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Post by darkjedi @ 11:06am 13/04/10 | 60 Comments
Now it appears Dragon Age: Origins and Mass Effect 2 have joined the increasingly large list of games with artificially inflated digital prices for the Australian region.

With Dragon Age: Origins, EA has snuck the Steam pricing up from USD$49.99/USD$64.99 (standard/deluxe) to USD$69.99/USD$79.99 respectively (AusGamers price comparison).

Whilst Mass Effect 2 has gone from USD$49.99/USD$59.99 to (standard/deluxe) to USD$69.99/USD$79.99 respectively (AusGamers price comparison).

Boba jokes aside, has anyone ever found out which local bricks & mortar retail stores are responsible for starting this whole trend? promoted/edited forum item



dragon age: originssteammass effect 2





Latest Comments
Vorador
Posted 11:09am 13/4/10
iTOM
Posted 11:11am 13/4/10
f***, i thought this was a free world
Bonez
Posted 11:14am 13/4/10
Honestly it's super annoying, but can anyone tell if it's just the Australian prices that have gone up, or is it across the globe?

Nice thing is the exchange rate doesn't kill us as bad now as it did 2 years ago.
greazy
Posted 11:15am 13/4/10
it is a free world thats why they can monkey butt f*** us.
darkjedi
Posted 11:18am 13/4/10
Compare the Mass Effect 2 AU price to the ME2 US price (standard edition).

It's just the Australian pricing and a continuation of the trend started with Modern Warfare 1, when the $aud was nearly at parity. Due to this, Activision jacked the price up to $us88.50 claiming that "it's pricing it inline with boxed copies so as not to take away sales from bricks & mortar retail stores" (not an exact quote, obviously).
ctd
Posted 11:21am 13/4/10
Bit of a shame because most people that buy games off steam or from stores aren't aware of this type thing so they will just continue on buying.

Haven't bought a game off steam in a while so I am not sure if that cc=us thing or VPN works?
konstie
Posted 11:23am 13/4/10
f*** me that's draining. but i'm glad i got those games back when they were cheap!
Fuzzy
Posted 11:40am 13/4/10
At least indie games aren't given the same treatment. It's pretty much all I buy off steam these days

Oh, and the cheap deals
Bikkies
Posted 11:55am 13/4/10
So Valve allows these companies to set their own regional pricing, how much of a % does Valve get from each sale?
pimento
Posted 11:58am 13/4/10
I hate this crap.. it's exploitative and so easy to get around. I have a mate in the US who gifts things to me when I paypal him some cashola, though only if I really want the game. When they price hike them like this they just make me want to play something else.
ctd
Posted 11:59am 13/4/10
Valve tells companies that it isn't a good idea to set regional pricing but don't stop them. They also set different percentages for each dev/publisher. Depending on stuff and things...
parabol
Posted 12:01pm 13/4/10
According to Google:
1 Australian dollar = 0.9285 U.S. dollars

You'd think we'd see some improvement in game prices, but no.
jellygoose
Posted 12:06pm 13/4/10
well I'm glad i got ME2 for 50$ when it came out.. what a load of exploitative bs!
greazy
Posted 01:12pm 13/4/10
Trog you need a steam AU. EU are all the same as US. Maybe it needs updating.

edit: yeah i completely forgot about the conversion rate. stupid me.

last edited by greazy at 13:12:52 13/Apr/10
ctd
Posted 12:46pm 13/4/10
I'm pretty sure euro people get rolled by steam? As in 1US=1EU on steam.
Trog you need a steam AU. EU are all the same as US. Maybe it needs updating.

Yeah the steam links on those game pages all go to the aussie prices.

heres a random price guide I found randomly through google that does a better job of showing the random EU/AU/UK/US price comparisons.
http://steamunpowered.eu/price-guide/

Mass Effect 2
Tier 1: 49.99
Tier 2: 49.99, 100.00% of Tier 1 price
Tier 3: 49.99, 100.00% of Tier 1 price
US: $49.99 or 36.67, 73.35% of Tier 1 price
AU: $69.99 or 51.33, 102.69% of Tier 1 price
UK: 29.99 or 33.92, 67.85% of Tier 1 price

Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 are random EU countrys - italy, norgay, and sweden I think. dunno.

last edited by ctd at 12:46:48 13/Apr/10
ravn0s
Posted 12:49pm 13/4/10
so theres an EU site as well as the UK and US site?
ctd
Posted 12:51pm 13/4/10
?cc=se
?cc=no
?cc=lt

= EU sites. They get rolled harder than aussies. It seems a lot of games simply make it 1US=1EU. So if a game was $US50 they would make it $EU50. Which is a ripoff.
ravn0s
Posted 01:01pm 13/4/10
It seems a lot of games simply make it 1US=1EU.


they do that with the UK pound dont they?
trog
Posted 01:02pm 13/4/10
Trog you need a steam AU. EU are all the same as US. Maybe it needs updating.
it has SteamAU, it's the one just called 'Steam'. Got a plan to make them a bit clearer but no time as yet
ctd
Posted 01:03pm 13/4/10

they do that with the UK pound dont they?

negative
trog
Posted 01:07pm 13/4/10
Yeah the steam links on those game pages all go to the aussie prices.
Wat, no they don't, if you mean our pages
dazedandconfused
Posted 01:18pm 13/4/10
Stop buying it. They'll soon drop the price.
d^
Posted 01:28pm 13/4/10
I find the best games to buy are the bargain ones, they can F off with those prices though.
BoneyD
Posted 01:30pm 13/4/10
Why anyone uses any other company than GamersGate.co.uk for their digital distribution purchases is beyond me:
http://www.gamersgate.co.uk/DD-DAOUK/dragon-age-origins-uk
http://www.gamersgate.co.uk/DD-DAODVUK/dragon-age-origins-digital-deluxe-version
http://www.gamersgate.co.uk/DD-ME2UK/mass-effect-2-uk
http://www.gamersgate.co.uk/DD-ME2DDEUK/mass-effect-2-digital-deluxe-edition-uk

Their rates are excellent (Dragon Age is selling for $33AU!), they don't require you to be connected to em to play your games and the $AU converts very well to the pound at the moment.

Hell, you can load the shortcuts through Steam if you want the in-game community overlay stuff.
Hogfather
Posted 01:36pm 13/4/10
Why anyone uses any other company than GamersGate.co.uk for their digital distribution purchases is beyond me

There is the issue of quota. Steam is off-quota for me.
Darvon
Posted 02:01pm 13/4/10
Even though I bought Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2 (Playasia in both cases), usually when I see a distributor pulling regional pricing on steam games I just go to the torrents in protest.
darkjedi
Posted 03:07pm 13/4/10
I'm with Hogfather here: I'm with 'node, so downloading from Steam is free for me.

usually when I see a distributor pulling regional pricing on steam games I just go to the torrents in protest.


All I have for your comment is the following:

tequila
Posted 03:27pm 13/4/10
There is the issue of quota. Steam is off-quota for me.


how on earth do you run an IT business?
darkjedi
Posted 03:36pm 13/4/10
Also on topic: Adobe are pulling this same stunt with the pricing for the newly announced CS5:

The companys Australian software store currently lists the full CS5 version of Photoshop as costing from AU$1,168, with an upgrade licence costing from $337.

However, in the US, the same software will cost residents there just US$699, or AU$757.48 with international currency conversion. The upgrade will cost US$199 or AU$215.65.


Source

Those bits & bytes must cost a lot of money to export to Australia!
Hogfather
Posted 03:39pm 13/4/10
There is the issue of quota. Steam is off-quota for me.
how on earth do you run an IT business?

?

You seem to be confused by our scale, perhaps.

We're a small, regional business, so I don't have quintoogles of bandwidth and quota laying around.
Maccas
Posted 03:40pm 13/4/10
There are ways around the Australian pricing, (proxy, misrepresenting your address) but when you are kind of committing fraud to buy something you may as well torrent it.
Varchld
Posted 04:06pm 13/4/10
The UK and EU do get a raw deal too apparantly.
http://www.steamprices.com/us/ lists the comparative prices for the three regions.
There's no AUS on there but most of the time we're the same as the US.

You can see the GTA4 Episodes are 30 US, 20 UK and 30 EU.
I wonder if I should get that before they hike the price...
Nerfbringer
Posted 04:09pm 13/4/10
I was going to buy ME:2 if I ever got time, now I spose I won't, because it's just too much.
Dazhel
Posted 04:20pm 13/4/10
We're a small, regional business, so I don't have quintoogles of bandwidth and quota laying around.


Up in Cairns I'm betting you also have packet loss problems when the string between the pair of tin cans starts to fray.
BoneyD
Posted 04:24pm 13/4/10
Why anyone uses any other company than GamersGate.co.uk for their digital distribution purchases is beyond me
There is the issue of quota. Steam is off-quota for me.

Yep I can see that I spose, if you're one of the lucky people with an ISP who'll let you take advantage of the Steam filter...

But then, with the money you save, I bet you could up your internet plan by way more than the size of the download! ;)
deadlyf
Posted 04:32pm 13/4/10
All I have for your comment is the following:
I hope that pic is meant to be ironic.
Bonez
Posted 04:32pm 13/4/10
Thanks to Steam, and the ability to not have to worry about physical media, my collection of games has gone from 10% legit to 99%. Of course there have been a few free games added in there as well, thanks to AusGamers.
Eorl
Posted 06:04pm 13/4/10
Gotta love the online digital market
Sc00bs
Posted 04:50pm 13/4/10
and they wonder why pirated games are running rampant....
Seven
Posted 05:00pm 13/4/10
Haven't bought anything off Steam in a while because of this. F*** 'em.
darkjedi
Posted 05:05pm 13/4/10
I hope that pic is meant to be ironic.


No, it's an argument with a literal strawman.
trog
Posted 05:17pm 13/4/10
Haven't bought anything off Steam in a while because of this. F*** 'em.
THIS IS NOT STEAMS FAULT OR VALVES FAULT

This is the fault of the publishers who are trying to enforce regionalised pricing.
Bah
Posted 05:21pm 13/4/10
http://www.gamearena.com.au/shop/games/title/dragon-age-origins-awakening/index.php
Dragon Age: Origins for $40. Lol. And that's BigPond.
Can you read your own link?
`ViPER`
Posted 05:23pm 13/4/10
I've bought more games than ever since steam came out, I just dont even contemplate pirating games anymore, if its a decent price on steam I buy it, if it isnt, I dont play it. I dont get that much time to play games these days working and With kids, so if they want to pull the regional pricing s*** out I just dont get the game.
deadlyf
Posted 06:11pm 13/4/10
No, it's an argument with a literal strawman.
You do realise that using that pic as a response to someone saying they will pirate due to regional pricing is a strawman right? Just to be clear, because I don't know if you are being really clever or if you actually think it's a valid response.
HERMITech
Posted 07:14pm 13/4/10
I move a new motion that using the using either Strawman as an argument or typing the word here after is a permanent ban
Yapa
Posted 07:39pm 13/4/10
Dazhel
Posted 08:07pm 13/4/10
THIS IS NOT STEAMS FAULT OR VALVES FAULT


But...but...blamegen says...?
Thermal Ions
Posted 08:41pm 13/4/10
@Maccas

Steam has recently implemented mechanisms to block previously possible "end runs" around regional pricing (and censored versions) such as using different country codes, fake overseas addresses, etc. Not sure if they are blocking proxies yet. The easiest way around is still simply to get a friend from overseas to gift to you and you send/paypal them the funds.

Personally, I've bought more through Steam because of their good prices / specials over the last year than from retail in the previous 5 years because I had refused to pay the exorbitant retail prices for new games. The more publishers that try on this regional pricing through Steam the less publishers that will see my dollars - through Steam or Retail. They definitely don't help themselves or retail in my case anyway.

Blamegen needs a reboot - it's even blaming Valve for Ubisoft's new DRM 0.o
Storm
Posted 09:15pm 13/4/10
I can't imagine anybody but EB being responsible for steam upping their price. Retailers in this country who have market dominance are used to leaning on their suppliers for support (ie cutting another retailer off) and getting it. In .au, there's not enough competition to support a supplier should they make a commercial decision to tell one of the majors that they should wear their big boy pants and pay for their "lowest prices" claim themselves, rather than asking for a handout from whichever supplier whose products they're price matching.

Srsly; somebody other than me needs to write letters to the ACCC asking them to investigate on the grounds of abusing market power (I say other than me because I write one every time I buy a game and get pissed off at the price compared to other markets; so I'm probably marked as a serial complainer and hence ignored).

ctd
Posted 09:36pm 13/4/10
after we get r18+ in for games we can concentrate on this issue. luckily both problems can be circumvented
rrrocket
Posted 09:37pm 13/4/10
Yeah I only wait for specials usually on steam. I don't buy AAA titles mainly course the fact that i am convinced it is EB's who have complained about this.

I'm waiting for dragon age expansion to be on special....
Xion
Posted 09:36am 15/4/10
It bugs me to tears that digital distribution games are as expensive as bricks and mortar bought games which when you add the high cost of broadband here in OZ, it turns out more expensive.

People will only end up voting in one of two ways.

1. Buy Cheap digital copies somewhere else
2. Play even cheaper (free) digital copies from pirate bay, cheap as in beer and free as in money.

I for one will be looking at buying cheap digital distribution games from somewhere else.

Additionally the prices here in australia are supposed to reflect the price you would pay in the US + shipping. Once you get more expensive than that then hey it's cheaper to buy these games (retail) from the US.

Gamers aren't stupid, the more cash they can save buying expensive steam games the more cash they have for their newest gaming rig. If you want to keep the retail stores open, the retails stores need cheap competitive digital distribution.
Superform
Posted 03:44pm 15/4/10
if anyone wants me to gift from EU hit me up.. but i think we need a service like this from UK
xutech
Posted 05:11pm 17/4/10
The best way to drop prices in steam is to buy games from steam - hell wait for the specials if you have to. Because if steam sells the cheapest, and crappy psuedo-pawn shops like eb games stop selling pc games ( due to lack of interest) the distributors stop pushing valve into preserving high prices.
Obes
Posted 06:45pm 17/4/10
Ausgamers never made stance on it in their reviews. It should be in dirty great big writing. Possibly with flash tags "This game has regionalised pricing". And any game that does should lose a good 10% of it's rating.

Why ? It's the constitution. It's MABO. It's just...the vibe.

The Bigpond gaming site also has those regionalised prices, and I am pretty sure it's maintained by mamoth (ie. ausgamers).
Draxonic
Posted 04:40pm 18/4/10
"Ausgamers never made stance on it in their reviews. It should be in dirty great big writing. Possibly with flash tags "This game has regionalised pricing". And any game that does should lose a good 10% of it's rating."

+1
trillion
Posted 04:54pm 18/4/10
^ I vote for putting the notice in alt-text
trillion
Posted 05:11pm 18/4/10
Blamegen


For your particular problem (Gabe making game technology his b**** worse than John Carmack), you should blame:

Valve Software


nope blamegen still seems to be making sense
Jim
Posted 06:18pm 18/4/10
The Bigpond gaming site also has those regionalised prices, and I am pretty sure it's maintained by mamoth (ie. ausgamers).
maintained by, but pricing not decided by
we built them a cms and they set pricing with it
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