Tell Us Dammit

Dammit, we want you to tell us stuff! Stuff like whether you import games.

This isn’t some marketing survey or whatever. It’s an emotional investment in you. Yes, we’re interesting in knowing you, Kotaku reader person. You probably know enough about us — more than you even want to, we’re sure. But, hey, we’d like to know about you, too.

Anyway, here’s today’s question...

Do you import games? If so, why?

Me? I've imported games that, for various reasons, I've not been able to find in Australia. Either they were only released in small quantities - that's why I ordered Etrian Odyssey, several of the recent Castlevanias, and Blast Works, just to name a few - or they were never released in Australia at all.

But I'm in an unusual position where I am privileged to receive most new releases for free. So what I'm curious to hear from you guys is: how often do you import and do you do so purely to save money?


    Simply, No I have never imported a game before.

    Reason being, I guess I am a mainstream sort of gamer. I don't play any JRPGs or RTS's as it isn't the type of games that I am in to. There is one reason for me not to import games, because the games I like are available 5 minutes from my door step as they are more the 'mainstream' sort of games I guess.

    As for importing because of the price. I have looked at play asia for some games, but in the end if I want to play a game, I need to have it straight away. So for me saving $20 on a game isn't worth the wait.

    Errrrr... I've only imported games once. Games which I *honestly never play. I kinda imported about 7 or 8 Sims 2 games in one huge lot. It was for my kids not me, cause its the Sims.
    Oh, ok, I do like the Sims 2. BUT, I hate playing the game, I just love building the houses! I can spend hours and hours building super modern homes, and when I'm done, I hand them over and my kids move families into them and play e-dollies.

    I was really let down by Sims 3 though, I was hoping for some incredible new house building tools, but nooooo, they made it ridiculously hard for ppl to make new content. :(

    Nah, I don't import. I prefer buying my games locally. Less hassle, and no waiting. :D

    Yes, I have imported before.

    I imported Rock Band 1 and 2 after getting sick of waiting for a local release date. But now I don't have my PS3 I'll have to import RB2 again for my 360.

    I wouldn't really import to save money, unless it was a significant saving like 40-50%

    I have never imported a game, however I have given serious thought to it.

    There are 3 reasons why I've considered it:
    1. The game is not available in Australia. But these are generally the ones made available in Japan and I can't read Japanese.
    2. The game has been modified to gain an MA15+ rating in Australia
    3. The price difference is enormous.

    Given the reasons above, your next question would be "Why didn't you import?". Mainly because I'm lazy and don't want to wait. I'm the kind of guy that pays the $2 at an atm so I don't have to walk 50m up the road to my bank. I've also found that with modified versions, they are either:
    1. So close to the original the changes are negligable
    2. Easily modded back to the original content.

    Of course. If it is the only way to get a game like Rock Band 2 that isn't available here, or a game that is delayed here but freely available overseas, why not?

    Not to mention that it's often cheaper. Although I have to admit it's more an occassional incident, because a lot of games I buy are impulse purchases.


    For PC games, it's usually just for the savings. And sometimes it's the AU version anyway, OFLC label and all (like from Play Asia, Ubisoft games like Assassin's Creed 2 and Splinter Cell, as was Modern Warfare 1 and 2), and I'm patient enough to wait for a week.
    For DS and PSP games though, sometimes they get released in the US with no AU date. Either they don't get released here at all, or magically appear 6 months down the line with no mention. So I just grab them from the US. Plus black DS box case things look better than our chunky opaque ones.

    In general, No.

    As mentioned by David, most of his reasons are the same as mine. If a game I want isn't released in Australia.

    Just recently though I did pick up 3 games from the UK that were exceptionally cheap compared to the local prices, paid $AU80 for all of them, when I should've paid about ~$280 at the time.

    So I know I could same money, but I also said No, the main reasons are.

    First up, becoming a collector of all things great and small (and occasionally shit/lame). Call them Collector's, Limited, Special, Ultimate, Legendary, Prestige, Whatever Editions. I'll be all over them, so I don't always trust overseas shipping on these larger items.

    Secondly, I'm alittle bit anal and I like everything to be the same or original, so I want all my games to be the AU version, I don't want to have games marked with the UK or US classifications mixed in with them all, it looks messy. :p (This is also why I will NEVER buy a Platinum or Greatest Hits version of a game, it's not the original box art!) :p

    That is why Rock Band 2 wasn't purchased until New Zealand got AU branded copies. As mentioned, special games not released here are the only exception, or when publishers ship us the EU version anyway (Just Cause 2 is a recent example). Those games that I did import, will look to do a dodgy one day, buy a used copy at an EB and then return the UK version. :p

    This also ties in with the fact that I would prefer to support the local retailers, you just need to shop around and you can still get decent prices.

      Yeah, I don't like platinum case games :P

      And I agree with you on the whole collector's edition thing, but for a normal game, I just find the cheapest price. if it's from australia, it is, if it's not, it's not, I just go with the flow. My cheapness overrides my laziness.

        I don't like buying Platinum/Classics etc. games either, but when lack of money is an issue you don't have a lot of choice. Anyway as oggob said you can always do a dodgy and buy the original version secondhand from EB or something and take your Platinum/Classics version back and swap it for something else.

    I’ve never imported a new release game. I find that most of the older PS2 and PC games I want, I can get rather cheap on eBay. I’ve done this with a handful of RPG games that I can’t find for sale anywhere. Is Etrian Odyssey really that rare? I’ve seen it on the shelves at my local dick smith store. I would have bought it, had it not been $65.

    All the time.

    But only rare PS2 games that I can't find when I go on the occasional EB/GAME/JB Hifi raid or that were never released in Austalia.

    Currently in the process of trying to get Wild Arms 5 and Rule of Rose. Damn 505 Games for being a pain in the ass.

    I would say I probably import about half of my relatively recent games nowadays. This could be for reasons of:
    - Price (Borderlands and FIFA10 for $50 each last christmas, Bioshock 2 for $35 a couple of weeks ago, GTAIV was half the price AND uncensored). Back in the day, I actually bought a US gamecube when they hit $US99, because I saved that money back after only 2 or 3 games!
    - inexplicable delays (Animal Crossing for gamecube springs to mind as the all-time record holder here)
    - just plain unavailability (Rock Band 2, Rhythm Tengoku for GBA)

    But if I'm *really* keen for something, and Big W or JB Hifi has it for a decent price, I will still pay the extra $20 or so to get it immediately. A spiraling exchange rate can also play a part in where I buy them...

    I see it as being a smart consumer. Thankfully, the PS3 is region free, most Xbox360 games are too, and Wii softmods make it easy to play Wii (and gamecube) games from overseas.

    Yes. A few games from smaller developers who don't sell retail in Australia. All PC games.

    Yep, if I can get it cheaper overseas, then I'll purchase it overseas. No point propping up local business here if they can't compete with the big boys.

    Generally only if I can't get it here. Only PS3 game I've imported is Demon's Souls.

    Also imported Katamari Damacy on PS2 back in the day.

    absolutely. new release games are regularly 18-25 pounds in the uk, so about 40 dollars? as compared to 100-120 here.

    its a habit i got into with the gamecube, half the games i wanted never came close to being released here, or were released in such small amounts you couldnt find them.

    same as the ds.

    i still shop locally, but most of the time, is from the uk.

      Where on earth are you finding new releases for 18-25 pounds?

        I suspect any one of the following;

        Or an international search (games -> set to worldwide) on eBay Australia.

          Yes! Zavvi! They have Red Dead for about $70 or so for the PS3 and includes a mini Strat Guide! That's pretty awesome.

            I've dealt with Zavvi, and Game UK. All of them have been fine.

            Although Zavvi may take awhile delivering stuff.

      Absolutely agree ... within a few weeks of release I never pay more than $50 AUD. Especially now the Aussie is strong against the pound.

        Damn! Maybe I should start importing more.

          yup. got resonance of fate for 23 pounds with free shipping, so thats about 40 bucks? i think that was from 365games, i dont remember.

    Mostly no. I tend to buy most of my games new in stores like JB. I don't tend to hunt for cheapest either, but that's cause I'm just retarded.

    I have imported a couple of games in the past though. Those being NFS:Shift (for price), GTA IV for my brother, Ico and a couple of PS2 games for the missus because we couldn't find them in Australia. It's mainly if I can't find it here, I'll import.

    Nearly 100% of my games are imported and have been since the PS2 era. All my current consoles are US models.

    The reasoning is simple 1. Earlier releases 2. Bigger selection 3. Cheaper.

    There used to be a number 4 which was one of my main motivators and that was the horrendous NTSC to PAL conversions we used to get. After playing FFX six months after the US with that horrific slow down I was done with local releases forever.

    The majority of my stuff comes from the US although I have dabbled with UK import sites like zavvi due to thier insanely cheap prices of late. I've also splashed on the crazy expensive JP releases in the past for some of those wacky LE sets.

    I've been lectured on 'supporting the local industry' due to my importing habits in the past but I did support all through the NES trough to my PS2 days and saw lackluster NTSC to PAL ports released six months after the US (if at all) and had to pay a premium for this 'service'.

    Simultaneous releases have certainly gotten better but there are still release windows, especially for niche RPG/adventure titles that I crave. Just look at Star Successor on the wii not being released here at all.

    That horrid NTSC to PAL conversion problem was NEVER solved it was merely made moot by the advent of HD60hz in the current PS3/360 era. You still get wii releases running at 50hz and/or with black bars though in PAL land from time to time like Madworld. Insanity.

    I'll be importing long into the future I just have to give Sony credit for making thier system completely region free and giving people the opportunity to get into the wonderful world of importing with a minimum of fuss.

      I could be wrong, but from what I understand, it's not the PS3 that's region free, it's the discs.

        The discs are still region coded, US = 1, UK = 2 and AU = 4, you can see that on the back of the PS3 game boxes.

        The PS3 will play any region game, so it's not locked in that aspect. But what you will find is that if there is DLC for the game, then at times you can have disc specific DLC, so if you importd a game, the DLC from the AU Store might not actually be compatible.

        There aren't that many, but the store always mentions which disc it is compatible with by their SLUS/SCES/SLES numbers

          Ah, I stand corrected. I new about the DLC thing though.

    Yes, when the aussie dollar is high and prices are low. I got dead space for about 8 pounds and gears of war 2 LE for 14 from when they were both more than $60 or $70 here.

      Right. When you said "new releases" I assumed you meant "at launch".

        My dabbling with zavvi and the like in the UK has been to pick up titles I was planning to 'pick up later' mainly. I got Nier for $34 delivered a couple weeks after launch. Worth the wait I think! Paying USD$60 plus postage at launch only really works for me when its the RPGs that get released late or never here. Like that lovely Recorde of Agarast War LE for the 360 hehe.

    I almost exclusively import games. Zavvi is my current favourite site. The Mad Monday sales are great.

    The only exception are games I REALLY want on launch date. In particular the last two were Red Dead Redemption and GTA 4.

    I find importing games, you will get it for 40% - 70% of the local shelf price.

    I've only ever imported one game - Left 4 Dead 2.
    And I think we all know the reason why...

      they must've run out in the game stores here yeah?

    I'd say at least half my games are imported. Back in the PS2 era I had a modded PS2 so imported most titles from the USA or Japan, since PAL titles were rubbish back then, and Japan had a ton of good games that never got a release in English.

    Nowadays where I purchase my games is based almost entirely on price. I had been buying from Canada and the USA for a while, with the occasional Asian region, but at the moment I buy from the UK since the exchange rate is amazing.

    For example, some recent purchases (including postage):
    Darksiders- $29
    Dante's Inferno- $36
    Splinter Cell Conviction- $50

    I don't work full time anymore (I'm studying at uni now) so paying Australian retail isn't a luxury I'm willing to afford.

    I sometimes buy local copies if there's an awesome preorder bonus or limited edition or whatever, but I have my limits (I've sworn to cut out materialistic crap from clogging up my apartment and my life, so that rules out the Halo: Reach ltd edition for example).

    99% of my PC games are via Steam. I think the only time I've bought retail for PC games in the last couple of years is if the distributor is screwing Australian users over with region pricing so I've imported a physical copy from overseas instead.

    The first time I imported a game was Rockband 2 from the UK because it was unavailable here. More recently I have been importing more games from the UK when they have been significantlt cheaper, like Yakuza 3 from Zavi for about $35 Aus and I imported Red Dead Redemption from HK for $55. I can not justify paying new release prices of $100 or more when I can get them significantly cheaper overseas. Sure I have to wait a week or so, but I would rather save the money.

      Nice. Just a question though, does that include postage? Because $55 for RDR seems too good to be true for that price.

        Hey NotoriousR.

        I looked around for the best price for RDR and hit upon this asian region free xbox 360 version at a place in Hong Kong called Hong Kong offer house:
        it's $47.65 US that is including the $4 postage and at todays currency conversion is just over $56. They only take payment through Paypal though. Hope that helps. Cheers!

    I import because Australia gets ripped when it comes to game prices. The average price in America for a new release is $60! Over here you can expect to pay between $90-$100 easy. Considering the exchange rate isn't that different you have to think why there is a $30-$50 price gap.
    On-line you can pay the cheaper price on some sites such as Ebay or Play-Asia, which includes the postage (usually if buying from Hong Kong the postage is free).
    Plus there is the crappy rating system over here to consider, but if from overseas and you can get the game as it was meant to be played.
    I never use to import because it meant you had to chip your console, but since the PS3 is multi-regional I don't have that problem anymore.

    Absolutely! Can't remember the last time I bought a product from a retail store.

    The savings ARE immense in some cases, at times actaully hitting the 40-50% discount a couple of people mentioned. More often it's about 25%, but that's worth it enough for me. I'm comfortable using paypal, so there's no effort involved at all (click and wait). The waiting of course is a turn off for some people but never really bothered me. My life is so busy I often have to delay satisfaction like 'sleep' or 'eat a proper meal' for a few days, waiting on videogames is nothing.

    I've also imported several titles that have either not come out or are hard to find in Australia (shenmue, shounen jump all stars, suikoden). And some that are simply going to have a ridiculously delayed release date.

    Only once.

    Rock Band 2.

    Thinking I might have to do so again soon. Including a keyboard peripheral.

    Better start saving for the shipping costs.

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