Analyst Predicts That Australian Games Prices Will Be Reduced In 2012

Speaking to Gamespot, Rob Blythe, a consumer analyst for Macquarie Bank, has claimed that he expects video game prices in Australia to undergo a correction in the next year.

"Australia has been slow to adapt to international pricing for games, yes," he began, "but I think in the second half of this year or at the very least by early 2012, we will start to see game prices in Australia coming down. From my estimates, I predict they'll drop from around A$120 to somewhere around A$70."

This echoes comments by Ubisoft Australia's Managing Director Ed Fong.

“The exchange rate is the exchange rate,” he said, when we interviewed him earlier this year. “18 months ago it was a very different story. Should we peg our pricing to exchange rates? That gets messy.

“I think that if the exchange rate stays where it is, there’ll be a price correction.”

But according to Rob Blythe, the exchange rate will stabilise over the coming months at below parity, making importing less attractive to consumers, and with the expected games price correction at retail, things could become more competitive.

"... Australian pricing will still be at a premium to offshore, due to things like distribution and shipping costs," he claimed, "but the gap won't be as significant. Economists are predicting that our currency will normalize and eventually come back down below parity with the US dollar, and when that happens, the attractiveness of buying video games overseas will be eliminated for Aussie consumers."

Aussie game prices to drop by end of year - Analyst [Gamespot]


Comments

    Well here's hoping! I'd love for the price to come down and be able to get the retail game on launch day rather than waiting for it to ship.

    Why would the price of video games go down?

    Exchange rate is irrelevant. No matter how much cheaper videos games get due to the exchange rate, retailers don't pass it on to consumers, they keep it for their greedy selves.

    Video Games in Australia have been massively over priced forever and we have been ripped off forever.

    They continue to rip us off because we still pay it and theres no reason for them to stop.

      The problem isn't so much the retailers, though. The retailers aren't passing on the savings from the dollar because those savings aren't being passed on to them by the publishers/distributors.

      Retail prices won't drop until wholesale prices do.

    Games have become noticeably cheaper this year. However I still want to vomit when I see EB Games selling a used copy of MW2 for $80.

    They need to do this. I don't even buy games locally anymore due to the inflated prices. At $70, I would consider buying from Australian providers again.

      I agree. Let them know how you feel by refusing to buy stupidly marked up games.
      If more people voted with thier wallet we would see a change a lot sooner.

    Meanwhile Super Mario Galaxy will still be $99.95.

      I know, what is the deal with that?? Ive been wanting that game forever but refuse to out of principle

        Nintendo Australia knows that if you want a decent Wii title, most of the time you need to go first party. Because decent titles are so few and far between, they know most people will still pay ridiculous prices for older titles.

    Everything costs more in australia because retailers can get away with it, I applaud all efforts to justly burn them by buying online.

    The second hand dealers will continue to scalp without regulation after this correction though.

    $120 to $70? Who buys a video game anywhere in Australia for $120? Maybe a few fools at EB for a big name new release. $70 ain't good enough. It's as if he's saying a standard game costs $120 to justify a $50 drop to $70, rather than say a standard game costs $100 and dropping it to $50.

    I may be wrong in pointing this out, and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I've heard Macquarie are a major stakeholder in JB HiFi?

    Based on $70, I'll still order from Ozgameshop and buy imports in store at Dungeon Crawl.

      Yep, it's right there on their own website.

      http://www.jbhifi.com.au/corporate/board/

        And there are figures of how much of JB MCL owns if you do some googling.

        If a man has a PhD, you know he is very very tight.

      i bought GT5 for i think 90 from JB day 1, i also bought final fantasy 13 for about 100 because i was a longtime fan (returned it within a week P.O.S game) not the point, i spent that much on games ive REALLY been itching for, but having said that i only own 6 ps3 games, thats a testament to the shitty pricing we have. i can see how ppl can be angry but still pay the money though.

        The most I've spent for a game since 2003 (the Gamecube's last decent year) has been $80 for Portal 2 on release and I consider it worth every cent.

        Last year's War for Cybertron costed $57 at release.

        Kinectimals for my daughter was $59 (I picked up Kinect Sports for $17 new with some trade in price match madness!) and nothing else I have bought has been over $50 (and much of it has been under $30)

        My point is - bide your time and vote with your wallet - price match and haggle and import when you need to.

        The bigger get for me would be for pricing on XBLA/PSN/Steam to reflect reality

    I was skeptical but since the analyst in question isn't Michael Pachter I figure this has a better than 40% chance of being accurate.

    Didn't some idustry body very recently, like in the laast week, start investigating price disparity? Video games, while not the focus, will be included in that investigation.

    However, I think RRP $100-$120 all the way down to $70 is a bit too optimistic for me. Let's say $80-$90

    Hot topic; will this also transfer to all past, present and future PSN store content? I still see prices markups of 200% (double) for AUS DLC compared to US. Now there's no way in hell you can call out shipping on that.

      A 200% markup would be triple the price.

      Original price + 2(original price) = 3(original price)

    Interesting how they're making this prediction right after Activision listed a digital copy of MW3 on Steam for $100...

    Based on what? Wishful thinking?

    Activision just increased the Australia tax on CoD:MW3 by another $10USD on Steam - making it $99.99USD

    Then we have Square Enix region locking the UK release of DE:HR so that UK copies can only be activated on Steam in the UK.

    While these $#%^&@$^&* are allowed to get away with these practices, prices won't be dropping anytime soon.

    Hell... I doubt we'll see prices drop if/when the $AU drops below parity with the $US - we never got price cuts for the time it was above it...

      Scratch the last line... realised it doesn't make any sense... Internet rage at work :P

    I will believe it when I see it.

    Kinda with Sheamus D on this one.

    Im going to thehut.com, ozgameshop.com and sometimes dungeocrawl too. Unless its something that I want right now and on launch - ill wait for it to arrive from somewhere else if i save 50 bucks.

    Exchange rates can't be the only issue here. Publishers are charging Australian's 50-100% more for games over digital distribution platforms like Steam. We're buying the same content, in the same US currency, from the same source. Nothing to ship, just a straight download. So why are Aussies being charged nearly double in many cases?

      Because the market will still pay $100+ for a game. We've been conditioned to accept it through years of wallet abuse from the hands of publishers.

    As long as I don't mind waiting few days I will buy from playasia. I just hate going to EB because of it's gouging and JBHifi is too busy.

    Unfortunately it's all economics, if they keep making more money they will not reduce prices, why would they? I have NO faith this price drop will happen.

    “… Australian pricing will still be at a premium to offshore, due to things like distribution and shipping costs,”

    Back of my Xbox360 games it says 'MADE IN SINGAPORE'

    So its more expensive to ship them to Australia? Given that were are geographically closer?

    Huh....

    Thats right keep charging too much so people wait and buy traded games.

    And I couldnt agree more Shugs, I thought the whole idea with digital distribution was missing out on the box and disc etc but getting the game at a cheap price.

    Surely they must realise that we are fiends at buying games once they get around the $50 mark. We just have a problem getting screwed at $100, even if we really want it.

    There is a bit of pressure building with the Productivity Commissions draft report as well.

    The biggest thing you pay in Australia is for brick and mortar stores rents according to the report. But there is still a large gap and a lot of the time it is distributors selling to Australian retailers at the US RRP. Then we have the cross-contamination of price rigging which is illegal here. The ACCC seems to care less however.

    Draft report is here: http://www.pc.gov.au/projects/inquiry/retail-industry

    Also, is it me or has EA region locked their Origin store so we can't even SEE the U.S. prices? I've tried tweaking the URL to no avail.

      Not just you with the Origin problem. I see great prices for games on pricechecker websites, but can't get at them:(.

    I have not purchased a game in usd for a long long time now, sites like ozgameshop are working a treat :)

    ..."From my estimates, I predict they’ll drop from around A$120 to somewhere around A$70."

    I think a more accurate quote would be that prices need to drop from ~AU$90 to ~AU$50 to be competitive and encourage Australian shoppers to stop importing.

    In this global digital age, when dealing with a product that is a digital medium, the pricing between countries needs to be 'reasonably comparable', otherwise we'll just import.

    Anyone buying shares in OzGameShop? Take Warhammer:Space Marine as an example - its US$99 for Australians on Steam, but $45 to import from the UK, and the game uses Steamworks, so you just activate it on Steam. No difference whatsoever between the two, other than price and adding to environment woes by shipping physical product halfway around the globe just to activate it on Steam.

    THQ should have to pay a Carbon Tax for price fixing beyond reason & encouraging Aussie game buyers to import.

    It'll be very interesting to see if/when this happens, and what price the Wii U then launches at, as it's due mid-next year-ish.

    Good news, I would finally like to walk into a store here in Australia and actually buy something without knowing I could of bought it online for 50% cheaper or more....

    Analysts also predicted that the Wii would fail and the PS3 would be roaring success. And that seemed damned likely too at the time, didn't it, with the PS2 being the best selling console and the gamecube not exactly being the most popular thing on the planet.

    Pretty much why I disregard whatever analysts have to say.

    I remain doubtful. If it does happen though, I'll stop carting my money overseas from now on. Hope this also means regional pricing on digital product douchebaggery will also stop.

    Even below parity, I highly doubt it will stop importing if retail prices don't drop. Given that retail sells at twice the damn price of an import, our exchange rate would have to be horrid like it was about 5 years ago before it would stop people importing.

    The $120 quoted is obviously RRP which most stores drop to between $80-100. So dropping RRP to $70 means we should see games between $50-70 in stores.

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