Green Man Gaming Takes a Stand Against Price Gouging

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Green Man Gaming Takes a Stand Against Price Gouging

image

Digital distribution outfit, Green Man Gaming, is offering 30% off vouchers on ANZ games with inflated prices.

If you're a Zero Punctuation fan, chances are you've heard Yahtzee gripe about the price of games in Australia. New Zealand has the same problem; publishers have realized they can squeeze a little extra out of Australasian gamers, and doing so has become the norm.

The practice of inflating ANZ prices even extends to digital sales. Last month, popular digital games retailer, Green Man Gaming, raised its prices for Borderlands 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown. When disgruntled customers asked why prices had quite suddenly shot up by a good $20, Green Man responded that they'd increased the price at the behest of publisher, 2K games.

"This was done at the request of the publisher based on local retailer feedback," read an announcement on the retailer's site. "We would rather not have had to do this but we really value the relationship with our publishing partner."

Rather than take part in what is essentially price gouging, Green Man is looking to earn some good will by implementing a solution that will keep both 2K and its customers happy. To counteract the price increase, the site is giving users a reusable voucher for 30% off any ANZ title with an unfairly inflated price. The code is valid for the next ten years, though Green Man does warn that this may be subject to change.

The code:

GMGAU-3J9MF-MUINW

"We have thought long and hard about the ANZ market that has been so good to GMG in the past and what our approach should be," Green Man told its sister site, Games.on.net. "We value our loyal customers in Australia and New Zealand and, as such, GMG are taking the hit so that we can offer the value you have come to expect from us."

Region-based price gouging is an unsightly hold over from the days when games had to be shipped around the world in galleys or zeppelins or what ever it was that made Australian games cost twice as much as their North American counterparts. There's no place for such shenanigans now games are transported via the black magic that powers the internet. Green Man Gaming has already earned itself some serious good will by going toe to toe with the infamous Steam Christmas sales in terms of deals, this is another feather in its increasingly fancy cap.

Source: Games.on.net

Permalink

good on them, and i'm gonna relay that code to an NZ friend of mine

Grey Carter:
Region-based price gouging is an unsightly hold over from the days when games had to be shipped around the world in galleys or zeppelins or what ever it was that made Australian games cost twice as much as their North American counterparts. There's no place for such shenanigans now games are transported via the black magic that powers the internet.

If I understand correctly, it involves a series of tubes.

Now that I've gotten that dumb, outdated reference out of the way.... Good on Green Man, this good deed should result in Aussies the world around to shower them with cash! Yay capitalism!

So you could say they're putting the cost of the games down under the set price?

Can this code be used with other discounts that the site provides?

It's a good PR move by Green Man Gaming but I don't know how it fixes the issue. I mean if the publishers see that it works and they aren't making any less money then they will just keep on demanding that they keep jacking up the prices for the region. I'm not sure how New Zealands internet pricing works but I know from living in Australia that the internet there is extremely limited as in evan the so called unlimited internet will throttle back from ASDL speed to dial up once you download 10 gigabites of data so it's not like Australians can really go crazy with downloading games. So yeah good PR for Green Man but how long can they keep that sort of thing up.

It got me thinking, with Steam being as powerful as it presently is... couldn't they just tell publishers "No, fuck you. You want to sell via Steam then you sell at a worldwide agreed upon price."

I think they have the clout to pull it off. What are the publishers going to do? Turn down having their product on steam, which is essentially the most successful marketplace for PC games?

There's a damn good reason I get a lot of my games from GMG and this is it. They actually give a shit about their customers unlike so many other retailers out there. However, this doesn't fix the problem of publishers gouging prices here.

Unfortunately, most AU gamers would rather pay the extra cash and be able to just walk into an EB Games to get their goods. It's unlikely that publishers will ever reduce the sales price of games here because people are contented to just continue buying them at huge mark ups.

Abomination:
It got me thinking, with Steam being as powerful as it presently is... couldn't they just tell publishers "No, fuck you. You want to sell via Steam then you sell at a worldwide agreed upon price."

They could, but then you look at the Valve games and realize they pulled the exact same region tax as everyone else... all bets are off when greed joins in.

What makes a game ANZ? Just a bit confused here >.>. Or are all games automatically ANZ if you live here?

risenbone:
I'm not sure how New Zealands internet pricing works but I know from living in Australia that the internet there is extremely limited as in evan the so called unlimited internet will throttle back from ASDL speed to dial up once you download 10 gigabites of data so it's not like Australians can really go crazy with downloading games.

I'm Australian with my 200 gigs a month, I don't have that much trouble downloading anything really. Now speed that's a different matter, So Sloooooowwww.

Mr.K.:

Abomination:
It got me thinking, with Steam being as powerful as it presently is... couldn't they just tell publishers "No, fuck you. You want to sell via Steam then you sell at a worldwide agreed upon price."

They could, but then you look at the Valve games and realize they pulled the exact same region tax as everyone else... all bets are off when greed joins in.

I frequently just counter it, I have friends in the States who trust me and I trust. They buy the game, gift it to me then I transfer the cost via paypal... with an extra $5 tossed in as a "thank you".

I still save about $20.

According to capitalists, shouldn't a competitive market be lowering prices? (Irony!) This is solid proof that prices can be rigged in the free market the same as in any market regulated by the government.
As a side-note, I'm assuming that game discs are actually manufactured and processed in somewhere like China. So how does it cost more to ship them from Asia to Australia, than it does to ship them from Asia to America?

Farther than stars:
According to capitalists, shouldn't a competitive market be lowering prices? This is solid proof that prices can be rigged in the free market the same as in any market regulated by the government.
As a side-note, I'm assuming that game discs are actually manufactured and processed in somewhere like China. So how does it cost more to ship them from Asia to Australia, than it does to ship them from Asia to America?

the thing about "competitive pricing" is that it can do whatever it wants as long as it is justified by the party who controls the pricing.

Just signed up looks like a good site with some real killer deals seriously.
Steam should take a stand against regional pricing and enforce a policy of single price gaming like GOG.com I'm getting real over Australian price gouging in general (can't wait to move to the UK).

We raised all the prices, but here you get to buy one of the items at the old price, and the rest at inflated prices, look how good we are.
sorry guys, i dont buy that. you should have took a stand and said no to publishers, after all, somone should ahve done that like... 4 years ago. but greed, greed never changes....

Good on them! I actually prefer them to steam since I can buy in USD despite not being from the US.

Kekkonen1:
Good on them! I actually prefer them to steam since I can buy in USD despite not being from the US.

We have to buy in USD in New Zealand... which sucks because of exchange rate markups.

Farther than stars:
According to capitalists, shouldn't a competitive market be lowering prices? (Irony!) This is solid proof that prices can be rigged in the free market the same as in any market regulated by the government.
As a side-note, I'm assuming that game discs are actually manufactured and processed in somewhere like China. So how does it cost more to ship them from Asia to Australia, than it does to ship them from Asia to America?

Selling games does not operate in a type of market where the price lowers just cause of competition and demand. It stays up due to Gaming being an Oligopoly.

Farther than stars:
According to capitalists, shouldn't a competitive market be lowering prices? (Irony!) This is solid proof that prices can be rigged in the free market the same as in any market regulated by the government.

Without getting too much into poli-ticks, there's one trait both capitalism and socialism (or communism or whatever-you-call-it-in-your-part-of-the-woods) share: Its specification is quite different from what we've implemented.

E.g.
- Under socialism, everyone is equal. Except the people in charge. And their families. And their friends. And their friends' friends. Etc...
- Under capitalism, there's equal opportunity for everyone. Except the people in charge. And the corporations with pockets deep enough to buy... er, I mean, sponsor them. Oh, and their families, friends and etcs, too, naturally.

That's why when a small company makes it big, there's a metamorphosis in their behaviour. E.g., they go from, say, "do no evil" to "there's gotta be some amount of necessary evil, because everyone else is doing it". If you search for «apple tax evasion», you'll see a sort of behaviour that's shared by every company big enough to do it.

Getting back on topic - everyone indulges in this price gouging because "everyone else is doing it". The only possible response they'd understand would be if people in ANZ stopped buying games. Since everyone keeps paying, the price must be right, right?

Trent Reznor of NINE INCH NAILS found out how high his album was being sold while on tour in Australia and thought WTF, so called up his labal and was like sooooo wtf ? And yeh simple answer coz they know they would pay for it. So that same day when Trent Reznor started this show, he told the crowd how bullshit is it and told them to just steal his music, steal steal and steal some more.

risenbone:
I'm not sure how New Zealands internet pricing works

It's pretty bad here getting internet from a phone line is near impossible in rural areas so you have to use satellite, I've heard from a few freinds that satellite only works on a fine day and it is really slow and expensive. Pricing is $100 for 2 GB is the worst and $111 for unlimited is the best.

well i have an unlimited internet connection well im getting winged at the price for it so im going to have to move to a 30 gb one thats at $88 a month means i can get 1 game a month and some digital music and a little bit of browsing not counting MMOG's and updates and maybe a couple of youtube vids month so soon the price gouging is not going to affect me because i will not be able to download my purchases

Abomination:
It got me thinking, with Steam being as powerful as it presently is... couldn't they just tell publishers "No, fuck you. You want to sell via Steam then you sell at a worldwide agreed upon price."

Steam is only as powerful as the games it sells, if publishers band together and pull them, Steam doesn't make money.

Glademaster:

Farther than stars:
According to capitalists, shouldn't a competitive market be lowering prices? (Irony!) This is solid proof that prices can be rigged in the free market the same as in any market regulated by the government.
As a side-note, I'm assuming that game discs are actually manufactured and processed in somewhere like China. So how does it cost more to ship them from Asia to Australia, than it does to ship them from Asia to America?

Selling games does not operate in a type of market where the price lowers just cause of competition and demand. It stays up due to Gaming being an Oligopoly.

Yeah, that's my point though. According to the theory of a free market, competition should have established itself by now, offering better or equivalent games at lower prices. The fact that this hasn't happened yet illustrates the tendency of companies to inflate their prices in sync with the competition simply for the sake of a quick buck. That's how your oligopoly is established and maintained.

88chaz88:

Abomination:
It got me thinking, with Steam being as powerful as it presently is... couldn't they just tell publishers "No, fuck you. You want to sell via Steam then you sell at a worldwide agreed upon price."

Steam is only as powerful as the games it sells, if publishers band together and pull them, Steam doesn't make money.

I am certain there are ways Steam could 'encourage' publishers to sell at the same price worldwide. Perhaps add a small fee for "regional-pricing services" for every single sale of the game. Don't want to be charged the fee on United States sales? Make all your prices the same (in US dollar value) for every nation.

I don't think I'm willing to clean up the bloody mess I'd make if I got into an argument against someone who'd be unsympathetic enough so as to DEFEND the huge markups that affect ANZ.

Farther than stars:

Glademaster:

Farther than stars:
According to capitalists, shouldn't a competitive market be lowering prices? (Irony!) This is solid proof that prices can be rigged in the free market the same as in any market regulated by the government.
As a side-note, I'm assuming that game discs are actually manufactured and processed in somewhere like China. So how does it cost more to ship them from Asia to Australia, than it does to ship them from Asia to America?

Selling games does not operate in a type of market where the price lowers just cause of competition and demand. It stays up due to Gaming being an Oligopoly.

Yeah, that's my point though. According to the theory of a free market, competition should have established itself by now, offering better or equivalent games at lower prices. The fact that this hasn't happened yet illustrates the tendency of companies to inflate their prices in sync with the competition simply for the sake of a quick buck. That's how your oligopoly is established and maintained.

Yes but games aren't a Free Market so you can't compare them at all. Games are not in Perfect Competition they are in an Oligopoly. Also Oligopolies aren't necessarily a bad thing.

Cool, perhaps this could lead to more online game companies opening up servers in ANZ regions to give us lower ping/latency.

And then perhaps doves will fly out of my ass.

Glademaster:
Yes but games aren't a Free Market so you can't compare them at all. Games are not in Perfect Competition they are in an Oligopoly. Also Oligopolies aren't necessarily a bad thing.

Oligopolies are an incredibly bad thing! They invariably drive up prices, such as seen with video games in the ANZ market. Those kinds of business tactics are bad for the consumer and we all know that what's bad for the consumer is bad for the economy.
By the way, are you saying that games cannot exist in a competitive model per definition?

Otherwise known as the Great Oceanic Screwjob. An absolute disgrace.

Glademaster:
Yes but games aren't a Free Market so you can't compare them at all. Games are not in Perfect Competition they are in an Oligopoly. Also Oligopolies aren't necessarily a bad thing.

There is no practical reason for the price increase of ANZ games.

Essentially the reason for the pricing is "because we can" and "because they will pay". The reason why ANZ gamers will pay is because they have no choice.

Then they wonder why ANZ consumers turn to piracy.

Farther than stars:

Glademaster:
Yes but games aren't a Free Market so you can't compare them at all. Games are not in Perfect Competition they are in an Oligopoly. Also Oligopolies aren't necessarily a bad thing.

Oligopolies are an incredibly bad thing! They invariably drive up prices, such as seen with video games in the ANZ market. Those kinds of business tactics are bad for the consumer and we all know that what's bad for the consumer is bad for the economy.
By the way, are you saying that games cannot exist in a competitive model per definition?

Yes game and every other thing sold in the world bar a very few select things actually exist in perfect competition. Like everything if something is operating properly and not being abused there are advantages for everyone easy price comparison, focus on quality and "loyalty" perks are some of the consumer advantages for Oligopoly.

Abomination:

Glademaster:
Yes but games aren't a Free Market so you can't compare them at all. Games are not in Perfect Competition they are in an Oligopoly. Also Oligopolies aren't necessarily a bad thing.

There is no practical reason for the price increase of ANZ games.

Essentially the reason for the pricing is "because we can" and "because they will pay". The reason why ANZ gamers will pay is because they have no choice.

Then they wonder why ANZ consumers turn to piracy.

Yes there is a practical reason why Oligopolies have more static prices. As if they didn't they would just price war until they went out of business to put it simply. The reason why they are at a point where they are exorbitant is because people keep paying for them despite the reason for them being high not existing anymore. There are choices out there talked about in other threads such as people importing.

risenbone:
I'm not sure how New Zealands internet pricing works but I know from living in Australia that the internet there is extremely limited as in evan the so called unlimited internet will throttle back from ASDL speed to dial up once you download 10 gigabites of data so it's not like Australians can really go crazy with downloading games.

I'm not sure what provider you were with, but it sounds like you were getting shafted...

Nouw:
What makes a game ANZ? Just a bit confused here >.>. Or are all games automatically ANZ if you live here?

ANZ is "Australia and New Zealand".

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here