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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Should ‘sexism’ factor into a video game’s rating?:

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Andrew EisenNo but it is defaulting to a very low volume. Not muted though.11/20/2014 - 10:14pm
MaskedPixelanteIs anyone else experiencing this weird Youtube glitch where, no matter what you had the volume set at last time, it defaults to muted no matter what?11/20/2014 - 10:07pm
MechaTama31What was wrong with Remember Me? I liked that one... >.>11/20/2014 - 8:50pm
AvalongodI tend to see the violence and sexism issues as different. Historically we know that the violence issue is overblown. But sexism is real. Better representations of women in games WILL happen.11/20/2014 - 7:35pm
Andrew EisenAnd unless I completely missed it, there's nothing in there about "how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta look deep for it."11/20/2014 - 5:10pm
Andrew EisenSeriously, you're upset, irked and fearful over an opinion piece that suggests the Pokemon demo would be better with more options and a better-written female character? SERIOUSLY?!11/20/2014 - 5:07pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://gamasutra.com/blogs/PugetAlain/20141118/230420/Nearly_Ripped_off_to_death_by_a_publisher__Get_better_by_yourself_and_wait_for_justice_Maybe.php Topware screws over an indie studio because they can.11/20/2014 - 5:01pm
Andrew EisenAre you SURE you provided the right link?11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99And yeah that sucks, especially when bonuses are tied to it, but that is more a problem with crappy publisher policies and scoring in general than any discussion on what may or may no be sexism in games.11/20/2014 - 4:59pm
prh99But no one is on their legislative high horse or on the litigation war path, for that matter. The biggest effect is that a reviewer might give it a lower score and drag down their meta critic ranking.11/20/2014 - 4:56pm
Wonderkarpyup11/20/2014 - 4:51pm
Andrew EisenOh for crying out loud. Wonderkarp, I apologize for how rude this question is but seriously, did you actually read that article?11/20/2014 - 4:47pm
Wonderkarpits a stigma. people in power hear this crap and start getting on their legislative high horse. but I feel like we've already paid too much attention too a demo.11/20/2014 - 4:46pm
Andrew EisenHarm gaming how?11/20/2014 - 4:35pm
Wonderkarpcause it gets parroted around and is used by people to harm gaming like Jack Thompsons did with Violence. http://www.themarysue.com/pokemon-oras-sexism/ here's the article.11/20/2014 - 4:28pm
Andrew EisenNo idea why such an opinion would upset or irk you so I'd be interested in reading it. Got a link?11/20/2014 - 4:13pm
Wonderkarplook deep for it....reaching much. those kinds of people are what urk me.11/20/2014 - 4:07pm
WonderkarpI got upset the other day when a known feminist blog wrote a large article on how the demo to Pokemon Omega Ruby was Sexist cause you couldnt play as a girl. It was a Demo....who cares? but they went off on how Pokemon in general is sexist but you gotta11/20/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenHere's the panel that Sarkeesian quote from earlier comes from. Amazing what the proper context does, isn't it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0qxtKz2vZw11/20/2014 - 3:32pm
NeenekoSomething to keep in mind, we tend to look at physics as 'hard', but math and physics are trivial compared to soc/psych (I have worked in both), but FEELS like it should be simplier.11/20/2014 - 3:17pm
 

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