Australian Gamers live in the world of overpriced games inconsistent pricing of games when they finally go off their RRP (Recommended Retail Price). American Gamers get nice cheap games compared to the rest of the world especially with Australia; even the European Gamers get a better deal than us.
Prices of Games in Australia are 60% to 80% higher at RRP then US and almost as bad in Europe. Why you ask? Well some will tell you it the cost of shipping (Most games are either produced here or in East Asia) other that we are PAL instead of NTSC (PAL is the standard in most of Western Europe). But that still doesn’t stop with the high prices of games or even us not getting a release of the game in Australia.
The sad and simple reason for this is supply and demand. This has always been the case in Australia. Even back in the earlier generations for consoles the prices were higher than elsewhere in the World but back then people believed that prices were higher because of where we were in the world. But as the publishers learnt that they can get away with this the prices slowly went up. Brand new Nintendo 64 Games $100, new games for the Nintendo Game Boy around the same time $50 and of course as the game got older the prices went down. These days you will pay more than $120 for some new release Xbox 360 games and even more if you go with the special or limited editions of games.
Who is to pay for this? The overpriced retail store? No they have their set mark-up on games, yes some higher than others but still only a percentage mark-up. The publishers? Yes and no, they are the ones that set the RRP that’s higher then everywhere else in the world. How about your parents and their parents? Yes they allowed the higher prices “back in the day” and it’s only gone up since then. But we can’t take it out on them they didn’t know.
What can be done about this?
Well not that I like it, nothing. The prices for many new items never go down; new items only do down in price because there is something new to take that price tag or no one wants the item so they drop the price until they sell them all off. So we can just not buy new release games until the prices go down. That’s never going to happen, me like so many others pre-order the game as we want the game as soon as it comes out. We want to say hey you played the new game yet? Well I’ve already finished the Campaign or Story Mode.
How about reporting it to the consumer watch dog? Seen the price of petrol lately? Or know how much other countries pay for a SMS? That should answer it for you, they can’t help even if they tried to.
Solutions to this problem? Well you can wait till the game comes down in price, which can be a good option gives others the chance to test the game out. Import from Europe this option is becoming more common even I’ve got a few imported games but with buying online you always have that risk of getting a fake, pirate or dud copy. Go online and get pirated copies of games, this is a good option only but the fact that your favourite game developers won’t have the money to make new games if everyone does this. Stop gaming, like that’s going to happen, Gaming is a life not a choice. Final option which is my personal choice, buy the game at the overprices RRP and have a good old bitch about it.
Check out part 2 – How to Beat the Retailers System; which will be posted soon.