View Full Version : $ = Ä (again)

03-23-2012, 12:32 PM
Is there a reason why Rochard / Recoil Games considers US dollars and euros to be of equal value? Currently americans pay $9.99 for the game, while most europeans have to pay 9.99 Ä, which makes it almost 25% more expensive! UK does get almost the same price as americans, but rest of us have to pay much more.

Way too many games are priced like this in Steam, while there is no justification for it. Yes, I know european prices can contain VAT, but itís never this high percentage and some countries donít have it at all for digital products.

I just want to let know I am interested of this game, but I will not buy it as long as europeans get screwed over like this. It does appears that sometimes developers are not even avare of this, but luckily some do take actions and correct the prices when itís brought to their attention (way to go, Double Fine!).


03-23-2012, 08:49 PM
I do not know how much the pricing is controlled or adjusted dynamically by Valve (I guess prices in Russian roubles are dynamic), but typically prices on Steam are rounded. On Steam, Rochard is €10/$10 while the soundtrack version is €14/$15. This pricing (€10/€10) was set to match PSN pricing in the first place.

The very first version was available on PSN at standard pricing model of the PSN Store (€10/€10) only six weeks earlier. On the other hand, Apple sets the pricing model in Mac App Store, where Rochard is currently at €8/$10. Mac users buying from Steam get more bang for their euros (achievements, SteamPlay), so buying for Mac on Steam is justified.

Applying VAT reduces the difference. Currently, USDEUR=0.7535, so the gross (before Valve commission) per copy is €7.53. For eurozone, depending on country the gross is from €8.00 to €8.70 post VAT (I think the VAT is applied independently per country. In MAS, the eurozone VAT is 15% of Luxembourg). In that sense, €9/$10 would *currently* be about right for the non-soundtrack version (grossing from €7.20 to €7.80).

Our original intention was to release the game at $15 on PSN (=> €15) to match the quite hefty development budget of the game. The price was reduced to $10 to make it a real bargain after the PSN breach (which delayed the release by months). And now we are debating should it be even less.

03-24-2012, 03:34 AM
Thanks for the quick answer :)

The impression I’ve gotten is that Valve sets the eurozone prices automatically, unless publisher lets them know they want them to be different (could be wrong though).

I did not notice the soundtrack version at first, sorry about that. It is definetly closer to fairer price, though not quite there. I’ll consider buying that version, if a) I can listen to (part of) the soundtrack somewhere and b) it’s in lossless.
VAT included in the european countries is not different for each country, like it is in real life, but Valve is to blame for that. Instead we get different tiers, where some countries get price x, others price y. There are more tiers than that though and the prices we see in the store already include VAT for that tier, which is quite often not fair based on the country the user is from.

€9/$10 pricing is something that I feel is much closer to fair in an unfair situation caused by Valve. Using different prices for different countries/continents has also created a situation where americans can skip VAT entirely just by selecting a state where there is no VAT added, where as europeans can’t choose a cheaper tier where to buy the game. Denying this right might be even against fair trade law inside European Union countries (don’t quote me on that though, it is something that’s being looked into though, afaik).

Anyway, I personally would probably be happy with 9€ = $10 pricing, as long as it takes account the real exchance rate. And by that I don’t mean the price should be constantly corrected, rounding up or down in 0,5€ increments is quite understandable. Some people will definetly say the (current) price difference for this game is not much, but it will quickly add up.

Thanks again for the answer, it’s nice to know developers are following this forum :)

03-24-2012, 07:47 AM
VAT is really complex thing, something that is agreed in the EU, but each country is applying different set of rules. In Finland, I recall that if a company located in European country A exports to European country B, VAT of A is applied, as long as the net sales of the previous and current year are both under €35k. Otherwise the taxation is by VAT of B. On Steam, we are paying 15-25% VAT in eurozone, over 22% on average due to relatively strong sales in Finland. Comparing net sales, the pricing of the soundtrack version in US is currently comparable to pricing with VAT of 23-24% (as 14/1.24 < 15*0.7535 < 14/1.23).

Regarding the soundtrack version, the format is 320 kbit/s CBR MP3. Samples and separate download with FLAC files are currently available only on http://www.poetsofthefall.com/digistore/#digital-specials for €5.

Jan / Recoil Games