I game in Australia on the off chance that anyone that reads this site doesn’t already know. I want to have a little rant that is fairly common to hear from Australians on this here Blagosphere. Here is a brief dummy spit on the price of games and an example of a once abusive relationship turned boring and now only abusive out of habit.
Disclaimer: Post contains words you would not take home to mother ranted by some kind of bad man. Read at your own discretion.
The long story short is that we pay near twice as much as the US release for games. It is very slowly becoming better on some platforms some of the time. I trend towards PC games for this reason, we only get gouged about 50% for new releases.
Here is a story of a new sales platform to the market completely and totally fucking this up in the face of an already insulted and downtrodden public who are all too aware of how much we are being spitroasted from both ends for game sales. Especially for digital product where the cost difference in delivery of the product is often dealt to us through the cost of our net connections rather than the producers content servers hosted in the US. (To be fair, plenty of distributors do host servers here in Australia which are notoriously expensive for no good reason. This is a notoriety that grew from the price of server infrastructure when you were relying largely on one ISP to do it well. Now this is no longer the case).
The game being used as example here is a new release. Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, it is supposed to be okay and is written by R.A. Salvatore which for some reason gives some dudes big hard ons. When I want a pulpy fantasy plot sometime I will hold my breath for a game written by Margaret Weiss and/or (preferably and) Tracey Hickman. They trend towards a higher fantasy level of pulp in my opinion. I only really have a passing interest in this game. I was just running across the prices on the front pages as it is fairly new while I looked for something else.
Here we have the games price on Steam. $60US, you know, the price of a new game these days ($40 cheaper than I used to pay for reference). That is all well and good. Steam does a pretty good service and I like it. It has a few downfalls and I don’t look forward to the day Valve curls up and dies (heavens forbid), but for now it gives me access to old stuff I like and new stuff at a generally decent price.
Also note that Steam is fully capable of charging a regional price as determined by the publisher. I could just as easilly be posting links about how Darkness 2 is $90 or Modern Warfare 3 is $100 because why the fuck not? Instead I am going to show you something straight up fucking batshit insane retarded.
This is a screenshot of the cost of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning on Origin at release. A whole $20 more because they have it region encoded on Origin. So yeah I am used to that feeling, it is my colon slightly expanding out as a stranger finds me in the Alps because I live in Australia and I like to play games. It is not really a comfortable feeling, but it is one I am used to baring. You know how it goes in these prison colonies, you fight against it at first and then you just give up and let it happen so you can get on with your day. Even getting abused every day can get mundane. I have things to do and games that I want to play, so I just blow an even larger disproportionate amount of my income on my hobby because that is the price point things have always been and people will pay for it.
The real failure here is that this completely pulls the rug out from under EAs attempts to make Origin a reasonable alternative to platform to Steam. I only use it because I absolutely have to. They aren’y empowering me as a consumer, they are just forcing me to have one more process that I need to shut down after I finish using it to play the one EA game I feel like playing this quarter (bonus points for Old Republic not needing Origin running). I hate to be saying this, but you should have fucked us out of that $20 on Steam if you were even going to hope to get Origin to be taken seriously as an option for this game. Maybe they are contractually obligated to do so to keep the price in brick and mortar stores competetive, but this either means their agreements somehow missed Steam and EA really wanted to sell it at $60 but can’t, or they just don’t even care enough anymore to fuck us over properly.
I am not even sure what is more insulting. The continued abuse or the fact that it is so half hearted these days. What happened to us EA? We used to have a real good hatefuck relationship going on. I ranted about how you published the same piece of shit drivel every year and then you closed all the studios I liked. Then you went all good for a while and had someone else become even worse and close fucking everything and use studios like they are fuel for their Druuge Maulers. You still put out the same shit drivel every year, but it stopped being so offensive when someone else was showing how to really mistreat your staff and let great talent go to waste making Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Actually on second thought this isn’t such a bad thing.
Really this just baffles me as a business point of view and really just is one more straw that is going towards getting us some sweet wheelchair camel races going. I might even start not buying games over that much maligned $60 price line that so many US posters hate on. Hey at least it isn’t $100.
As an aside to a frustrating discussion I had seen pop up in some game scenes (might have been on Extra Curricular? Which is awesome and people should check out.)
Let me just go out there and say this to people that are against grey market purchases in Europe or the like because you aren’t supporting your local industry. Here is a textbook example where I literally have no interest at all in supporting the local industry. Developers locally will get my money. Local brick and mortar stores stopped getting my money for PC games years ago when there was a viable alternative that even when they are fucking me over still tend to give me a better price than the local stores (and convenience and all that other glorious bonus that comes with digital distribution). That or you know, I might buy them if they kept any in stock. My PC games sections shrunk to miniscule proportions before I gave up on them, but they have no interest in my business so I won’t continue to throw money at them to try and get them to change it.
I tried, I did my part. They slammed my dick in the car door. There is a reason I catch the bus now.