Maybe We're Not The Worst Off When It Comes To Game Prices...

Alright everyone. Set your phasers to rage, and please don't shoot the messenger! We've spent a lot of time here at Kotaku discussing video game prices. This comic strip is saying we have nothing to complain about.

Obviously it's way more complicated that this - Australians do have a higher standard of living, and the minimum wage here is significantly higher than in any other country I've ever worked in. But the minimum wage doesn't necessarily represent the wide spectrum of salaries in Australia.

Also - just because others have it worse, doesn't mean we don't have it bad!

Aussies Should Not Complain About Video Game Prices [GameRevolution]

Thanks to Shiggy!


    My wage was about $7/hr when I worked at Burger King in high school 10 years ago :(

      Were you under 18 If so you get to work at slave rates

      Plus it used to be lower

        Yea man, I agree, it is better than when I was 14 and working at woolworths. I would work for 5 hours, and get 20 bucks. I think it was 4.70 an hour, was so not worth it.

          14 and had a paying job? I think the true value of that job probably wasnt monetary. May have made you appreciate the value of money.

            What's Burger King? I'm sure it's not in Australia.

              I wan me ungry jax

              It is in some areas. There is one at the Melbourne Airport.

              Mostly it is known buy its Australian name of Hungry Jacks.

    Is the minimum wage of a nation really that relevant to game prices? Using the above as a true scenario, you could argue that those in the United States on their highest minimum wage ($8.25 an hour) would still need to flip burgers for 7 and a half hours to be able to buy a $60US game. It's illogical.

      Correction, it's actually $8.67 an hour. But my argument still stands :p

      When you put it that way, we actually get the better pricing than the US. We only have to flip burgers for 6 hours.

      Doesn't minimum wage vary on a state by state basis in America and servers get paid under minimum wage because there is the expectation for tips to cover the difference?

        Correct, it is done state by state. The wage I quoted was from Washington state, and is the highest in the US.

    Having been to Brazil, one of the things that drives up game prices is the massive taxes applied on games by the Brazilian government combined with two things.
    1. The easily accessible black market where games can be purchased literally from the side of the road for only a few dollars (anyone who has been to a 3rd world country will know what I mean).
    2. The low prices for games in countries surrounding Brazil such as Bolivia and Paraguay.

      Yeah from memory gaming= gambling over their and puts our ratings system to shame

    Unfortunately for brazil the price of items is not based on minimum wage. Manufacturing costs add local tax and distribution costs plus profit equals price. Minimum wage is irrelevant. This does not change the fact that we are being ripped off.

    Also we have the right to bitch all we want

    Brazil just have the right to bitch more

      Almost there, mate: We have the same right to bitch as Brazil (and any other country, even the US!), but noone has to take us as seriously as Brazil/Turkey/Eastern Europe etc. :P

    We're all white! jk :P
    Just FYI, games in Hong Kong are around HK$300, while much cheaper, the minimum wage is less than AU$4 per hour (HK$28).

    I remember when wages were $5-10 average and games cost over $100.
    Fun times.

      Actually going on from that - it's cheaper now. We earn more and they cost less. I remember then my mum quit smoking because a packet cost $2.
      Take that, new age smokers!

      games still usually cost over 100... i saw black ops a few days ago and it was $120, but it did have about 20% off for a sale...

        I haven't bought a game over $100 for years now. Except CE.
        Not sure where people shop, I'm going to assume EB as most people talk about then being overpriced.

    I disagree with the title of the image.
    We do have the right to bitch.

    So does those who are overcharged for goods and services. Just because another group of people are charged even more relative to their earnings doesn't mean people who still being charged high amounts, but relatively less, lose their right to bitch.

    Yes, it does put things into perspectives and it does give us something to think about, but my right to bitch and whine is not removed because someone is worse off.

    Otherwise, why should Australians worse-off complain, as long as they're not a pariah in India or a rape victim?

    That was ranty and very aggressive.
    But eh, I demand my right to bitch.

    My complaint about game prices isn't that they're high, it's that we're paying in excess of $100 US for something that should be $60 US.

    People in the US whine about games being $60 when that's how much games have always been. We've had our games slowly creep up to RRP of $110 ($120 in same rare cases!) over the last decade for no apparet reason, as our dollar stands taller than ever against the US.
    Granted, I seldom pay more than $80 because I tend to buy games at launch from JB when they're discounted or wait for a sale, but I'm addressing the RRP point.

      They were generally 50 dollars when ours went to 120 there's went to 60 with companies like activation deciding that their new cod skin was worth a premium price because it was cod

      Whether the game deserves it or not is irrelevant you should be makingmoney off total sales not jackingup the price as well

      The $100 RRP has mostly crept up during the 50-60 US cent years and has stayed there, but it's beginning* to subside.

      But Aussies always conveniently forget that unless you live in Oregon, you're also being charged sales tax on top of that $60 which brings it closer to $65-70 USD.

      AUD:USD parity isn't guaranteed, so it's merely price hedging.

    Very nice article Mark, can you perhaps come up with the figures for New Zealand? I hear they're getting charged a fortune for games ($90-99 for DS and 3DS games).

    Honestly, the price of games comes down to the consumer, those that go and pay full $109 retail at EB games on release day are idiots. I picked up Red Faction Armageddon on release day from Big W for $48, which was cheaper than anywhere else. You can actually get some pretty good bargains on game release day if you open your eyes and look past the specialty game stores.

    I'll gladly pay an extra 10 or so percent on a game if I can get it quicker than 2 week delivery from the UK. One thing with Ozgameshop recently is their console game pre-orders are like $60. If you shop hard enough here in Aus on release day (Again, Big W, Kmart, Target, even sometimes Dick Smith) you can pickup AAA titles for $80 on release day. I don't mind paying that extra $20 to get it on release day (will not pay more than that though) if the title is one I am really passionate about.

    Ultimately game pricing comes down to 1 thing... Stop going into EB Games and having them price match, they're still getting the freaking sale!

    Regardless, we see a new game is US$60, AU$110, and the Australian dollar is worth US$1.07... it would appear we're being ripped off somehow.

    US$60 is AU$55.80. EB wants to charge me AU$110, so someone is making up to AU$54.20 per copy of the game. You can't tell me that it costs AU$54.20 to import a game and sell it in your own shop.

    I think I'll be buying all my games online now. Let's say I buy 10 games per year, online, over that year I'll save up to $500, which is another 8 games I could buy!

    I remember buying games while on my $6.50 p/h wage. And that was before JB moved to Geelong so the best prices you'd get would be $120 games at EB.

    The issue isn't with how much we could be paid at minimum wage, it's the disparity with American prices when our dollar is currently superior, and it's a huge difference. Whoever made the comic is an idiot.

      Cost of living is a huge goddamn factor in how much our goods and services cost. Everything is more expensive here, even food. Why don't people bitch about how much cheaper the cost of living is in some backwater Chinese town?

    It's the God-given, constitutionally-enshrined right of every Australian to whinge about anything and everything. This article changes nothing :P

    I just use Ozgameshop. Retailers are abysmal (except for some of their sales, of course) XD

    My original reply I posted when this first appeared on Reddit:

    Nice try, Activision/Sega/Electronic Arts/Bethesda/Ubisoft/THQ! Pity most Australians with common sense now import their game for $40-50 AUD because of our strong exchange rate instead of paying that slated $90 AUD, thereby undermining your local distributor's sales which makes them mad enough to raise a shitstorm with you, sending you to a) local retailers to complain about the competitiveness of the online marketplace, ie. Gerry fucking Harvey and b) digital distributors to arbitrarily raise regional prices, absolutely fucking over your standing with a lot of consumers.

    Oh and nevermind the fact that ten years ago we were paying ~$100 for games at retail and the argument from publishers, distributors and retail chains was that it was due to the poor performance of our currency (when it was dropping lower than $0.50 USD per $1 AUD) and now that our dollar is performing on parity with the US dollar, the excuse is that we shouldn't complain because our minimum wage is comparatively higher and nevermind the expensive cost of living. No, it wouldn't befit our burger flippers and waiters to complain about the unfluctuating price of video games that have remained mostly static for well over a decade.

    Edit: downvotes away~! Won't change the facts about retail chains struggling to cope with exorbitant price points, though. Fellow Australians: and EcoGamer are your friends.

    To those saying that the prices have become fixed at these values because "Australians like to pay more": Australians don't like to pay more, which is a lesson many of our local retailers are starting to find out the hard way. Harvey Norman chain of stores have spent the last year or so complaining publicly about how the company has been suffering due to the swathes of people that are importing courtesy of our strong dollar instead of shopping at his overpriced, piece of shit stores. GameTraders have also suffered, closing many of their stores and rebranding themselves as an online distributor - oh, and they've finally started to lower the cost of their games by between $10-20 because SURPRISE SURPRISE they've discovered many Australians don't like to pay more.

      NB. Pretty sure it's been stated that the retail companies are the ones jacking the prices up.
      The distributors are giving the games for an equal price to Australia and then somewhere between coming off the crates and into the consumers dvd-sized pockets--the price jacks up.

        Everyone along the supply chain is blaming everyone else along the supply chain for the increased prices.

          Heh, yeah... I just mentioned distributors because last time I talked to someone from a publisher that's who they were blaming. No doubt the distributor blames the retailer and the retailer blames the publisher or some bullshit.

        Yeah sure it's the retailers are the ones jacking the prices up aren't they.




        The lazy bastards didnt even bother virtual hosting a domain name to further dupe unsuspecting buyers.

        Regional printing, shipping and retailers ? My Arse.

        This lady has even made it easy for some of us Aussies to get USA stuff. Even discounted further.

    Since when is the min. wage for Australians $15/h? Assuming this is 18+ wage rates, I've been paid less than that while casual (so there's 20% loading--or whatever its called--as well) :/

      For about a year but it assumes you are working 40 hour weeks

      The national minimum wage for Australia is roughly $15 an hour, however that doesn't come into effect until you're 21.

        Oh and you have to be full time.

          Ummm, not true. Minimum wage applies to everyone, full-time, part-time, casual. It is expressed as an hourly rate as well as weekly.

          If you're getting less, contact your union, and/or Fair Work Ombudsman, because that's illegal.

            Sorry, you're right. I have the information in one of my drawers at work and re-reading it, you're right. I'm not being underpaid, not being paid well but not underpaid haha.

            Unfortunately there isn't a union for IT Technicians and for my particular occupation (diagnosing and fixing PC's/Mac's for personal and small to medium business), there is no award rate either, so technically we don't have to be paid any more than the minimum wage :(


              Might help you.


                11.5 Notification of conditions of employment

                Employees engaged or employed by an employer covered by this award must be advised in writing by the employer of the conditions under which the employee is to be employed.

                It's amazing how many employers actually miss this part.

    Aussies just love to whinge

    I'm not sure if its just me, but that doesn't really explain a thing. Just because we're not the only ones getting stooged, doesn't make it ok

    I couldn't get past the word 'payed' in the heading for the comic....

    Yea that sucks for Brazilian gamers.

    But at the same time, don't tell me what I do and don't have the right to do.

    comic creator is an idiot

    Nice try, but console games are priced more expensive in Brazil than US/AU counterparts because of government taxes.

    Console games cost about US$100-120 because it is taxed as a TOY , but PC games are taxed as SOFTWARE and only cost US$50

    Dear Australian video game retailers butthurt over online competitiveness:

    I'll gladly continue importing for a fraction of the price. I recently imported MK9 Kollector's Edition. It cost me $106 AUD including priority shipping to my front door, and it arrived in 3 days. Now that's bang for your buck.

    You could expect the KE to be around $180 + if it was sold here.

    Brazil has to work hard to pay for games?

    Guess that's why when Team Fortress 2 went Free-to-Play suddenly the servers got swamped with them.


Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now