Australian Government Figures Out Video Games Are More Expensive Down Under

The Australian government inquiry into the cost of technology in Australia has concluded Australians pay at least half again what Americans do for electronic entertainment. That's only a few weeks/months/years after every gamer on the planet figured it out!

If you have been a gamer for long or have any friends in Australia who play video games, you have probably known for quite a while that the price of buying a video game in Australia tends to be significantly higher than in most other places.  Perhaps less expected, the same government inquiry has determined the higher prices are actually unfair, and has recommended measures to reduce them.

The specific price difference was listed as having Australians paying an average of 84% more for their video games than Americans.  Less obvious to gamers are increased costs for the software used by game developers, with the example of Autodesk software costing 45% more.

So what are they doing about it?

The government inquiry recommends changing two things to try and reduce costs down to more globally accepted norms.  They recommend a ban on geo-blocking, the process of banning content based on country of origin, as well as removing restrictions on parallel imports.  The change to parallel importing alone would force Australian retailers to charge more reasonable prices, but time will tell exactly what changes we might see to address the issue.

I'm just pleased it is considered an issue worth addressing.

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Writer, gamer, and generally hopeful beneath a veneer of cynicism.

Published Jul. 29th 2013

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