Australian Consumer Group Demands Lower Game Prices

May 30, 2011 -

Forget about the "rent is too damned high" party, gamers down under are getting robbed by retailers, according to a consumer group. Australian consumer rights publication CHOICE has submitted a document to the government's Productivity Commission last week demanding retailers lower the price of games.

The group called on "importers, distributors and retailers to pass some of the savings they are enjoying thanks to the strong Aussie dollar on to Australian consumers." As an example, CHOICE claims that Australian consumers can save about 90 percent on the price of Portal 2 if they purchase it abroad instead of at home.

The Australian dollar is worth about as much as the US dollar, CHOICE says, but the price of video games has not come down in the country.

"Who can blame them," CHOICE notes in its statement, "when Xbox and PlayStation 3 games cost 91% more from a major Australian online retailer than from an overseas online website based in Asia?"

They have a point. CHOICE's director of campaigns and communications Christopher Zinn adds that Australian retailers are becoming complacent.

"The pressure from overseas online competition is a much needed wake up for Australian retailers to be more competitive," he wrote.

CHOICE also challenges the retail industry's claim that the GST-free threshold for products under $1000 is the cause of higher prices.

"Adding 10% to the cost of a product that is 91% cheaper is not an effective deterrent," CHOICE writes. "This is a distraction from the real issue of excessive mark-ups and challenges the industry to offer realistic explanations on why prices are so high or - better yet - begin offering better deals for Australian consumers. The imposition of a GST on overseas purchases will not make the threat of far better deals overseas go away."

We'll follow up on this story as it develops.

Source: CHOICE


Comments

Re: Australian Consumer Group Demands Lower Game Prices

It's about the same in New Zealand, which isn't surprising when you consider that some of our games come from Australia anyway.

Games here range from $90 to $120 NZD ($74 to $99 USD).

As an example: L.A. Noire is $119.99 NZD ($99.03 USD) at EB Games NZ, whereas it's only $72.70 NZD ($59.99 USD) in GameStop US. Noting that console games cost roughly $20-30 NZD ($16.50-24.76 USD) more than PC games. To preorder Duke Nukem Forever for the PC, it'd cost me $99.99 NZD ($82.50 USD).

Generally speaking, Australian and New Zealand games will usually find themselves paying twice as much for a game than our North American and British counterparts. Even with shipping it is generally cheaper to import a game as opposed to buying it here.

As I live in New Zealand, I can't comment too much on the GST-free thing. I don't believe we get that, so we have to pay an extra 13% (that's our GST) on top of every purchase. Even if they did remove GST on certain items, it wouldn't make much of a difference, seeing that we'd still be paying around 30-50% more than US or UK consumers regardless.

-- Randi Tastix

Re: Australian Consumer Group Demands Lower Game Prices

Had a look at Game's Australian site, LA Noire is $82, Brink is $88 and an Aussie Rules Football game is $98. And they're on sale with between $11 and $21 off the regular price.

 

TL:DR About 100 Australian Dollars. By contrast the number on the pricetags in the UK (not sure about exchange rate value) is about half the AU price.

Re: Australian Consumer Group Demands Lower Game Prices

Is there a standard price for a new game in Australia?  What is it?

Re: Australian Consumer Group Demands Lower Game Prices

I have heard that new releases go for about $100 over there. I would never pay that price for a game, I am surprised they sell ANY.


Re: Australian Consumer Group Demands Lower Game Prices

It's true, I work at a Gamestop and had a vacationing family pop in and buy up nearly every major title.

 
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Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/03/13-year-old-minecraft-player-confesses-to-swatting-police-say/ not surprised.03/27/2015 - 3:51pm
Matthew WilsonI know most of my friends first saw robotech when it was on Toonami in the mid 90s, but it is possible that a fan who watched it in the 80s are in a position to do it.03/27/2015 - 1:04pm
Andrew EisenRobotech was mid 80s. Fans of the show (who were kids when it aired) are my age and older.03/27/2015 - 1:01pm
Matthew Wilsontiming. anime only really became widely known in the US in the mid 90s. if we assume it was mostly kids watching it, they still wouldnt be high enough in managment to be given full creative control yet. it would still be another 5 to 10 years for that.03/27/2015 - 12:59pm
Andrew EisenI agree. Now what makes you think that there is no one in power who cares about (or has the ability to) make a good adaptation?03/27/2015 - 12:47pm
Matthew Wilsonits not about pratice, it is about people who understand it getting in to positions of power.03/27/2015 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonallot of the comic book characters that have been turned in to good movies started in the 70s or earlier.03/27/2015 - 12:32pm
Andrew EisenWell, if it really does take two generations of practice to get it right, we'll never get good live action adaptations of anime if no one starts making them.03/27/2015 - 12:31pm
Andrew EisenWhat have you seen that would make you say that?03/27/2015 - 12:30pm
Matthew WilsonIt took 2 genarations of comic book reader before we got good comic book movies. I imagine that will be the case for anime as well.03/27/2015 - 12:28pm
Matthew Wilson@AE yes if they have people that understand the content give it a shot, but as far as I can tell that does not look like it is happening in this case.03/27/2015 - 12:26pm
Andrew EisenI understand the skepticism but I don't think "this will never work" and "no one should even bother" are very healthy attitudes.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Andrew EisenWhy would you doubt that? A lot of writers are my age and older, the perfect age to be fans of the content. All I'm saying is it's not impossible to get a good Robotech movie. In fact, it's more likely today than any other time.03/27/2015 - 12:11pm
Matthew Wilson@AE the difference is in the case of marvel the writers and directors clearly understand the source content. I doubt many of any of them are that way with robotech, or any anime for that matter.03/27/2015 - 11:10am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.playstationtrophies.org/news/news-15838-Sony-Cuts-the-Price-of-PlayStation-TV-Today.html Sony cuts the price of the Vita TV in the UK, still wont force developers to make their stuff compatible with it.03/27/2015 - 10:49am
Andrew EisenMechaCrash - It's true, there are a lot of examples of crap adaptations. But there are increasing numbers of great adaptations such as the Marvel movies. That said, it's certainly going to be an uphill battle at Sony, especially with Tom Rothman around.03/27/2015 - 10:45am
ZippyDSMleeOh live action crap...I dunno with hollywood being stuck in the 90s grimdarkblack mode I can not see how anything would work well other than SNK or Akira.. then again Akira is a bit of head trip...03/27/2015 - 10:11am
MechaCrashI meant Hollywood in general. If they did a Robotech movie, it'd just be a slightly tweaked Macross, because usually when people talk about Robotech, they just mean the first third. Nobody cares about the Masters/Southern Cross or Invid/MOSPAEDA stuff.03/27/2015 - 9:36am
ZippyDSMleeYes Macross is good..... robotech....not so much..... Now Pizza Cats that's the definitive TV dub, if not best dub ever I'd put it up there with COwboy Bebop just becuse the Pizza Cats dub is fun as heck and crazy,Medabots and Fighting Foodons are decent.03/27/2015 - 9:20am
InfophileAged well plot-wise, I mean. The animation is showing its age, but if you don't mind that, the plot holds up quite well03/27/2015 - 6:52am
 

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