Steam Pricing Ripoff

Time for another whinge about the ripoff pricing that Steam continues to inflict on Australian buyers.

The last time was back in March. Steam was pricing Fallout New Vegas at the extreme price of 90 US dollars, while charging US consumers $49.99 US. Even with the high Aussie dollar then (and now) the cost to Aussies was far more than US gamers are paying, and only marginally better than the cost of a box at EB Games.

Well, Steam is at it again with the long awaited Duke Nukem Forever. Compare. First we have the price from Direct2Drive.

Now we have the price from Steam for DNF.

Once again Steam is happy to rip off it’s Australian customers. And I thought digital distribution was supposed to be cheaper.

I tell you what, Steam is rapidly losing my confidence. I used to think they were a great service, even the DRM side of things didn’t really bother me as it was fairly unobtrusive. And I do like their sales, it’s hard to find cheaper games. But it’s unlikely I’ll use them for any AAA games again, their overpricing for Aussie gamers is simply wrong. Looks like it’s Direct2Drive for me.

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  1. Scopique

    I can’t say why Steam would consider doing this, except if I put on my tinfoil hat, I’d say that it’s a product of the industry that insists on using Steam as the de facto representative of all digital distribution. Other channels are known, but to a much lesser degree, so when people say “where can I download it?” the answer is usually “from Steam”.

    Good for you, though, for considering other channels. Steam has it’s purpose when it’s fitting for the consumer, but it’s not the only game in town (not always the BEST game in town, either)>

  2. Wilhelm Arcturus

    I couldn’t see buying DNF digitally. After waiting so long I am tempted to buy a copy just to have a copy, but if I do that, I want a physical box I can display and point at to say, “See, it is real!”

  3. Stropp (Post author)

    @Scopique — My guess, also with a hat made from alfoil, is that Steam has signed some sort of agreement with the big publishers not to undercut their physical distribution channels. Since 90 Aussie dollars is what you’d pay in the store, it seems to correlate with what Steam are charging, except they’re not doing the currency conversion, just straight one for one rate.

    @Wilhelm — Top point. Having the box would give some bragging rights. Still, with D2D the price is half what I’d be paying in the store, and the budget is tight at the moment.

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