Simcity Price Gouging

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#1 Posted by eskimo (477 posts) -

Once again the big publishers show their love for the world outside the US, at least to the Australians. I'm sure a bunch of other lucky countries are also expected to bend over, I've heard pricing in South America makes the markups in Australia pale in comparison.

Bearing in mind that the AU$ is currently worth more than the $US.

Origin Pricing -

deluxe - $79 for US customers, 99 for AU

limited - $59 for US customers, 79 for AU

When will this end :(

#2 Posted by Tearhead (2168 posts) -

Can't you buy it from Amazon? That's what I usually do.

#3 Edited by Gooddoggy (410 posts) -

Are games in Australia usually priced based on something similar to the exchange rate, or is there a customary level they're always set at? Like, Japanese games in the US are still $60, regardless of the relative strength of the yen. 4 years ago AUD99 was closer to 60 US, so if the customary price was set when the exchange rate was drastically different, the relative cost today is going to change. And stuff like books have always been sold with predetermined prices in the US, Canada and the UK. I mean, it still sucks that you're paying that much, but I wonder if it's EA gouging you on this instance specifically, or a more general problem with how games are priced down there.

#4 Posted by eskimo (477 posts) -

@Gooddoggy: Its a combination of general price trends, and publisher specific gouging.

Before the rise of internet shopping there were very few international options when it came to purchasing, so we traditionally paid more here than we would've otherwise pay overseas.

Now that there are plenty of alternatives - amazon, ebay, greenman, etc. we are seeing a lot of publishers choose to put the relatively cheaper US price onto digital distribution services like Steam and Origin. Some publishers choose to list at the old pricing scheme and hide behind the "we don't want to undercut our retail partners" excuse, but if we call them out an expose them as price gouging, and publicise the alternatives, then hopefully there might be a change.

Back when EA still used steam, they seemed to list pretty fair prices. Since switching to Origin they've been charging a lot more, which seems like a bad move considering they should be trying to attract consumers to their new service.

#5 Edited by StarFoxA (5157 posts) -

Isn't Australia's minimum wage something like $15/hr?

Edit: Just looked it up. $15.96/hr is minimum wage. Seems like those prices are fair, considering minimum wage in the states is something like $7.50 right now (depends on the state, $7.79 here in Florida).

Online
#6 Posted by eskimo (477 posts) -

@StarFoxA: Thats not really relevant, the minimum wage in Brazil is probably less than the minimum wage in both the US and AU, but they pay more for games than both of us.

#7 Posted by Kerned (1170 posts) -

@eskimo said:

When will this end :(

Never? :(

#8 Posted by StarFoxA (5157 posts) -

@eskimo: Yeah, South American countries have it bad, I sympathize with them. Not Australians though. $15/hr would be nice, haha.

Online
#9 Edited by Pr1mus (3909 posts) -

@eskimo said:

@StarFoxA: Thats not really relevant, the minimum wage in Brazil is probably less than the minimum wage in both the US and AU, but they pay more for games than both of us.

It's relevant to the extent that in Australia you're gonna have to work at most 6 hours to get the limited edition, for me here in Quebec at the minimum wage i would have to work 7 hours and people in the US getting minimum wage have to work between 8-9 hours.

Wages don't explain everything and it's never gonna be a 1-1 ratio in this complex economy but these prices sure as hell don't make me feel bad for Aussies.

Not trying to be an ass about it too... i probably came out like that.

#10 Posted by eskimo (477 posts) -

@StarFoxA: I think you'll find we have our own share of problems. I also don't think that's any reason to trivialise this issue.

Fact is the price of importing games has nearly halved in the last 10 years, and yet the street prices havent moved down at all. There is something incredibly wrong with that.

#11 Posted by Shirogane (3573 posts) -

@StarFoxA: I think part of that is the different in how hospitality works, specifically tipping. Tips aren't expected over here, that's already accounted for in your wage. That said however, i think the average wage is pretty similar between both countries.

None of this changes the fact that we're paying a lot more than we should/could be. Even retailers here are starting to notice and have begun importing games from overseas and selling them for way less than their Australian published counterparts. If publishers want to keep doing this they sure can, but it just means we're not going to buy any of the local versions of their games since all the local retailiers will import anyway.

#12 Posted by DJJoeJoe (1324 posts) -

Thankfully I live in North America and don't have to deal with what seems like crazy variable pricing for games where it jumps between 20-80+ or more. All games are the same price barring if it's some indie or budget title that is lower than the standard 60 bucks, often games can be not budget but also just 40 or 50 but it's never a variable that goes above the 70 bucks :)

Looking at the conversion rates, in a perfect world ya'll in the aussie place should be getting charged 75 and 56 bucks respectively for each edition of the game. Hey.. at least the difference is maybe enough to import and find a lower price overall? Or like some people mentioned maybe there's some specific retailers willing to do that for you? I know Greenmangaming is selling SimCity and maybe their pricing is lower, if not you can always use one of their insame coupon codes to get at least 20% of or more (often %30+). Try that or some other online retailer that may sell the game that I don't know about cause I don't live where you live :)

#13 Posted by JackG100 (405 posts) -

I dont get why Sim City is more expensive than any other PC game coming out ever.

#14 Edited by Funkydupe (3318 posts) -

@JackG100: Pre-order is 60 bucks for limited edition on amazon. Same as Crysis hunter edition, Bioshock Infinite, Company of Heroes 2, Metro Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth. It doesn't seem to be more expensive than any other PC game.

#15 Edited by JackG100 (405 posts) -

Usually games cost 399 or 499SEK in Sweden, the regular non limited or special edition costs 549 on origin....

#16 Posted by RockyRaccoon37 (450 posts) -

YOU DON'T LIKE IT LEAVE.

AUSTRALIA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

THESE DINGO'S DON'T BLEED

#17 Posted by Funkydupe (3318 posts) -

@JackG100: Then buy the game somewhere else? Everyone knows new games are expensive on Steam and Origin.

#18 Posted by BoG (5190 posts) -

Can you have someone in the US purchase it for you on Origin, then send it as a gift? I sent another GB user a copy of Skyrim, and he sent me $70. He saved 10 AU, and I earned $10 US, so it was win-win.

#19 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -
@RockyRaccoon37

YOU DON'T LIKE IT LEAVE.

AUSTRALIA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

THESE DINGO'S DON'T BLEED

BLOODY DRONGOS TEK ER GHERMS!
#20 Posted by Funkydupe (3318 posts) -

You can buy the limited edition on greenmangaming using a voucher to get 25% off, surely that's better for you guys than buying directly off of the Origin Store?

http://www.greenmangaming.com/coming-soon/

GMG25-T6JV8-1NPBA

The site is 100% legit by the way.

#21 Edited by RockyRaccoon37 (450 posts) -

@Funkydupe said:

You can buy the limited edition on greenmangaming using a voucher to get 25% off, surely that's better for you guys than buying directly off of the Origin Store?

http://www.greenmangaming.com/coming-soon/

GMG25-T6JV8-1NPBA

The site is 100% legit by the way.

That code doesn't work with Sim City.

You got my hopes up and everything.

#22 Posted by Funkydupe (3318 posts) -

@RockyRaccoon37: Must be some regional bs because it works for me. Sorry man.

#23 Posted by granderojo (1788 posts) -

EA is not who's at fault here. Australia is quickly catching up to Japan as the most expensive place to live and that has everything to do with your regressive taxation. Sorry guys. :(

#24 Edited by CaLe (3985 posts) -

Just as a comparison for 2 soon to be released PC games, and an example of why I find EA to be abhorrent.

= $101 (Normal Edition is $70)

= $35

This post didn't come out the way it looks in the editor...

#25 Posted by DaMisterChief (628 posts) -

Even though i really liked the Beta and wanted more, EA suck and i wont give then anymore of my money. VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET

#26 Posted by GinjaAssassin (158 posts) -

There's obviously a big supply issue going on with Digital games. (sarcasm)

#27 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@cale: You can get it for a more reasonable price at Amazon.co.uk, but yeah. Pretty disgusted with the pricing for the game. Having the pre-order edition come with extra content is bad enough, but charging double the price of a standard game for it is ridiculous.

#28 Posted by Funkydupe (3318 posts) -

Just like the beer they stamp with limited edition, just to be swapped out for another limited edition in a while and another and another. "Limited Edition" Oh god, it is limited, what If I can't get it? Somehow it is limited, like a rare gem among regular gems? The funny thing about the limited editions for video games is that what makes them Limited is usually that they have some little extra content added to them, content that in a few months will be released as DLC anyway.

#29 Posted by BisonHero (6524 posts) -
@RockyRaccoon37

YOU DON'T LIKE IT LEAVE.

AUSTRALIA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

THESE DINGO'S DON'T BLEED

BLOODY DRONGOS TEK ER GHERMS!

DRONGO SOUNDS LIKE A REALLY AWESOME RACIST SLUR

#30 Posted by Zeg (88 posts) -

It just seems like EA doesn't actually want me to use Origin. Which is good, since I never really wanted to in the first place. But if I can go to Amazon and buy the regular copy of the game for regular game price (or £35, your definition of 'regular' may vary), which costs £45 on Origin, why would I use Origin? Admittedly, it appears Amazon say release day is the 8th whereas it's listed as the 5th on Origin, but that's hardly worth £10 if it turns out to be the case.

#31 Posted by probablytuna (3660 posts) -

Looks like I won't be purchasing a copy on Origins.

#32 Edited by Bollard (5550 posts) -

Has anyone found a good place to pre-order in the UK? Preferably one that gives an Origin key, so I don't have to wait for delivery.

This is the best I've seen (click the Download tab for that price), and it's only like £3 cheaper than Origin itself which gives a £15 off next purchase code. I don't understand why this PC game has such a huge mark up... What happened to £30 games? Or less? Even StarCraft: HOTS didn't cost me this much and that's a bloody Blizzard game.

#33 Edited by Optix12 (615 posts) -

Really looking forward to this game but equally not going to support EAs clear push to increase the "general" price of a PC game. Ah well what can I do, its going to sell extremely well at 35 and the next batch will now be £35, maybe 40, while the consoles get an extra bump because theyre on a new console.

#34 Posted by AlexW00d (6275 posts) -

EA is not who's at fault here. Australia is quickly catching up to Japan as the most expensive place to live and that has everything to do with your regressive taxation. Sorry guys. :(

They also earn three times as much on Average as people in the UK (so about twice as much compared to the US) so they shouldn't even be complaining man. Also isn't Norway the most expensive place?

#35 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

With the dollar at par and the huuuuge minimum wage in Australia, my ability to sympathize or empathize with this is at zero.

#36 Edited by granderojo (1788 posts) -

@alexw00d said:

@thabigred said:

EA is not who's at fault here. Australia is quickly catching up to Japan as the most expensive place to live and that has everything to do with your regressive taxation. Sorry guys. :(

They also earn three times as much on Average as people in the UK (so about twice as much compared to the US) so they shouldn't even be complaining man. Also isn't Norway the most expensive place?

Their wages are actually not that much better on average to the US, and their cost of living actually makes it worse in Australia. All due to regressive taxation for this.

#37 Posted by Spankmealotus (284 posts) -

@chavtheworld: H.o.t.S. also an expansion. Starcraft 2 was 60 bucks.

#38 Edited by Doobit (102 posts) -

I've bought several games from these guys. Not the deluxe, and might not let you pre-load... but the price is right.

I'm also at the point where i feel like EA is just making it too hard for me to buy games from them, had nothing but trouble with BF on origin. All the issues I had with origin actually stopped me from playing the game as much as i would have liked to. I'm considering voting with my wallet... and -MOD EDIT-

#40 Posted by RadecAU (92 posts) -
#41 Edited by hidys (1029 posts) -

@thabigred: I would be far more interested to see the difference in median income as I believe that would show a far greater difference.

#42 Posted by John1912 (1884 posts) -

If I lived in AU Id pirate the shit out of everything.

#44 Posted by Kazona (3067 posts) -

If you ever knew anything about doing business abroad you would know that there is far more to the increase in pricing than the publisher's "price gouging".

#45 Posted by EVO (3908 posts) -

Just import.

As for those mentioning Australia's relatively high minimum wage: so too is the cost of living, so that's a moot point.

#46 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@starfoxa said:

Isn't Australia's minimum wage something like $15/hr?

Edit: Just looked it up. $15.96/hr is minimum wage. Seems like those prices are fair, considering minimum wage in the states is something like $7.50 right now (depends on the state, $7.79 here in Florida).

I'm in NZ and ours is around 13.50 a hour, so when a publisher just says fuck it and puts a game up on Steam for $50 USD it converts to about $65 NZD, where as PC games in stores are usually around $90-100NZD on launch

#47 Posted by AndrewB (7613 posts) -

@brodehouse said:
@RockyRaccoon37

YOU DON'T LIKE IT LEAVE.

AUSTRALIA: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT

THESE DINGO'S DON'T BLEED

BLOODY DRONGOS TEK ER GHERMS!

DRONGO SOUNDS LIKE A REALLY AWESOME RACIST SLUR

BOMB ME SOME DODONGOS!

#48 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

@thabigred said:

@alexw00d said:

@thabigred said:

EA is not who's at fault here. Australia is quickly catching up to Japan as the most expensive place to live and that has everything to do with your regressive taxation. Sorry guys. :(

They also earn three times as much on Average as people in the UK (so about twice as much compared to the US) so they shouldn't even be complaining man. Also isn't Norway the most expensive place?

Their wages are actually not that much better on average to the US, and their cost of living actually makes it worse in Australia. All due to regressive taxation for this.

Yes but that is only the minimum wage, the money that tradespeople in Australia make is very high, the average median salary for a Builder in Australia is around $70,000USD, where in USA its around $35,000USD, sure rent is high in Australia around the main cities but once you have a mortgage or own your house you don't need to worry about that.

I had a search up on regressive taxation, and the biggest example they give are USA where the richer you are the less tax % you have to pay, where as in Australia you have progressive taxation where the richer you are the higher your tax rate goes up, so I think you are getting countries or taxation systems mixed up.

Taxable income

Tax on this income

0 - $18,200

Nil

$18,201 - $37,000

19c for each $1 over $18,200

$37,001 - $80,000

$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000

$80,001 - $180,000

$17,547 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000

$180,001 and over

$54,547 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

#49 Posted by granderojo (1788 posts) -

@thabigred said:

@alexw00d said:

@thabigred said:

EA is not who's at fault here. Australia is quickly catching up to Japan as the most expensive place to live and that has everything to do with your regressive taxation. Sorry guys. :(

They also earn three times as much on Average as people in the UK (so about twice as much compared to the US) so they shouldn't even be complaining man. Also isn't Norway the most expensive place?

Their wages are actually not that much better on average to the US, and their cost of living actually makes it worse in Australia. All due to regressive taxation for this.

Yes but that is only the minimum wage, the money that tradespeople in Australia make is very high, the average median salary for a Builder in Australia is around $70,000USD, where in USA its around $35,000USD, sure rent is high in Australia around the main cities but once you have a mortgage or own your house you don't need to worry about that.

I had a search up on regressive taxation, and the biggest example they give are USA where the richer you are the less tax % you have to pay, where as in Australia you have progressive taxation where the richer you are the higher your tax rate goes up, so I think you are getting countries or taxation systems mixed up.

Taxable income

Tax on this income

0 - $18,200

Nil

$18,201 - $37,000

19c for each $1 over $18,200

$37,001 - $80,000

$3,572 plus 32.5c for each $1 over $37,000

$80,001 - $180,000

$17,547 plus 37c for each $1 over $80,000

$180,001 and over

$54,547 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

Yeah but how much of your population would fall under "tradesperson or builder". Usually the size of your that in relation to your population is governed directly by your GDP output. Australia and the US have very comparable GDP output and people that would fall under "tradesperson or builder" here make up well below 1% of the population.

Australia does indeed have an income tax that's progressive, but you also have to look at why games cost as much as they do. Your country is taxing imported goods to promote domestic consumption. When you look back at your labourers making an average of 70k USD then you have your reason why. A very small amount of the population is using their political clout to impose a regressive tax on goods to prop themselves up.

That tax chart is a joke. If you're paying a 30% markup on goods imported into australia, the 0-18,200 range of income is paying a lot more than it would seem. Maybe these are just labeled luxury items and that's why they're being taxed like this but I'm always hesitant when I see industries that make up such a small amount of the workforce have disproportionately higher income than in other countries. There has to be inefficiencies going on.

#50 Posted by AlexW00d (6275 posts) -

@thabigred: It's not just tradespeople that earn a load though, it's everyone, regardless of what they do. http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Country=Australia/Salary There it shows the average salary for a PA is $50k; here a PA earns on average about £14k.

Also in regards to progressive/regressive I think almost every country in the world uses progressive taxation over regressive. Regressive taxation makes little sense tbh.

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