A Look At How Steam, Publishers & Australia Don't Get Along

steamlog.jpgCNET.com.au has just put an article up summarising the issues with Steam, game pricing and importing in Australia. We've covered them piecemeal in the past, from Activision, to THQ, to 2K Games, but there's nothing wrong with putting the puzzle pieces together and staring at the big picture... even if it's ugly as all hell.

The article gives Ubisoft kudos for being reasonably transparent, a sentiment I agree with. It still needs to get Assassin's Creed on the AU Steam though.

While there's not a great deal of new information in the piece, it's an excellent read if you want a straight-up explanation of the local situation. Hit it up if you feel like romanticising about how often we get screwed.

Getting Steamed: digital distribution for games isn't there yet [CNET.com.au]


    I'd better not read this or I'll get angry all over again....

    .. too late

    Anyone know of other good import site for Australia (other than playasia.com)?

    preface: the last 5 big games i bought, i bought through steam, or from overseas. i believe i'm typical of most gamers, but i do know people like to go into stores and buy games, though it's kind of peverse... why debase yourself like that and pay so much more to get so much less value.

    still, if steam was not an issue, i would not have purchased a game in 5 years through the Aus. retail chains, and i'm not that alone in that sentiment, the local retail market has remarkably failed internet-connected, informed and those enthusiast consumers and customers.

    to look wistfully and thus, romantically upon the depressing situation...

    welll... i think it's nice to call the publishers and distributors, ask politely about the situation, etc. but it's not practical, nor is it endearing to learn how backwards those publishing companies are.

    as you say, it's a fairly romantic notion to expect progress by simply asking for a fair change. nothing changes without actions.

    without some kind of rebellious campaign, i don't imagine those reticent publishing empires are caving in any time soon to the idea of digital network distribution platforms and their kin, like steam or direct2drive.

    and while you can interpret "...official announcements on this subject could be made in the coming months" to be both disingenuous and/or hopeful, the romantic in me expects that the operative word is "could" in that sentence.

    if only we had the legal right to, say, administer electroshock therapy to the genitalia (now legal in the US that it's no longer considered torture) in order to see some kind of progress in the future of digital media distribution online.

    i imagine that would really expedite the proper kind of response to the question of AU steam release and distribution issues. or, i suppose, we could just stick to the mundane tactics and ask why those publishers and distributors are ignoring customers.

    i.e. customers who no longer feel confidence in the traditional distribution chains and are choosing to buy games internationally or via online distribution methods, both legal and illegal

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