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Lev Arris's blog

4:44 AM on 04.16.2009

Insane cost of shipping data overseas.

I originally created a Dtoid account just to bitch about how Aussie's are getting screwed over Steam prices. Then I got bored, and went back to witty remarks on forums.

But dammit, if this hasnt just sunk the boat.

You may have noticed a sale go up on Steam for Dawn of War 2. I have been holding off on buying the game, waiting for just this moment. I mean $59US translates to a fair bit of cash when converted. But 25% off, great. Except that for some reason, the standard price of the game went up to $69US at the same time. Meaning that Aussie's are in fact getting only a 15% discount. Go price gouge!

I'd call myself a Steam fanboy, I want every game on Steam, I love it. It was meant to be this great platform of digital distribution where you paid less because there was no middle-man, no boxes, no manual's to produce. At the start, Aussie's paid the exact same price in US dollars as our American counterparts. Life was grand. The exchange rate was shite, but at least it was actually cheaper than retail.

Then some asshole in a publishing company figured out that since we get overcharged for games in-store, approx $100AU (approx. $75US), why the hell don't we overcharge Aussie's on Steam. It makes sense, I mean people are used to getting gouged, why stop? I could understand in the past, being the backwater that the land downunder is, that it cost money to ship game boxes overseas. Fine. But you seriously want me to believe that it costs you money to transfer data?

Digital distribution is the future, not just for it's convenice, relatively secure DRM, and removal of the need to put a DVD in to play. It's about making games available to anyone who wants them, so long as you have an internet connection. There are some great games I would have never looked seen in retail stores, but have loved playing through them after discovering them on Steam.

It's just a pity that some publishers would prefer to make a quick buck.   read

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