What’s Up With Steam Pricing?

A while back I bought Fallout 3 and thoroughly enjoyed it, so I figured the latest incarnation (released some time ago I know) might be worth having a look at. I also tend to buy most of my games online these days through Steam, so naturally that’s the first place I look.

And what do I find? Fallout New Vegas is priced at 89.95USD.

Bloody hell! That’s almost as much as I’d pay if I went into my local game store. (Aussie new release PC games can cost as much as $100 in the local currency. Console games can cost even more.)

One of the reasons I like buying online, direct from the US as it were, is that I can usually get games at US prices. With the Aussie dollar at parity with the USD, this is even more attractive. A few years ago, one dollar was worth 60 US cents, which meant that 50USD game cost me around 85AUD. As the Aussie has approached 1USD, that margin has dropped, so if today I bought a 50USD game, I’d be paying around 50AUD.

So why is Steam pricing Fallout New Vegas at 90USD?

The only thing that I can think of is that they are detecting my IP and charging me Australian prices for some contractual reason. Other, newer games like Dragon Age 2 aren’t priced that high, so there must be some pressure from the publisher. But what really adds insult to injury is that Fallout New Vegas is being charged in US Dollars. If we weren’t so fortunate with our currency at the moment, then that game could cost as much as 150AUD.

Yeah. Right. I’m paying that? No way.

The crazy thing is that Direct2Drive is only charging 50USD for Fallout New Vegas.

If and when I buy Fallout 3 New Vegas, guess which service I’ll be using.

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  1. pasmith

    Yup, I just checked. It reads as $49.99 for me here in the US.

    Glad you have the option of going D2D!

  2. Supplanter

    I know what you mean, I went to buy SCII a while back and went on the site and it was US60. Changed to the aus site and it was AUS95.00. No Sale sorry blizzard.

  3. Stropp (Post author)

    Unfortunately, those aren’t the only ones. It looks like CODBLOPS is selling at $89 on Steam, and Dragon Age 2 is ten dollars more on Steam than it is on Direct2Drive.

    As I said, I suspect this is all contractual and is designed to protect retail sales in Australia. Not sure why big US companies with minimal presence in Australia care about protecting Aussie game stores though. In any case, cross border protectionism is pretty crappy and violates all semblance of free trade.

  4. Hunter

    My suggestion would be to actually complain, you don’t have to take this nonsense. email them.

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