Indie Studio Takes Stand Against Over-Priced Games in Australia

January 7, 2013 -

Melbourne Australia-based indie game developer Endgame Studios is tired of the high prices that gamers in the region have to pay for video games (compared to Europe and other regions) and has decided to voice their opinion about how much they think it sucks. In a post entitled "A stand against exorbitant Aussie game prices!," the studio says that Australian gamers are asked to pay 50 - 100 percent more than American consumers due to - according to publishers and distributors - currency exchange rates. Endgame Studios says that now because of digital distribution of many titles (there is no physical product to haul) and because the Australian dollar is stronger than the U.S. dollar the old justification for higher game prices no longer works.

The company offers an example with its latest game for the 3DS, Fractured Soul:

"We released Fractured Soul for 3DS on the Nintendo eShop in North America for USD $11.99," the studio wrote on its blog. "It surprised us to hear gamers in Australia saying they guessed the game would come out for $15+ when released here, but I suppose I would have thought the same thing. As much as we’d love to charge these crazy prices from a financial point of view, it’s just not right. As gamers ourselves, can we expect the price gouging to stop if we’re part of the problem too?"

They go on to say that they are taking a stand in their pricing to make it uniform across more regions and to avoid soaking Aussie gamers with extra costs:

"So we’re making a stand. Fractured Soul will cost AUD $9.99 on the Australia & NZ Nintendo eShop, and 7.99 Euros in the Nintendo eShop in Europe. Sure, it’s just one indie game. It probably won’t change the world. But at least it’s proof – proof to gamers here in Australia that high game prices are unnecessary and unacceptable."

You can learn more about the studios' games www.endgamestudios.com. Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.


Comments

Re: Indie Studio Takes Stand Against Over-Priced Games in ...

The excuse offered by Australian retailers, that the reason game prices are so high is because of exchange rates is clearly bogus.

10 years ago the Aussie dollar was sitting around 60 to 65 US cents. In that case, yes, exchange rates are bad for anyone importing any product and you'd expect higher prices. But in 2012/13 the Australian dollar is at or above parity with the Greenback. At one point last year it was US$1.07.

If prices were solely determined by exchange rate, then in that case you'd expect the price of a game to drop. But that has never happened. In Australia today most games still sit between 80 and a 100 dollars.

Perhaps it's time the ACCC took a look at this, but they've been somewhat a toothless tiger since Professor Fels departure.

Re: Indie Studio Takes Stand Against Over-Priced Games in ...

"In Australia today most games still sit between 80 and a 100 dollars."

Only for PC games I say... and only if not sold at EB. EB sells AAA console games from AU$110 to $120 new. Hell, for a $110 game new they have a second hand version for the bargain price of say $107. Big W and JB have been doing new AAA console games for as low as $70-$80 for a while now. They compete with each other like crazy when a new big game comes out. At ozgameshop.com, run out of the UK or something, new AAA console games can often be as low as $60 (you just have to be prepared to wait for up to 3 weeks for it to get to you).

But I prefer to look at it as a percentage of my weekly wage. Around 13% if I was silly enough to buy from EB, around 3% from ozgameshop. Happy to wait what usually works out to two weeks to save 10% of my pay for a week, especially if I suffer from a brain fart (as I've done several times) and buy games like Modern Warfare where I finish the shitty campaign in 3.5 hours and then I'm done (being an almost exclusive SP gamer).

I like to pay what something is worth to me. Not what some power-that-be says a product is perceived to be worth to the average person. For this very reason Steam saw a lot of transactions from me with their recent Xmas sales than I'd never normally make. If you have no value to me at full price - no sale. I can live without until you're cheaper.

Re: Indie Studio Takes Stand Against Over-Priced Games in ...

That was nice of them.

 
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