Australia Asks About High Game Prices

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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!

This is actually the answer. There was a time when the AUD was like 60 on the USD. That was when these prices were set.

Now that there is far more equivalence between the USD and the AUD, charging 100 bucks is ridiculous. But they didn't adjust the prices because....They could get away with it.

AC10:
While we're at it, can we lower book prices in Canada too?

What this guy said. Customs does not account for $10+ per book, especially if it SHIPS FROM WITHIN CANADA.

ok... THIS IS NOT A TROLL, just an offer.. to all gaming community of Australia, forget buying games, play Tribes:Ascend, for free, or 40 bucks to unlock load of stuff!~ not kidding, AAA experience, at an Indi-humble-bundle price! Shazbot away!~

Woodsey:
The answer to the digital distribution question is because publishers can't risk undercutting and pissing off retailers yet; it's the same situation everywhere else.

Pretty much end of thread at post 6. There really isn't a simpler explanation then this. It is the same reason North Americans and possibly European consumers are still paying the full retail price for digital downloads. No one wants to take on the hassle of cutting out the brick and mortar stores, or those that ship physical copies. So the price is artificially inflated by 10-20 bucks in most cases to please the distribution channels and take advantage of the consumer.

Shinkicker444:

ForgottenPr0digy:
oh no Fox_21 is butthurt about some American making terrible joke about Australia.

This must the first time ever in human history another country has made fun of an another country.

I love the jokes about our countries wild life being out to kill everything else on the planet. Cracks me up.

Especially when it come from countries that have bears! Mother fucking BEARS!!! And mountain lions!!! And you guys have rattle snakes for chrissakes. I can crush snakes and spiders and if they bite me there's antivenom. Try to fight a bear, you're gonna have a bad time.

What doesn't come up very often is that the average wages in Australia are much, much higher than in countries like the US or any part of Europe.

It's not just videogames, it's everything. As far as I can tell, CDs and DVDs are also ridiculously overpriced here. Internet is freaking expensive. I'm also a Games Workshop fan, and while I dearly love the company, it irks me that I have to pay equal to two or three times the same price as anywhere else for the same thing. While that may have made sense with traditional exchange rates, the fact that the Australian dollar is doing so well nowadays it just doesn't seem right.

I've often said that Australian will put up with a bad situation indefinitely, and while they will complain bitterly about it, they will never actually do anything to change it. That being said, the retail industry here is starting to tank noticeably, so maybe the incredible has happened and we're starting to see some change. Though that might be wishful thinking.

Andy Chalk:
Greed, in other words

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

*coughs*

Well, yes, this is an issue that comes up quite a lot, when I talk to my Aussie friends. Games are already expensive in Europe, but I think prices are still at relatively acceptable levels... which is not something I can say for Australia.

ACman:

Shinkicker444:

ForgottenPr0digy:
oh no Fox_21 is butthurt about some American making terrible joke about Australia.

This must the first time ever in human history another country has made fun of an another country.

I love the jokes about our countries wild life being out to kill everything else on the planet. Cracks me up.

Especially when it come from countries that have bears! Mother fucking BEARS!!! And mountain lions!!! And you guys have rattle snakes for chrissakes. I can crush snakes and spiders and if they bite me there's antivenom. Try to fight a bear, you're gonna have a bad time.

Here is a picture of a spider, eating a snake:

http://www.geekologie.com/2012/04/19/snake-eating-spider-1.jpg

Your argument is invalid.

If I had to make a new edited edition for one of my games because Australia had to censor the fuck out of it I would charge way more too.

In fact they would be lucky that I would even make a special Australian edition in the first place. Fuck censorship and countries that let it occur.

Come on this isn't so hard to figure out.

Why are physical copies of games more expensive? Because of the smaller volume shipped in, and the shipping costs. IE you ship 2 million units from China to Australia, versus shipping 15 million units from Mexico to the United States. (Any locations can be substituted, but it's likely neither of the countries listed has production plants.)

Exact same thing goes for computer hardware and consoles.

Now digital downloads? Well that ones more complicated, but in the end just as simple. Why do Americans pay $60 for a digital copy of Diablo 3? The costs for delivering the content to the consumer are noticeably cheaper... But if the consumer is used to paying the $60 for retail copies, and digital downloads are still 'new'ish. Of course they're going to gouge you. So when an Australian gamer has been paying 80-100 dollars for a new game, and has gotten used to it. Do you really think a publisher will charge less simply because it's cheaper for them to make?

In the end all publishers want the product to be cheaper to make. Unfortunately it's not to pass savings down to the consumer, but rather to significantly boost profit margins.

That pic the OP linked so reminded me of the people and situation in V for Vendetta.

"Achieving a Just and Secure Society"

On Topic: I really do hope you guys over in Aussieland get this shit stopped, greedy ass corporations (and most definitely the politicians) are surely the cause of this.

Australian politics may be full of sexism and censorship, but I have to give respect to any government that actually raises an objection when a business becomes too greedy. In America if we tried that, we'd get millions of rednecks crying "socialism". We need that kind of regulation to take place over here.

Games are not the only thing under investigation. Adobe Photoshop costs around $1,000 dollars more if your buying it in Australia (can't remember exact amount).

Edit: Also, the Digital Distribution price is almost always the same as the Physical price (with the exeption of Steam). I payed less for Diablo 3 at JB Hifi than Blizzard was charging form their online store.

I think it's mainly in the US where games costs 50-60 bucks. In Norway for instance, we pay about 100-110 US bucks for ANY new physical game depending on fluctuations between currencies.

Thanks for the heads up. Will probably send a submission.

godofallu:
If I had to make a new edited edition for one of my games because Australia had to censor the fuck out of it I would charge way more too.

In fact they would be lucky that I would even make a special Australian edition in the first place. Fuck censorship and countries that let it occur.

Let it occur? We've been fighting for a better ratings system for our games for years. It's not the country that's at fault, we just have a slow moving political system.

Captcha: now look here

Buretsu:

ACman:

Shinkicker444:

I love the jokes about our countries wild life being out to kill everything else on the planet. Cracks me up.

Especially when it come from countries that have bears! Mother fucking BEARS!!! And mountain lions!!! And you guys have rattle snakes for chrissakes. I can crush snakes and spiders and if they bite me there's antivenom. Try to fight a bear, you're gonna have a bad time.

Here is a picture of a spider, eating a snake:

http://www.geekologie.com/2012/04/19/snake-eating-spider-1.jpg

Your argument is invalid.

We've got bears*, sure they're cute, cuddly, may have narcolepsy and a drug problem but by god Jim we have them!

*I know, they aren't really bears.

Also, that spiders name is Bob, he works in accounting.

AhumbleKnight:
Games are not the only thing under investigation. Adobe Photoshop costs around $1,000 dollars more if your buying it in Australia (can't remember exact amount).

Edit: Also, the Digital Distribution price is almost always the same as the Physical price (with the exeption of Steam). I payed less for Diablo 3 at JB Hifi than Blizzard was charging form their online store.

Yeah the adobe price is insane.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2012/02/adobe-to-reduce-price-gap-for-australian-users/

That article lists PS costing US$700 vs AU$1500 and last I checked a month or two back the Mastersuite collection was US$2500 vs AU$3800, that's for the digital download. But Adobe does seem to be doing something about it. I think adobe overcharges for PS regardless, but anyway whatev.

JB has been pretty good with pricing recently.

Why are publishers scared of ticking off places like EB or GS anyway? If they did go mostly full digital, and those stores went under wouldn't places such as Walmart(?), Big W, and other superstores still sell the consoles (and non-digital games) anyway? I'm sure there are good reasons, so its mostly a rhetorical question, but it isn't the death of physical sales if EB/GS/etc did go belly up.

As someone said in the facebook comments, New Zealand does have it far worse, I used to live over there and when I moved to australia I actually found games to be way cheaper, for example, from eb games, skyrim in new zealand brand new costs $128..no, thats not a special edition..same thing in australia from the same shop costs about $53.

Im so damn sick of hearing about Austrailias damn prices! We have the same prices in Sweden, you want a new game? Thats 110 bucks on average, why is no body crying for us? ;_;

matrix3509:
Games are expensive to buy because they are expensive to make, simple as. Stop having games cost so fucking much to make (i.e. reduce the man-hours required just to make a single goddamed room), and you will get your cheaper games.

Can I report your post for being too dumb?

bunji:
Im so damn sick of hearing about Austrailias damn prices! We have the same prices in Sweden, you want a new game? Thats 110 bucks on average, why is no body crying for us? ;_;

*holds you and cries*

We suffer together, my friend across the pond!

OT: the reason games are so expensive is because they want people to pirate them. Oh wait...

godofallu:
If I had to make a new edited edition for one of my games because Australia had to censor the fuck out of it I would charge way more too.

In fact they would be lucky that I would even make a special Australian edition in the first place. Fuck censorship and countries that let it occur.

Well, you dun messed up, buddy. First you went ahead and assumed every game should cost more because some have to be edited. Then you went on to imply lots of games are edited for Australian release, which is funny, because more games have been banned in the US than in Oz. Then you decided to be blame everyone for the actions of a few.

That's three aaaaaand you're out!

bunji:
Im so damn sick of hearing about Austrailias damn prices! We have the same prices in Sweden, you want a new game? Thats 110 bucks on average, why is no body crying for us? ;_;

'Cause you have all the Swedish girls! And Simbin! In that order...

Crono1973:

Lim3:

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

Minimum wage is $15 an hour for an adult - over 21.

However industries like hospitality have 0 tipping.

Also average wage is inflated by what we call 'a two speed economy'. The people in the mining sector make 6 digit salaries for even unskilled labour and people everywhere else have much lower salaries.

My $AUS1 buys around $US1 so why do the same digital products cost twice as much for me?

It's market discrimination and price gouging.

Yet, with 4 hours of work at Australian min wage will get you a AAA game at US prices. Our min wage workers have to work 8 hours to get that same game at US prices.

We pay pretty much twice as much for every game off the shelf - so by that logic both min wage workers are working 8 hours for a AAA title.

However min wage for under 18 is $6.50 an hour (or round about), so by that logic a $110-$120 new release AAA title (and that's just the standard edition) would cost 20 hours of work - which is lot around, say school.

The point isn't minimum wage though - its that those prices were set when our dollar was worth half of yours, and they have only increased the price of games since because they know they can charge twice as much here and we'll pay them.

Supply and demand is all well and good, but there are really no alternative products we can switch to since they're all around the same price.

Shinkicker444:

ForgottenPr0digy:
oh no Fox_21 is butthurt about some American making terrible joke about Australia.

This must the first time ever in human history another country has made fun of an another country.

I love the jokes about our countries wild life being out to kill everything else on the planet. Cracks me up.

it cracks me up as well

Maybe Fox_21 should take the giant spiky dildo out of his butt. And have a sense of humor

I would assume the price differences comes from the fact when online services try to lower the prices, retail stores throw massive hissey fits and claim the online places have a unfair advantage and then try to force to online people to have the same price as retail so they dont have a "unfair advantage".

The problem IS that retail still exists and they cant stand their increasing uselessness.

Much like music publishers, they are a out-of-date system that is kicking and screaming to try to hold on to their antiquated way of existence.

Lim3:

Crono1973:

Lim3:

Minimum wage is $15 an hour for an adult - over 21.

However industries like hospitality have 0 tipping.

Also average wage is inflated by what we call 'a two speed economy'. The people in the mining sector make 6 digit salaries for even unskilled labour and people everywhere else have much lower salaries.

My $AUS1 buys around $US1 so why do the same digital products cost twice as much for me?

It's market discrimination and price gouging.

Yet, with 4 hours of work at Australian min wage will get you a AAA game at US prices. Our min wage workers have to work 8 hours to get that same game at US prices.

We pay pretty much twice as much for every game off the shelf - so by that logic both min wage workers are working 8 hours for a AAA title.

However min wage for under 18 is $6.50 an hour (or round about), so by that logic a $110-$120 new release AAA title (and that's just the standard edition) would cost 20 hours of work - which is lot around, say school.

The point isn't minimum wage though - its that those prices were set when our dollar was worth half of yours, and they have only increased the price of games since because they know they can charge twice as much here and we'll pay them.

Supply and demand is all well and good, but there are really no alternative products we can switch to since they're all around the same price.

Having a separate min wage for people under 18 seems discriminatory.

DVS BSTrD:

Shamanic Rhythm:

DVS BSTrD:
You only have to put with what you're willing to except. You don't want publishers boning you Australia? DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Did you miss the part in the article where it said the government was holding an inquiry?

They were not elected to watch their gamers suffer and be be bled dry while they discuss the price of games in a committee!

Is it sad that I instantly recognised what that was in reference to?

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

The hells is wrong with you? I've done work at their Castlemaine brewery, on their automation systems, I can assure you - they recycle EVERY drop of water they use, regardless of source. Doesn't take too much imagination from there to figure what gives XXXX it's, uh, 'distinctive' flavour ;)

(Of course, they also brew tooheys and a few so-called imports on-site)

ForgottenPr0digy:

Shinkicker444:

ForgottenPr0digy:
oh no Fox_21 is butthurt about some American making terrible joke about Australia.

This must the first time ever in human history another country has made fun of an another country.

I love the jokes about our countries wild life being out to kill everything else on the planet. Cracks me up.

it cracks me up as well

Maybe Fox_21 should take the giant spiky dildo out of his butt. And have a sense of humor

Our wildlife IS out to kill everything else. That's what makes us so hardcore - we fucking LIVE here among the bloody things!

OH SHIT DROPBEARS!

Grey Day for Elcia:

bunji:
Im so damn sick of hearing about Austrailias damn prices! We have the same prices in Sweden, you want a new game? Thats 110 bucks on average, why is no body crying for us? ;_;

*holds you and cries*

We suffer together, my friend across the pond!

OT: the reason games are so expensive is because they want people to pirate them. Oh wait...

Is there room in the group hug for a New Zealander? *sobs*

The last AAA title I bought new off a shelf was a Red Faction and Red Faction 2 double pack from GAME last week for $2. It was glorious, even the signage was up for sale.

The last one before that... I don't even know. I bought Settlers of Catan and an expansion with 3 friends about a month ago and that's the last time before that where I paid money for any kind of game.

There's just too much free content out there for me to just abandon my money for something to do instead of the washing on my days off. And bills. And a girlfriend.

Even when I do occasionally buy something these days, I make my dollars heard. Retailers need to abandon the local distributors immediately. If the wholesale price your middlemen offer you is the same as the retail price that your competitors are able to sell their games at with a profit, then you clearly are in business with the wrong people. If a transaction along the production to retail sale process doesn't add value, it needs stop happening.

justnotcricket:

Grey Day for Elcia:

bunji:
Im so damn sick of hearing about Austrailias damn prices! We have the same prices in Sweden, you want a new game? Thats 110 bucks on average, why is no body crying for us? ;_;

*holds you and cries*

We suffer together, my friend across the pond!

OT: the reason games are so expensive is because they want people to pirate them. Oh wait...

Is there room in the group hug for a New Zealander? *sobs*

Yes! Get in here, buddy! *hug*

What is the alternative? Should game prices be linked directly to the exchange rate? It would be ridiculous if I walked into a shop and a game cost $80 AU and the next day the Australian dollar plummets and suddenly it costs $120? Retail gives you stable prices, not good prices.

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