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 Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenActually, "things I'd like to see become standard in video games" ain't a bad idea for one of my future YouTube videos.07/03/2015 - 1:05am
Andrew EisenYou know what I'd really like to see become standard? The ability to pause cutscenes. Rewind and skip (with "Are you sure?") would be nice too. Oh, and maybe display the duration of the cutscene when it's paused.07/03/2015 - 1:03am
Mattsworknameonly reason to do region locking now is to be dicks your consumer base. Granted, we see that ALOT these days07/03/2015 - 12:48am
MattsworknameI understand the concerns about the region locking thing, I just thing that if you buy a game legitimately, no matter where it's from or what langauge it's in, you should be allowed to play it. the argument about piracy was proven false years ago, the07/03/2015 - 12:47am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.theverge.com/culture/2015/7/2/8888243/reddit-subreddits-private-after-ama-victoria-taylor-fired bad optics by Reddit.07/03/2015 - 12:33am
Goth_SkunkI'm in full agreement on the subtitles issue. I also believe that every game should come with a single-player component, and be playable without an internet connection. Except MMOs.07/02/2015 - 10:51pm
TechnogeekRegion locking bans seem like something that'll be very difficult to pass into law. I'm fully on board with the subtitle requirement, though.07/02/2015 - 10:00pm
MattsworknameFor example, all games with any for form of spoken dialoge should be i subtitled, and region locking in any form should be illegal07/02/2015 - 9:03pm
MattsworknameDoes anyone feel that there should be a set standard for all games in terms of certain basic features. Ie subtitles, region lock, etc07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
MattsworknameSo, now that the Article stuff is over, I want to bring up another subject07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
PHX Corphttps://trustygem.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/windows-10-insider-preview-phase-3/ My Thoughts on Windows 10 Insider Preview07/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?t=18&v=CbGmrySQLIg looks like Inafune is giving capcom the middle finger.07/02/2015 - 5:05pm
TechnogeekUnfortunately, the shoutbox moves fast enough that I can't find why I got that impression, so if was indeed erroneous I do apologize.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
TechnogeekBut yeah, as far as my earlier comment re: you and the article, I did get the impression at some point that you felt there should have been some sort of reprecussions for the article's existence.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
TechnogeekI got expletive-censored for posting something a few weeks back wherein I expressed my shock that I agreed with you about something, Skunk; so you're not the only one being hit with that stick.07/02/2015 - 4:31pm
Andrew EisenI know you don't. And you haven't recently so all's well.07/02/2015 - 4:25pm
Goth_SkunkI don't think I misrepresented anything.07/02/2015 - 4:24pm
 

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