i'm not saying it doesn't suck, and i'm not saying australians probably don't pay a bit more than usual if you ratio it out, so I do hope they find some ways to cheapen it out, as there are some unnecessary imbalances in the system (especially for digital games), but i'm just saying having an equal pay to what americans/everyone else pays per dollar isn't necessarily right either.

DVS BSTrD:
You only have to put with what you're willing to except. You don't want publishers boning you Australia? Be prepared to do something about it!

Well now the government is. Finally.

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

Dunno where you got $18AU/hour from but I can tell you minimum wage in Australia is not that high. I worked minimum wage in Australia a bit over 10 years ago and I was making about $6AU/hour plus tips (I was a kitchen hand). Sure the wage has most likely gone up in a decade but I seriously doubt it's tripled and thus call BS on your numbers. I did at one time make $18/hour but that was working for Australia Post as a postman and included a bunch of bonuses for shift starting time, danger money and a weather bonus for having to work outside no matter the weather.

ResonanceSD:

uncanny474:
On behalf of my colleagues in Australia:

"It's about bloody time, ya wankers!"

There, did I say that right?

Yup.

gmaverick019:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

Sober Thal:
But when a gov makes the minimal wage twice what 'others' pay out, then see products being sold for twice what 'others' pay for...

Er, uhm... Never mind. I've bitched the same song often enough.

EDIT: *smiles at the above post ; )

both of these

yes, everything might be expensive in australia, but so is it over here, gaming is no different from any other market. seriously, try surviving on 8$/hr while scrounging for solid hours at a job, it won't get you many video games after taxes and other bills kick in, i promise you that.

Thank you for saying that. I get so annoyed when they're like "YOU GET PAID MORE SO IT'S OK TAHT EVERYTHING IS MORE EXPENSIVE"

When you get paid less than double what I would if I had a minimal wage job, I would care. When products cost you more than double what they do here, I might care...

But you, and they, don't.

It's sad really. How can you explain feeling sorry for yourselves like this?

It's so annoying when people continue to ignore that.

Australia's minimum wage is $15.51 per hour, or ONE DAYS WORTH OF WORK AT MINIMUM WAGE FOR A BRAND NEW AAA VIDEO GAME!!!!

Bloddy wankers like to think it's different on the other side of the pond, well.... IT BLODDY WELL ISN"T!

It's about double the pay, and double the price for everything. STFU already, same boat doods.

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

I am so sick of that line of reasoning. The claim that minimum wage is somehow a reflection of purchasing power is ridiculous.

The AUD is currently worth 0.9724 USD. There is no significant freight or conversion costs for releasing a piece of software. The only reason for software to cost 50-100% more in Australia is publishers agreeing to take profit windfalls from the drop of the American dollar rather than to act competitively.

BlueMage:
Welcome to arse-backwards reasoning. We don't have a high prices because we have a high minimum wage - we have a mandated high minimum wage BECAUSE THINGS ARE SO GODDAMN EXPENSIVE. Of course, that high minimum wage is then used as a justification for the prices, but it's a complete cop-out. There is nothing inflated about the value of the Australian dollar - it's simply that in a recession (which we didn't actually have) resources remain valuable. And boy do we have resources.

Quoted because this is the first sensible post showing an understanding of economics.

MercurySteam:
About damn time they started looking into this. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Evil Smurf:
Yep. Now drink this VB and shear a sheep. *checks you have done that* You are now an Australian citizen! Congratulations!

We don't all shear sheep and to be honest, VB tastes like ass. I prefer Fat Yak or Strongbows.

Fat Yak is awesome!

According to a caller on Hack (A journalism show on youth radio network Triple J) who worked for a large software company, they use a weighting system that varies by region and the amount of competition in the market, that can add around 1.5 times to the price. But interestingly, this same weight scale applies to government purchases too.

Worgen:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

$18 and hour minimum wage? Fack, I no longer feel sorry for Australians having to pay more for games, that is a real living wage right there, I think minimum wage here is like $7.30 or so an hour.

That is the minimum wage, however the cost of living here is much higher than in the US or Europe. Everything costs more, even accounting for exchange rates.

The thing with video games is that they are especially crazy over here. We pay double for no reason, you can quote our minimum wage but that means nothing. You don't get a free pass on price gouging just because we're making more.

gyroscopeboy:

MercurySteam:
About damn time they started looking into this. It'll be interesting to see what happens.

Evil Smurf:
Yep. Now drink this VB and shear a sheep. *checks you have done that* You are now an Australian citizen! Congratulations!

We don't all shear sheep and to be honest, VB tastes like ass. I prefer Fat Yak or Strongbows.

Fat Yak is awesome!

According to a caller on Hack (A journalism show on youth radio network Triple J) who worked for a large software company, they use a weighting system that varies by region and the amount of competition in the market, that can add around 1.5 times to the price. But interestingly, this same weight scale applies to government purchases too.

My main issue is that it has been like this for the past...probably 10 years now. If the market were changing and they were adjusting for exchange rates, competition and such then it would have changed, even when we gained like 30 cents on the US dollar it didnt change..

Should probably be a fact correction that the aussie dollar has only recently fallen back to parity with the US, but that's kinda splitting hairs.

Even when the aussie dollar was above parity with the US, didn't make a difference. That said, pretty much anyone who considers gaming a "serious hobby" has their favorite importer who gets games at reasonable prices, anyone who buys games from EB's australian website, probably needs to be pointed in the right direction because there are a lot of places who can get you games in Australia, for a helluva lot less than EB.

And to those bringing up minimum wage and stuff, as someone who's lived on both sides of the pacific (and lived at minimum wage on both sides), it's easier to live down here, but not because of wages, that even's out in the amount we have to pay in tax. Where it gets cheaper is, public healthcare, WAAAAAAAY cheaper insurance on everything, and the fact that if you want to complete a tertiary degree, you won't walk out of at the end of it with a degree and a mortgage like you do in the US.

risenbone:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

Dunno where you got $18AU/hour from but I can tell you minimum wage in Australia is not that high. I worked minimum wage in Australia a bit over 10 years ago and I was making about $6AU/hour plus tips (I was a kitchen hand). Sure the wage has most likely gone up in a decade but I seriously doubt it's tripled and thus call BS on your numbers. I did at one time make $18/hour but that was working for Australia Post as a postman and included a bunch of bonuses for shift starting time, danger money and a weather bonus for having to work outside no matter the weather.

You got ripped off mate.

Kitchen Hand, Waiting

Full time - $15.43 per hour

Casual - $19.29 per hour

Given it was about 10 yeaars ago I'd subtract $5 dollars from that..... Then of course there are junior rates so if you were 16 you were probably earning $6-10 going up about 2 dollars each birthday.

risenbone:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

Dunno where you got $18AU/hour from but I can tell you minimum wage in Australia is not that high. I worked minimum wage in Australia a bit over 10 years ago and I was making about $6AU/hour plus tips (I was a kitchen hand). Sure the wage has most likely gone up in a decade but I seriously doubt it's tripled and thus call BS on your numbers. I did at one time make $18/hour but that was working for Australia Post as a postman and included a bunch of bonuses for shift starting time, danger money and a weather bonus for having to work outside no matter the weather.

"I think you are wrong thus I am going to call BS because my anecdotal evidence is more important than yours!"

You really need to learn how to do this internet thing. :P

You are (Somewhat) correct, in the fact that it is not 18AU/Hour. but actually 15.51AU/hour. I found that on this very handy site from the aussie government! Google does amazing things! :D

http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/national-minimum-wage/pages/default.aspx

FelixG:

risenbone:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

Dunno where you got $18AU/hour from but I can tell you minimum wage in Australia is not that high. I worked minimum wage in Australia a bit over 10 years ago and I was making about $6AU/hour plus tips (I was a kitchen hand). Sure the wage has most likely gone up in a decade but I seriously doubt it's tripled and thus call BS on your numbers. I did at one time make $18/hour but that was working for Australia Post as a postman and included a bunch of bonuses for shift starting time, danger money and a weather bonus for having to work outside no matter the weather.

"I think you are wrong thus I am going to call BS because my anecdotal evidence is more important than yours!"

You really need to learn how to do this internet thing. :P

You are (Somewhat) correct, in the fact that it is not 18AU/Hour. but actually 15.51AU/hour. I found that on this very handy site from the aussie government! Google does amazing things! :D

http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/national-minimum-wage/pages/default.aspx

Yeah that's the full-time rate. Working as a casual employee gets you a loading of about $4-5 dollars but as a casual employee they can fuck about with your hours.

The minimum wage is a distraction though. There is no reason for software to be more expensive in Australia apart from corporate profit taking.

Zing:

Worgen:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

$18 and hour minimum wage? Fack, I no longer feel sorry for Australians having to pay more for games, that is a real living wage right there, I think minimum wage here is like $7.30 or so an hour.

That is the minimum wage, however the cost of living here is much higher than in the US or Europe. Everything costs more, even accounting for exchange rates.

The thing with video games is that they are especially crazy over here. We pay double for no reason, you can quote our minimum wage but that means nothing. You don't get a free pass on price gouging just because we're making more.

It is actually the perfect excuse, business will charge whatever people will pay and if people have more money then they can spend more on luxuries, its the reason that games keep getting more expensive, as long as people are willing to pay they will keep charging more.

risenbone:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

Dunno where you got $18AU/hour from but I can tell you minimum wage in Australia is not that high. I worked minimum wage in Australia a bit over 10 years ago and I was making about $6AU/hour plus tips (I was a kitchen hand). Sure the wage has most likely gone up in a decade but I seriously doubt it's tripled and thus call BS on your numbers. I did at one time make $18/hour but that was working for Australia Post as a postman and included a bunch of bonuses for shift starting time, danger money and a weather bonus for having to work outside no matter the weather.

I apologize, got that number from my brother-in-law who is Tasmanian. Here the website
http://www.fairwork.gov.au/pay/national-minimum-wage/pages/default.aspx
So $15.51/hr

"The GDP per Capita, in Australia, when adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity is equivalent to 179 percent of the world's average"

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/australia/gdp-per-capita-ppp

Evidence that Australians get royally fucked, keep complaining my down-under cousins.

Worgen:

Zing:

Worgen:

$18 and hour minimum wage? Fack, I no longer feel sorry for Australians having to pay more for games, that is a real living wage right there, I think minimum wage here is like $7.30 or so an hour.

That is the minimum wage, however the cost of living here is much higher than in the US or Europe. Everything costs more, even accounting for exchange rates.

The thing with video games is that they are especially crazy over here. We pay double for no reason, you can quote our minimum wage but that means nothing. You don't get a free pass on price gouging just because we're making more.

It is actually the perfect excuse, business will charge whatever people will pay and if people have more money then they can spend more on luxuries, its the reason that games keep getting more expensive, as long as people are willing to pay they will keep charging more.

That's not the reason. The $80-100 price point for games is a relic of about a decade ago when the Australian dollar was worth ~0.50USD. Due to resource demand from China over the last decade the AUD rose to parity with the US Dollar.

But as this happened prices for items published in Australia didn't fall. Books having being forced to allow parallel importing from America fell in price. There is no parallel importing for software though.

Worgen:

It is actually the perfect excuse, business will charge whatever people will pay and if people have more money then they can spend more on luxuries, its the reason that games keep getting more expensive, as long as people are willing to pay they will keep charging more.

I guess I should rephrase...it shouldn't be an excuse.

They charge that much because they get away with it. It's capitalism. If we don't want to pay such prices, the course of action is clear - we should buy fewer games, or seek out imports from overseas which are cheaper, even when you factor in shipping costs.

That's what I do - I get games from Overseas. Oh what's that? I'm hurting EB games!? Oh HEAVENS NO!

It's capitalism, bucko. If I can get it cheaper, legally, I will. I don't give a pile of horse manure if EB games "suffers" from its overpricing of games. 99 Dollars for Max Payne 3? No way, no how.

JB Hi-Fi are only marginally better. GAME were just as bad as EB, and they're gone. Surprisingly, you can very rarely find games, new releases even, selling for about 10 dollars cheaper at Big W, but that's only because they are clueless about how much EB are selling them for.

I get digital from overseas where possible, or I import. If any Gamestore owner or EB employee wants to complain - well, CAPITALISM. You live by capitalism, you die by capitalism. People like those who run Harvey Norman are quick to say "Capitalism" when it comes to defending their products, but when the competition gets tough and threatens their bottom line, they run screaming to Uncle Government, asking them to stop those "mean nasty" online stores that are ruining their gouging business.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't give a damn with whatever happens to EB or any of those other stores. They burnt whatever goodwill they had with me. I'm very quick to tell consumers to shut up about whinging, but I'm even quicker when companies do it, because hey - CAPITALISM.

EB have the legal right to charge 99 dollars for a new game. I have the right to say No, I'm not paying that price. Another online store offers it for 60, plus 5 for shipping.

Sober Thal:

ResonanceSD:

uncanny474:
On behalf of my colleagues in Australia:

"It's about bloody time, ya wankers!"

There, did I say that right?

Yup.

gmaverick019:

both of these

yes, everything might be expensive in australia, but so is it over here, gaming is no different from any other market. seriously, try surviving on 8$/hr while scrounging for solid hours at a job, it won't get you many video games after taxes and other bills kick in, i promise you that.

Thank you for saying that. I get so annoyed when they're like "YOU GET PAID MORE SO IT'S OK TAHT EVERYTHING IS MORE EXPENSIVE"

When you get paid less than double what I would if I had a minimal wage job, I would care. When products cost you more than double what they do here, I might care...

But you, and they, don't.

It's sad really. How can you explain feeling sorry for yourselves like this?

It's so annoying when people continue to ignore that.

Australia's minimum wage is $15.51 per hour, or ONE DAYS WORTH OF WORK AT MINIMUM WAGE FOR A BRAND NEW AAA VIDEO GAME!!!!

Bloddy wankers like to think it's different on the other side of the pond, well.... IT BLODDY WELL ISN"T!

It's about double the pay, and double the price for everything. STFU already, same boat doods.

You should probably look up purchasing power parity.

I can't speak for the people earning min. wage. I've got a desk job with News corp here. I do ok. However, if you are on minimum wage, then you've probably got other priorities than spending a day's pay on a game. Just saying. Cost of living in this country is much, much higher than everywhere else that isn't Switzerland.

Korolev:
They charge that much because they get away with it. It's capitalism. If we don't want to pay such prices, the course of action is clear - we should buy fewer games, or seek out imports from overseas which are cheaper, even when you factor in shipping costs.

That's what I do - I get games from Overseas. Oh what's that? I'm hurting EB games!? Oh HEAVENS NO!

It's capitalism, bucko. If I can get it cheaper, legally, I will. I don't give a pile of horse manure if EB games "suffers" from its overpricing of games. 99 Dollars for Max Payne 3? No way, no how.

JB Hi-Fi are only marginally better. GAME were just as bad as EB, and they're gone. Surprisingly, you can very rarely find games, new releases even, selling for about 10 dollars cheaper at Big W, but that's only because they are clueless about how much EB are selling them for.

I get digital from overseas where possible, or I import. If any Gamestore owner or EB employee wants to complain - well, CAPITALISM. You live by capitalism, you die by capitalism. People like those who run Harvey Norman are quick to say "Capitalism" when it comes to defending their products, but when the competition gets tough and threatens their bottom line, they run screaming to Uncle Government, asking them to stop those "mean nasty" online stores that are ruining their gouging business.

As far as I'm concerned, I don't give a damn with whatever happens to EB or any of those other stores. They burnt whatever goodwill they had with me. I'm very quick to tell consumers to shut up about whinging, but I'm even quicker when companies do it, because hey - CAPITALISM.

EB have the legal right to charge 99 dollars for a new game. I have the right to say No, I'm not paying that price. Another online store offers it for 60, plus 5 for shipping.

Ozegameshop will probably get it to you for 59.99 with free shipping (from the UK)

ACman:

Worgen:

Zing:

That is the minimum wage, however the cost of living here is much higher than in the US or Europe. Everything costs more, even accounting for exchange rates.

The thing with video games is that they are especially crazy over here. We pay double for no reason, you can quote our minimum wage but that means nothing. You don't get a free pass on price gouging just because we're making more.

It is actually the perfect excuse, business will charge whatever people will pay and if people have more money then they can spend more on luxuries, its the reason that games keep getting more expensive, as long as people are willing to pay they will keep charging more.

That's not the reason. The $80-100 price point for games is a relic of about a decade ago when the Australian dollar was worth ~0.50USD. Due to resource demand from China over the last decade the AUD rose to parity with the US Dollar.

But as this happened prices for items published in Australia didn't fall. Books having being forced to allow parallel importing from America fell in price. There is no parallel importing for software though.

That is actually just one of the better reasons that people think the prices are so high, no one really knows, which is why the govt is asking.

Zing:

Worgen:

It is actually the perfect excuse, business will charge whatever people will pay and if people have more money then they can spend more on luxuries, its the reason that games keep getting more expensive, as long as people are willing to pay they will keep charging more.

I guess I should rephrase...it shouldn't be an excuse.

Your right about that.

Yes, yes, of course it's greed that drives the evil capitalist machine, but that aside; "Champion" has to be the most awesome name ever (besides being dreamed by an obviously narcissistic character). This Nick has to be the go-to guy for pretty much everyone he knows, for, like, you know, when people want him to kill mudcrabs 'n stuff...

ThunderCavalier:
$100+ dollars?

Now I can see why Yahtzee gets really pissed when he finds games boring or unfulfilling.

Yeah, like it isn't the Escapist paying for his games anyway. >.>

Sober Thal:
But when a gov makes the minimal wage twice what 'others' pay out, then see products being sold for twice what 'others' pay for...

Er, uhm... Never mind. I've bitched the same song often enough.

EDIT: *smiles at the above post ; )

What does minimum wage have to do with the price of goods?
Should a lawyer pay more for his mcdonalds meal than a gas jockey because he gets a better wage?

In Canada books have been MUCH more expensive than the US price for a long time. Back in the day it was due to the dollar being at around 0.67 USD. Now that it's close to parity, we still get shafted. And why? Who knows, they just made up some other "reason" for the difference in prices. It's all a scam

Hell they might as well look into the price of games workshop items as well. There is alot of things that are massivly over priced in Australia and New Zealand (I know this isnt about NZ but thats where I am from and I get the feeling that if prices could be cut in Aus we might see it too)

Evil Smurf:

uncanny474:
On behalf of my colleagues in Australia:

"It's about bloody time, ya wankers!"

There, did I say that right?

Yep. Now drink this VB and shear a sheep. *checks you have done that* You are now an Australian citizen! Congratulations!

What's a VB? For that matter, what's a sheep? I live on the East Coast in a suburb, I know OF barnyard animals, but I've never actually been physically near one. Except maybe on some grade-school field trips.

CounterAttack:

Andy Chalk:
Check out EB Games Australia for some examples. Max Payne 3? 100 bucks. Diablo 3? 90 bucks. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? 110 bucks. These aren't collector's editions, either; these are the standard, off-the-shelf releases that people in this part of the world can pick up for $30, $40 and even $50 cheaper.

New Zealand has similar prices... listed in New Zealand dollars. And given the current exchange rates, we're actually paying more for them than Australians are. Sometimes I wish the world could just operate on a system similar to the standard credit seen in almost every sci-fi universe. A single currency for the globe would make life so much easier...

... but then things would still cost more to us. Why? 'Because shut up.' That's the answer we'll get.

Exactly. The situation is worse here in New Zealand. And with all those people complaining about the minimum wage in Australia, in New Zealand it's much lower, at $13.50 an hour. And our currency is worth less. So, we're paying a good $10-20 more than Australia, which is a good $50-60 more than America, and we're earning less.

Luckily, if Australia wins this inquiry and gets games at a cheaper price, we'll be affected as well.

uncanny474:

Evil Smurf:

uncanny474:
On behalf of my colleagues in Australia:

"It's about bloody time, ya wankers!"

There, did I say that right?

Yep. Now drink this VB and shear a sheep. *checks you have done that* You are now an Australian citizen! Congratulations!

What's a VB? For that matter, what's a sheep? I live on the East Coast in a suburb, I know OF barnyard animals, but I've never actually been physically near one. Except maybe on some grade-school field trips.

I would advise you not to drink VB it's bloody terrible go the XXXX Gold instead.

OT: I don't know what reason there is behind this but hopefully they get rid of it and get some decent prices for the people that don't shop around online for something that isn't a rip off.

Captcha : sea change

ACman:

Baldr:
Australian salaries are much higher and the conversion rates, they are actually paying less than any place in the world. $1AU is not equal to $1US. Even their minimum wage is like $18AU/hr

I am so sick of that line of reasoning. The claim that minimum wage is somehow a reflection of purchasing power is ridiculous.

The AUD is currently worth 0.9724 USD. There is no significant freight or conversion costs for releasing a piece of software. The only reason for software to cost 50-100% more in Australia is publishers agreeing to take profit windfalls from the drop of the American dollar rather than to act competitively.

No they do it because you all act like good little bitches who will still buy them you just dont have the control to not buy them stop buying and this will stop!

I'm starting to understand why the minimum wage in the US is so low....

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