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EmptySkin
02-15-2011, 07:54 AM
If you are concerned with exchange rates being "unfair" i implore you to read and study international finance. There are many reasons (some individual to one country, some more broad) why prices seem unfair to some. This cannot be Valve's fault.

First, look at the Exchange Stabilization Fund. This organization manipulates the margin of a "basket of currencies" against the US dollar - in my mind this is ridiculous and unneccesary with a commodity standard money wordlwide. But we can't expect JPMorgan Chase to make much money playing fair can we? The ESF calcualtes the value of each currency hunderds, if not thousands of times a day, and with this info they set the nominal exchage parity.

Next, i'd suggest pondering the policies of the many central banks around the world. The Federal Reserve has the ability to manipulate interest rates (this is the time preference of the value of US money (Fed Res Notes)) By lowering interest rates they weaken the value of the currency in order to make lending easier. The US dollar being the world's reserve currency means that debt and energy markets need us dollars to pay back debt and buy oil (this is slowly changing). This pushes up demand for the US dollar increasing its value ARTIFICIALLY and causes prices to rise.

Next, individual country taxes. We in the US are lucky enough not to have a VAT tax (the most damaging to development because they are so grossly overvalued) VAT taxes tax every stage of production, this ensures the government gets the largest chunk of each transaction possible. It is a horribly crippling tax and is the most visible reason why EURO and AUSSIE games cost more.

Stop blaming valve geez. Its like blaming BMW for expensive cars when the US has tariffs up and down on german auto imports...so people in EU and AU, why dont you send the message to your own governments that THEY are not treating you fairly in an economic sense. You cant blame a US corporation (productio ecsp) when the problem lies in foreign government policy.

also, a few posters have pointed out that this disparity in prices can work both ways. They can both be more and less expensive given individual circumstances when compared to [your] currency against the Federal Re- "King of all paper" -servvvvve {sarcasm}

catshade
02-15-2011, 08:35 AM
Next, individual country taxes. We in the US are lucky enough not to have a VAT tax (the most damaging to development because they are so grossly overvalued) VAT taxes tax every stage of production, this ensures the government gets the largest chunk of each transaction possible. It is a horribly crippling tax and is the most visible reason why EURO and AUSSIE games cost more.


Well, maybe I should implore you to read and study Australia 'VAT' (GST) on imported games (or the lack of).

And it still doesn't makes sense anyway in terms of foreign exchange rates, since we're still paying with US dollar (http://i.imgur.com/HNn2m.png).

serieus1
02-15-2011, 08:35 AM
It's also a portion based on what a country's minimum wage is. If Steam sold all their games at American prices then this makes it competitive with American brick and mortar shops. However, because of different minimum wages in other countries then this would allow Valve to eliminate their competition in those other countries, or in others lose out on being competitive in that countries market.

We are globalizing, but we are not one country with one currency with the same minimum wage laws and Steam is forced to comply on healthy competition rather being able monopolize the markets of the world.

catshade
02-15-2011, 08:43 AM
We are globalizing, but we are not one country with one currency with the same minimum wage laws and Steam is forced to comply on healthy competition rather being able monopolize the markets of the world.

I can assure you that the Australian government or its regulatory body didn't force Valve or the publisher to do this (http://i.imgur.com/HNn2m.png).

serieus1
02-15-2011, 11:05 AM
Isn't that the price in retail? Or approximately. In AU that is. Remember your minimum wage is twice the US minimum wage. This is why things are cheap in China and expensive in Europe even though they may have been produced in the US.

Super Fun
02-15-2011, 11:24 AM
If Stardock (Impulse) can do it right, so can valve. Or so you'd think.

Quick example..
Dungeons on Steam: 45€
Dungeons on Impulse: 30€

nofing
02-15-2011, 11:43 AM
Of course you have to consider that in Europe the tax is already included in the advertised price, but that doesn't change the fact, that the prices are messed up.

Just a few examples:

Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight 49.99€ compared to $19.99 (EU price is more than 3 times as high as US price)
Dragon Age: Origins - Ultimate Edition 29.99€ compared to $39.99 (pretty much the same)
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts 6.99€ compared to $19.99 (EU price is about half the US price)

You see, it happens the other way around as well, but that's more like the exception to the rule.

Metro
02-15-2011, 11:59 AM
If Stardock (Impulse) can do it right, so can valve. Or so you'd think.

Quick example..
Dungeons on Steam: 45
Dungeons on Impulse: 30

Solution: Buy from Impulse.

Minino
02-15-2011, 12:59 PM
It's also a portion based on what a country's minimum wage is. If Steam sold all their games at American prices then this makes it competitive with American brick and mortar shops. However, because of different minimum wages in other countries then this would allow Valve to eliminate their competition in those other countries, or in others lose out on being competitive in that countries market.

We are globalizing, but we are not one country with one currency with the same minimum wage laws and Steam is forced to comply on healthy competition rather being able monopolize the markets of the world.

This makes no sense. Software and computer parts are way more expensive in south america than in north america. Here in Europe there are still huge differences between contry economies. In Spain we have half the average salary than germany or UK, but even so, I've bought items in UK and got them delivered to Spain for a total cheaper than my next shop. Also with DVD's, etc.

Regional prices are setup with other business parameters: language translation, mainly logistics, legal, etc. But do you know what, logistics in digital distribution goes at a marginal cost.

Give me US prices and add 18% euro VAT, and make my day.

crunchyfrog555
02-15-2011, 01:47 PM
This makes no sense. Software and computer parts are way more expensive in south america than in north america. Here in Europe there are still huge differences between contry economies. In Spain we have half the average salary than germany or UK, but even so, I've bought items in UK and got them delivered to Spain for a total cheaper than my next shop. Also with DVD's, etc.

Regional prices are setup with other business parameters: language translation, mainly logistics, legal, etc. But do you know what, logistics in digital distribution goes at a marginal cost.

Give me US prices and add 18% euro VAT, and make my day.

Agree, and the OP's posts are entirely correct, just not necessarily concerning game pricing.

It has little to do with gaming, mostly because they'll charge what they can get away with and maintain a large enough sales base.

It has more to do with the supply and demand curve than anything else.

EmptySkin
02-15-2011, 02:58 PM
thanks for the replies all. I am very interested in these things and saw that a few people had made posts concerning this and had gotten banned as a result. and was wondering A.) why someone would jump so ASSUREDLY to blame Valve for these descrepencies and B.) why Valve would ban some idiot cause he doesn't understand pretty deep economic concepts

My main point was that the governments of the world are the corrupt price fixing greedy dink bags, not valve. Sure i think they charge more than they should seeing as they made a huge increase in profits when the majority of the market moved from retail and o/into digital.

(i went on a bender over on Dtoid defending the ECONOMIC ramifications of the "P" word, certainly not the moral)(lest blackbeard get mad) it may not be popular, but they are certainly beneficial aspects of it and its a shame to see these things go largely unrecognized.

We are PC gamers. We are SUPPOSED to be smarter than the cavemen on PSN and XBLN =P

crunchyfrog555
02-15-2011, 03:12 PM
thanks for the replies all. I am very interested in these things and saw that a few people had made posts concerning this and had gotten banned as a result. and was wondering A.) why someone would jump so ASSUREDLY to blame Valve for these descrepencies and B.) why Valve would ban some idiot cause he doesn't understand pretty deep economic concepts

My main point was that the governments of the world are the corrupt price fixing greedy dink bags, not valve. Sure i think they charge more than they should seeing as they made a huge increase in profits when the majority of the market moved from retail and o/into digital.

(i went on a bender over on Dtoid defending the ECONOMIC ramifications of the "P" word, certainly not the moral)(lest blackbeard get mad) it may not be popular, but they are certainly beneficial aspects of it and its a shame to see these things go largely unrecognized.

We are PC gamers. We are SUPPOSED to be smarter than the cavemen on PSN and XBLN =P

Well, I can't speak for myself, I'm a gamer on all platforms, new and old!

However, well said for nice salient posting; it's nice to read!

I will say that from what I've seen, those that have received bans seem to be for other issues, which may or may not be related to the issue.

But I too agree there are ways you can make this work for you. On my most recent trip to Japan, I deliberately chose to go when the Pound was strong versus the Yen, and made a good job of hitting Akihabara hard :)

I also import as and when I see fit.

Like many things, if there's a non-beneficial side, you can sometimes find a way to make the beneficial approach work for you.

EmptySkin
02-15-2011, 03:18 PM
Well, I can't speak for myself, I'm a gamer on all platforms, new and old!

However, well said for nice salient posting; it's nice to read!

I will say that from what I've seen, those that have received bans seem to be for other issues, which may or may not be related to the issue.

But I too agree there are ways you can make this work for you. On my most recent trip to Japan, I deliberately chose to go when the Pound was strong versus the Yen, and made a good job of hitting Akihabara hard :)

I also import as and when I see fit.

Like many things, if there's a non-beneficial side, you can sometimes find a way to make the beneficial approach work for you.

haha nice! this is the crux of why economics is so cool. I'm also not really looking forward to world government and digital currency...I'm an anarchist. as per the reasoning that governments are why prices are so esque i think we would not be benefited by a worldwide financial bureaucracy.

biduless
02-15-2011, 03:28 PM
If you are concerned with exchange rates being "unfair" i implore you to read and study international finance. There are many reasons (some individual to one country, some more broad) why prices seem unfair to some. This cannot be Valve's fault.

First, look at the Exchange Stabilization Fund. This organization manipulates the margin of a "basket of currencies" against the US dollar - in my mind this is ridiculous and unneccesary with a commodity standard money wordlwide. But we can't expect JPMorgan Chase to make much money playing fair can we? The ESF calcualtes the value of each currency hunderds, if not thousands of times a day, and with this info they set the nominal exchage parity.

Next, i'd suggest pondering the policies of the many central banks around the world. The Federal Reserve has the ability to manipulate interest rates (this is the time preference of the value of US money (Fed Res Notes)) By lowering interest rates they weaken the value of the currency in order to make lending easier. The US dollar being the world's reserve currency means that debt and energy markets need us dollars to pay back debt and buy oil (this is slowly changing). This pushes up demand for the US dollar increasing its value ARTIFICIALLY and causes prices to rise.

Next, individual country taxes. We in the US are lucky enough not to have a VAT tax (the most damaging to development because they are so grossly overvalued) VAT taxes tax every stage of production, this ensures the government gets the largest chunk of each transaction possible. It is a horribly crippling tax and is the most visible reason why EURO and AUSSIE games cost more.

Stop blaming valve geez. Its like blaming BMW for expensive cars when the US has tariffs up and down on german auto imports...so people in EU and AU, why dont you send the message to your own governments that THEY are not treating you fairly in an economic sense. You cant blame a US corporation (productio ecsp) when the problem lies in foreign government policy.

hi

agree , most of the time , despite the price is the same number between us and euro, we forget the vat and the taxe applyed to change rate ...
as for example, ai war dlc is 8.99e and it cost 9.99usd but if you buy on acent store, it will cost you around 10e ( including taxe and vat ).. this means its cheaper on steam ...

EvilKenshin
02-15-2011, 03:50 PM
Isn't that the price in retail? Or approximately. In AU that is. Remember your minimum wage is twice the US minimum wage. This is why things are cheap in China and expensive in Europe even though they may have been produced in the US.

well don't forget the cod4 issue; when cod4 first came out it was the same price as it was for the americans in the AU store , then activision spat the dummy and it was boosted to a $108 US now no game in Australia costs that much for a PC game at most its $99.95 AU (though now days $89 for a new release is the common price)

incidentally this was the start of regional pricing for Australians on steam, before this it didn't exist

Mangr0v3
02-15-2011, 04:13 PM
First, look at the Exchange Stabilization Fund. This organization manipulates the margin of a "basket of currencies" against the US dollar - in my mind this is ridiculous and unneccesary with a commodity standard money wordlwide. But we can't expect JPMorgan Chase to make much money playing fair can we? The ESF calcualtes the value of each currency hunderds, if not thousands of times a day, and with this info they set the nominal exchage parity.

Steam charges us in United States Dollars, so this point is irrelevant.

Next, i'd suggest pondering the policies of the many central banks around the world. The Federal Reserve has the ability to manipulate interest rates (this is the time preference of the value of US money (Fed Res Notes)) By lowering interest rates they weaken the value of the currency in order to make lending easier. The US dollar being the world's reserve currency means that debt and energy markets need us dollars to pay back debt and buy oil (this is slowly changing). This pushes up demand for the US dollar increasing its value ARTIFICIALLY and causes prices to rise.

As above.

Next, individual country taxes. We in the US are lucky enough not to have a VAT tax (the most damaging to development because they are so grossly overvalued) VAT taxes tax every stage of production, this ensures the government gets the largest chunk of each transaction possible. It is a horribly crippling tax and is the most visible reason why EURO and AUSSIE games cost more.

Goods and Services Tax (GST) is 10%. Steam charges around 60% extra.

Stop blaming valve geez. Its like blaming BMW for expensive cars when the US has tariffs up and down on german auto imports...so people in EU and AU, why dont you send the message to your own governments that THEY are not treating you fairly in an economic sense. You cant blame a US corporation (productio ecsp) when the problem lies in foreign government policy.

So we're:

paying in USD
paying much more than the relevant taxes
paying for a product which has infinite supply and limited demand

and it's not Valve / <3rd-party publisher here>'s fault? I think I'm missing something here...

Isn't that the price in retail? Or approximately. In AU that is. Remember your minimum wage is twice the US minimum wage. This is why things are cheap in China and expensive in Europe even though they may have been produced in the US.

Retail pricing has stayed at the same Australian Dollar value even though the AUD has risen from US$00.70 to approx. US$01.00. Considering all major titles are imports there is no reason it should cost that much more.