Well it doesnt matter to me how they try to justify it we are still being royally ripped off over here.
Why Australian game prices will not drop
Images posted 26 weeks ago
This is a great article and I found it a real eye opener to what is going on in the industry.
As someone who owns a gaming store, it is hard to compete with "Grey Imports" and buy locally. A lot of you keep saying that we should import but there is a difference between your average joe purchasing a game from overseas and a business. For one, we have to pay an import tax on products from overseas which adds more to the cost and sometimes can make it almost on par with what we would have paid in Australia. The second thing is delivery time. If I buy locally I can get the stock the next day, quick turn around on product whereas from say UK can be up to 14 days. That's 14 days of dead stock and money. Some of the pricing in the article is a little inaccurate for a game that retails for $109.95 we generally pay $85-$90 from distributors in Australia but the lower you go on a retail price the tighter the margin gets eg a game that retails at $29.95 generally costs $23-$25 to come into stock.People should check out independent stores more, you will find that sometimes you get more personalised service and we can try to offer you the best deal we can get. I know personally that we offer decent trade value and for second hand games we only charge 1/2 of what they are worth brand new so $80 brand new $40 pre owned. I think that it is a rort if you are paying close to brand new price for a second hand game, (especially if it it something like Battlefield, C.O.D where you may need to purchase an online pass on top).
meh i hardly ever buy retail anymore. I buy everything off ebay old and new and import when i can. Save a lot more money sick of being ripped off by our retailers
If you can't stay in business without ripping off consumers in Australia then you're doomed anyways and might as well just close up shop now because digital distribution is going to punch you in the crotch and you cannot escape it.
As a consumer, I'm not here to prop up unsustainable business models. Why should I pay $100 a game when the same game can be bought online and imported to Australia for at most $60, including shipping?
Game retailers and publishers (and the retail sector in general) in the Australian market are price-gouging the customer...plain and simple. Blaming currency rates, marketing, distribution, staffing, storefront etc costs and supporting local developers (who predominately work in iOS development and make a killing at it) means nothing to me when I can pay significantly less to import a game from overseas. Those expenses are the retailers cost of doing business, not mine. As a consumer I'm only prepared to pay what the item is worth in equivalent EU and US markets, nothing more.
Those who buy packaged goods have already embraced online distribution on a global scale. It's up to the local video game industry to meet the explosive demand for cheaper online goods or perish.
US digital prices are inflated to be the same price as US physical prices, to protect publisher relationships with the horse-and-cart salesmen. So when you buy digital distribution in Australia, which costs virtually ZERO to distribute over the US-priced version, you're paying an extra forty or fifty bucks to preserve publisher relationships with retailers who are tacking on the costs for things completely unrelated to your digital purchase. It's like... triple-dipping.
You would think that given the number of Oz digital sales, we would get better treatment from publishers. But instead, we have to wait an extra 24-48hrs for the privilege of paying double what the US does at zero extra cost to the publisher.
People cry, "Ohnoes, but teh jobz0rz!" but honestly? I buy everything on Steam; what retail staff are doing has zero impact on me. So basically, I'm paying an extra forty fucking dollars for someone to sit in a store making fart noises with their armpits, all because I have the wrong IP address.
Physical media and its purveyors cannot die fast enough. The list of 'benefits' we lose from not having local publishers, I would cheerfully throw under a bus for the sake of not paying double what I should be.
Have a browse. Publishers negotiate prices with Steam based on region. We still pay EB prices, but the difference is that the publisher is getting ALL of the money instead of a cut of what you paid EB.
Buy steam keys from sources other than Steam - ozgameshop, Impulse, or 'gifts' from any trusted friends in the US. Do not let the publishers get away with this gouging bullshit.
@Aletunda Also, greenmangaming. And note that not all games and not all publishers do this greedy, underhanded, pond-scum behaviour. Valve's prices, for example, are the same internationally. And not all the major offenders (Activision, EA, THQ, Sega) gouge us for all their games. Only what they can get away with. The big-ticket, AAA titles, usually.
Daemoroth your pretty much on the money (no pun). have worked in retailers who sell games and I know 2 things to be true. Firstly the margin between wholesle and retail is next to nothing. A game you are "required" to retail at $99 is usually around $75 wholesale. It was rare for us to make more than $20 on a full price game. Secondly as Daemoroth rightly points out, retailers are crap at making the most of this market. Look at "Game" they open stores in major malls right across from EB and expect to compete, totally moronical. Then Harvey Norman, the solution t import competition, go into the media and call online shoppers un-Australian, more genius. I very rarely buy in Australia and price is only one factor. So keep the prices high and keep sending the business overseas, thats sure to help the Australian industry. Id call it self abuse.
What a load of crap, if the retailers don't adapt and refuse to compete with online offerings, THAT will kill the local publishers. And besides, you may try to excuse infrastructure cost, but then why are even digital products more expensive in Australia? That doesn't even take ANY infrastructure and the customer bears the delivery cost (Downloading bandwidth).
How is it possible that I can order something from Amazon, in the US, pay for shipping and it's still cheaper than buying a local copy (And yeah, OzGameshop has free shipping, but sometimes I want it a bit quicker though. :P)?
Local retailers should just ditch the local publishers and get their stock from international suppliers, force the local publishers to adapt or die.
Till then it's OzGameshop and Amazon for me.
with out GAME, I now do all my game shopping at jb hifi... EB generally have the highest prices, and I picked up Far Cry 3 for $58 from JB the other day! :)
This is why I shop on Ozgameshop, games are around the 50-60 dollar mark with free shipping and you earn points with each purchase that go toward discounts. I do not shop at EB or JB anymore also last time I checked this week games were more expensive at Big W and Kmart compared to JB Hi Fi and EB games. Just preordered Bioshock Infinite(360) on Ozgameshop for $59.99...
"One source working for a game publisher in Australia who wishes to remain anonymous says the idea that game publishers in Australia are "greedy" because they are not lowering game prices in the region is a misconception." My ass they are greedy, the price of everything in australia is more expensive in the USA and our dollar is worth what 4-5 cents more, and the entire "Import/export" cost is another crock of... i can import a game for what $2 thats just postage free you can import a big bloody box for an apropriate price. But you don't even have to look at games to know they are greedy we pay more for EVERYTHING hell in perth they're getting electricity price cranked up by like another %40 a 20c cheezeburger in the usa is $2 and we probably grow everything in that thing myself. The only explination is increased worker's wages and thats only going up because everything is so damn expensive.
The question is ?" Why Australian game prices will not drop" Answer is because Australia loves to lose money from sales to overseas game sellers like ozgame shop who sell for far far less then here.
@Wrathesoul Yes, this is a very important aspect of the discussion (which has thus far been overlooked). One major issue is that consumers are paying too much, have done for years, are not being protected by those that should protect us (IGEA, publishers, national retailers that have been in the market for decades).
Another important aspect is that due to the high costs and lack of protection, we are seeking alternatives and that will continue to diminish the sales and profits achieved by Australian businesses in the market.
10 years ago there weren't any alternatives available to the consumer, but now there are, and we're aware of them. They'll get our money, EB won't.
Elevated pricing of physical copies I can understand to an extent - shipping, lack of scale in our market (relative to the NA market) and other such things are built into the price of the copy that ends up on the shelf in EB or JB or whatever. Having said that, if I want to buy a physical copy of a game, I'll just keep importing for a fraction of the price.
What really gets on my nerves, is when online retailers geo-fence you into an Australian store that is significantly more expensive than the US (or Euro) store. EA does this with Origin. The mark up on BF3 compared to the US was/is huge (close to 40% for pre-orders from memory). Steam isn't much better for AAA titles at launch but at least you can get a friend in the US to buy it and gift it to you. There's no excuse for this - it doesn't cost publishers any more to 'ship' the digital download to Australia. It's just regional price gouging, plain and simple.
@TurambarGS Costs of shipping might well be a real and valid reason for an increase in price, but not to the extent that the prices are increased. If it costs an extra $5 per unit (which it wouldn't) then charge us $5 extra - not whack up the margin by an extra 30%.
That's fine , I will keep importing, no skin off my nose.
Maybe fellow gamers should think about doing the same, instead of being, ripped off.
by the way new black ops 2 hardened edition first came out full price less then one month later eb has it at $108 and jb at $89 the exact same game $19 difference and both dropped least $30 since a month ago? and they arent ripping consumers off? lies all lies
let greed destroy the game world with capcom and their "pay for content already on the disc" and "modes being taken out to be paid for later" and subscriptions. i love the old days you buy a game there it is whole game, any new content you wait for the sequel, done dusted.
"it is common for publishers in Australia to spend roughly $30-$40 producing a single copy of a new-release game"
absolute BS how can it cost $30-$40? you acquire the original copy of a game, you get a disc, burn the contents, press the disc and package it. discs cost nothing how could it possibly cost so much? If i a lone person can download a game online, burn it to disc, press a pretty cover on it, grab a 20 cent dvd cover, print another cover all for less then $3 how can they a business with advanced industrial grade materials cost that much? that is an utter lie and the reason why gaming is slowly going under.
im a collector and thats why i only buy games physical unless its only released online (mostly xbla) why? because games disappear off all these online services and what it the services go through administration or stop? oh well no more online collection. the biggest reason why online games hasnt completely swallowed retail? you cant transfer your copy to someone legally, i cant sell my 35 xbox live arcade games to someone else at a smaller price its "oh well you paid your stuck with it" and why retail is slowly dying? in a global economy which is what it is why does it cost so much to do stuff in oz? why cant wages ever go down with demand? if other countries can do it cheaper why cant we truly compete instead of whinging?
there is inflation and deflation but it appears in business theres wage inflation and....thats it wages never go down THAT is the root of why people are mass importing.
I haven't bought a game for over two years from EB or any other Australian store. I just buy them online and imported, I dont get the game right on release obviously but the money I save is worth it. Assassins Creed 3 cost me $48 (inc shipping) v $100-$110 from EB Games. Its not even close to being comparable.
Generally I wait until the price drops and get the game with its DLC for half the price of its original value, my back catalog of games is pretty high so waiting doesnt bother me at all, I've always got something good to play.
@Salt_AU Ditto. I generally wait until games hit $20-$25 and buy from UK sites like zavvi.com, game.co.uk and ozgameshop.com. It costs at most a couple of bucks to send the entire order, which blows the "shipping and distribution" defense for higher prices out of the water.
Local retailers need to realise online stores are the competition, not the shop just up the road. Retail price competitiveness is essential to stop the flow of Aussie gaming dollars out of the country. Nothing else will prevent me from buying overseas.
The only advantage local retail offers is immediacy. However, if like me, you're prepared to wait a couple of weeks for shipping, that advantage is lost. All it boils down to is dollars and cents and I'm not paying almost double to keep a local shop's doors open.
@Salt_AU Same. Even a game on release is half the price. I'm not ashamed to say, that because Australia was shafted so badly on 3DS pricing, I have a US version (I paid $249 instead of $349, it was even $399 in some places), and order all my 3DS games (the US versions) online and pay around $40 per game (sometimes less). There are only a couple of issues, no impulse buying (which is a good thing I guess) and if I want to download from the eShop I need to buy a US points card online.
So, they're basically saying that since the $80-$120 price range has been around for as long as it has, they can't function without it.
They were ripping us off in the first place and are now giving us a big 'f*ck you' by saying if we don't keep ripping you off we'll die.
THEN I SAY: F*cking. DIE! Charge us $40-$50 for now and at least go without 'some' honour, it's inevitable. Just like one of the few sources who actually has the balls to say his name said (My thumbs up to you Kogan):
"They're too scared to admit the business model they are running is not efficient," he said. "They've rested on their laurels too long and now they can't compete with businesses who are doing things a different way."
F*cking greedy pigs. It's excuse after excuse, I can't wait until this is debunked just like the rest of their f*cking lies.
The only people who buy from these stores are people who want games quick, e.g. limited edition, people who don't know any better (than to support this horrible business practice), relatives and etc.
If there was a legitimate, easy and accessible way for relatives and people who don't know any better to give gaming related gifts in an online store, EB games and the rest of these greedy f*cking a**holes would be out of business quicker than I can say "ripoffs".
@planetslayer totally agree! TOTALLY! Thank god for the likes of the online shopping my games always arrive in time without hassles n i pay half of the price in Australia! I think the consumer is now getting the leverage instead of being ripped off by the market. Let the grandparents n computer/internet noobs pay the full price from retailer shops, the rest of us we will keep enjoying the new age of gaming!
EB Games will suffer a slow death because consumers aren't as stupid as EB Games think they are. Recently I went in to buy MOH: Warfighter. Pre-owned which is generally cheaper was $20 more than what the game was new. Inconsistencies like this whilst maybe intentional create a trust issue with customers. It took four weeks before I got back a response to why this was so and why they insulted my intelligence by adding "You can buy the used copy for the same price".
@Amorphis2k My wife recently went to buy Dishonoured for me at our local EB games store. When she noticed that a preowned version was marked $15 more than a new copy she left the store. There is some serious BS going on in that company....
@Lawto13 yet they get up on their soapbox and cry poor me. I'm an adult gamer as you are so I know when I'm getting ripped off so I can do something about it. What about all of the kids that EB Games is ripping off blind?
@Amorphis2k Yeah not just the kids but the parents that don't really know as well but if people wanted to be frugal with their money they would shop around. except that doesn't really work with kids, hype works with kids.
EB Games have higher prices, and inferior product. I know technically it's not considered second-hand, but personally, I consider opening a game case and removing the disc, storing it in a draw, only to put it back in the case and sell it, second-hand. I don't know about everywhere else, but when asked for a sealed copy at my local EB Games they said "We don't sell sealed copies" therefore I buy online, where I get my games NEW and factory sealed, and cheaper. Still physical copies, as even with shipping it's cheaper than EB Games.
@SolemnJedi79 Yes I agree with this. I hate unsealed games. Part of the point of buying a game is the cherishing of the item - same as it was with CDs', tapes, LPs'. Having said that, the likes of Target are the worst for new games - not only are the games unsealed, but then they'll be put back together by someone that doesn't even know what a game is - and you just have to hope they give all the correct items, and then they slap a big security sticker on it which will remain on the item for the rest of its days.
And why do we need stickers on manuals of pre-owned games? Thanks for needlessly defacing my item, EB. Effwitts.
@davedrastic haha I was actually having a dig at my sisters boyfriend a couple of months ago, he's a gamer, works in Big W, and they do the same thing. Only saving grace was that he said if someone specifically asks for a sealed copy, they do have some available they will give to them, they only open and catalogue/display a certain percentage of their stock.
And yes I hate stickers too.. >_<
If retailers can't evolve and grow out of their base impulse to squeeze the consumer for every dime possible then they SHOULD die out. Good fucking riddance. Extorting publishers to keep digital prices high is obscene and if it isn't against the law it should be.
I see a lot of hot air being blown around, finger pointing and accusations back and forth. Basically no-one really wants to own up.
This is why I buy only for PC now as its tech is far superior to the xbox 360 or ps3 and secondly I can buy from steam, gamersgate, greenmangaming for far less than retail. I bought a digital copy of farcry 3 for pc for $29 aus dollars on sale and also borderlands 2 for $34 aus on pre-order.
Buying for consoles is a waste of money for retail costs for a plastic box and some cardboard.
@Scarshi you are as ignorant as they come! Except the bit about cheaper on Steam, u know your s#%*t there! Consoles r ruling the gaming world ! Go n cry on the corner of the room ! PC makes the games , we play them on consoles!
@SheDawg @joju_australia I said nothing about whats more popular gaming, just the prices. Thanks SheDawg. Its annoying how easy it is for people to throw around insults based on incorrect interpretation. I'm a bit old for crying in the corner, dude.
BTW, I also own a 360 but don't buy games for it anymore based on its aged technology. Though, I did get a copy of Halo 4 from my wife couple months back as a present and enjoy it very much. :)
Good points, bit more hate for EB here than I expected, yes they're the most expensive, they're also the only major retailer relying on games to make their profits as pointed out in the article
Not to say that you shouldn't buy online, feel free. Personally I like GSAUs community events, I like that EB has enough sway to be able to give us EB Expo and I like that PAX has subsequently seen an Australian expo as a viable option.
Without local publishers the industry wouldn't give a f@#k about us. We'd still get our games, Just with zero community, zero exclusives and some very bloated HDDs and download costs. Personally that doesn't sound like much fun to me
@eBentl Relying on second-hand games perhaps. Don't forget they also sell movies, phones, MP3 players and tablets now. If EB Games wasn't around, publishers would make a lot more money here than they do now so that'd be a bonus for them.