Why We Don't Get The Same PlayStation Store Games As The US

More often than not games are released on the PlayStation Store in the US but completely by-pass the Australian store. It often leaves people scratching their heads -- how hard can it be to release a digital game in more than one country? Sony explains why.

Posting on the PlayStation Blog, Jawad Ashraf from the PS Store team explained that the reason for the discrepancy between the US and EU Store (which would also be applicable to the AU store) is in licensing and localisation work.

"Licensing, market and a host of other business and non-business decisions all play a part," he wrote.

"What is often forgotten is the EU consists of not just one or two countries -- it includes a variety (36!), meaning a lot more localising must be done [editor's note: in the case of Australia, the game doesn't need to be localised into a completely different language, but there are some differences]. Certain games also retain licenses only in certain territories or have expired rights.

"There's generally so many factors that can often lead to games being delayed or totally cancelled for specific regions, and sometimes this cannot be helped."

In some territories the cost of getting a game classified is relatively high and if a publisher doesn't believe they will be able to make a reasonable profit within that territory, they do not bother spending the money distributing and marketing that game.

[PlayStation Blog]


Comments

    I just wish they could get Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross on the store and I'd be happy :(

      Agreed. I don't see any reason why we can't have Chrono Trigger, given how many times it has already been released here.

        probably because SE is selling chrono trigger, both in physical (on the DS) and digital (wii virtual console, yes, even on the PAL store).

        As for chrono cross, you will need to ask SE.

    With media companies all caught up in rights/deals/bullshit, is it any wonder the consumer uses other (read:illegal) methods to acquire content.
    Sort your shit out!

      Rights and licensing are put in place to protect the commercial interests and rights of the content owners. Unfortunately this takes a lot of time, so people pirate because they can't wait. Then when the game is finally released locally it doesn't sell because everyone already has it, resulting in the publishers never wanting to distribute ongoing products in that region. Digital distribution still requires a large amount of other localised costs, such as marketing, and ensuring that the content creators aren't destroying the other distribution chains (i.e. EB Games) who will cut them off since they have long standing contracts with these companies. Will it ever be as utopian as worldwide same day release, eventually, but it's not achieved by just any single party sorting their shit out, and as such, it's going to take a while.

        Sorry, it is not "can't wait till release" but it is "not released at all". Two completely different things.

        Marketing, what marketing? Bar huge releases like CoD or GTA I have not seen much marketing for any other game. There are places such as Kotaku, RPS, Eurogamers, Gamespot, IGN, a press release is enough to get them curious.

        And lastly, copyrights. The right holders want laws to be put in place that protect their IP; when these rights become to complicated they refuse to release their games due to problems with the same laws they were pushing for. Please, stop complaining about that.

          Exactly, when laws/rights/whatever prevent people from accepting my money, something has gone wrong!

    On the cost of classification in Australia, it seems to me that it would be prudent going forward to simply use the PEGI ratings. Their approach is pretty consistent with ours currently - aside from the soon-to-be-remedied absence of an 18+ rating here - and we're all PALs.

      Doesn't matter though the law states that games must have Australian decided ratings.

      Personally i don't see why we can't let these companies self rate. Simply make it that if a game is found to have a large amount of complaints against it's rating that it must then be submitted for classification. If found to be drastically under-classified then they are hit with substantial fines.

        self rating is exactly how the ratings system first started out. However over time it became more regulated because, well lets face it, there is more $$ in setting up a beaurocratic over-paid approach to doing just about everything useless..
        The oflc is nothing but a 2 bit govt operation designed to bring in some extra coin from the movie/game studios

      What I don't get is something like Choplifter HD which has been out for ages on the US store but still isn't available on the AU store, even though a search of the classification database shows that it's already been classified and has been for some time. So you have to wonder what the holdup there is.

      Does anybody know if it's available on XBL in Australia?

        The demo certainly was, I remember being disappointed & bored by it

      Sounds good in theory but a lot of PG games in Australia are rated 12 and 15 under PEGI - they are baffling at times...

    With me not actually owning a PS anything is there actually any disadvantage to just having a US PSN account to get the games that are released on it? Surely it would mean you also get way cheaper prices considering how much we get gouged here.

      It's a bit of a pain paying for the overseas store content.

      Most Aussie credit cards won't work on the US store because they need to be tied to a US address. There was some virtual card thing you could use but I don't know if that works anymore.

      Or you can buy US points on ebay, or play-asia where $20US will cost you about $27AU for a digital card they just email the code for, so in the case of buying stuff from the US that the Aussie store has you have to do the sums on if it's cheaper to spend more on a prepaid card to buy a cheaper product from the US store, or just buy the more expensive Aussie version with Aussie prepaid.

      Plus there's the messing around with multiple accounts thing as well.

      So it can be done, it just takes a bit of effort.

        Actually... they "used" to work before the goddamned "hack". I was able to buy US PSN stuff no problem w/ my CC. Thanks to the "hack" however they really clamped down on the security side of payments and non US cards got locked out <.<

      I've signed up for a US account, but haven't purchased anything. I've just used it to download demo's that won't be, or haven't yet been, released here.

      Disadvantages:

      - You have to use PSN point cards for everything. Best place to buy these is from Best Buy online in the US, $50 US PSN cards cost $50 US, no markups or anything. They just email you the code in a few hours. Can only buy with a credit card though and putting the address in correctly is a bit of a pain.

      - If you buy a physical copy of a game locally, you won't be able to use DLC from the US PSN for it. Not a problem for PS3, just run the game from an AU PSN account and get the DLC from there. Vita requires you to pick a single account so you're essentially committing to purchase all your games that you are interested in DLC for from the US.

      Advantages:

      - Faster updates

      - Vastly superior selection of games available, especially for PSP

      - Much cheaper due to massive price differences, Australia Tax, exchange rates. This may not be the case in five years though.

    Trine 2 is a clear example. It still hasn't been released om PSN.

      Still waiting for this. I'm about 1 week away from putting funds on mu US account to buy it. Fuck the system.

    Ring of Red... I need you! :(

      Haha, my first ps2 game. Never could/bothered to finish the last mission, but what a game!

      Haha that's still the best game name ever.

    I just think we should still be able to access the US store as well.
    It doesn't need to be 'officially released' in this region, but if we buy it anyway no harm done.

    Exactly why my Vita is utilising a US PSN account. Seriously, the EU PS Store is an utter joke. Pricing and game availability is awful. The only issue is having to fund it with web purchased US PSN cards, but totally worth it.

    Buy US PSN card, create dummy account, done and done.

    I wish they'd add more to the PSONE Classics, Like the earlier Spyro games and Crash Bash. :3

    Disappointing really. :/

    This would be so much easier with a New World Order and One-World Government.

    This is nothing but stupid red tape caused by business... Who cares if it isn't localized into the correct language - shouldn't the consumer have a choice? I don't care if there's a few 'mom's' or 'colors' in there... For real, I just wanted Twisted Metal 2 dammit!

    Business ruins everything good in this world.

      Especially when you consider the fact that the US store actually has a section for JAPANESE PS1 games, that are their in their original japanese form. No localization at all, they're just dumped onto the US store with their original japanese text, button configuration, etc unchanged.

      So if they can just drop Japanese stuff onto the US store with no localization, why can't they drop US stuff onto the PAL store with no localization?

    To the internet this is simply translated as "You cant get it casue we are assholes" the amount of legal tape that surrond certian game sis beyond frustrating for some people to the point where they feel the only way to truly acquire something they desire is to steal, and its not just games. How many Aussies (or non-Americans period) are frustrated with all the issues with Hulu, NBC.com, CBS.com and not being able to watch things online because of where we live. It can drive you up the wall, this si why people pirate/hack because publishers and copyright holders just have to make things difficult, instead of just being fair.

    Cool story. Doesn't explain why the US store won't accept my Aussie credit card.

    Yeah yeah like we the consumer actually give a toss about all the red tape bs...I mean you want us to swallow that any developer doesn't want their game released in as many regions as possible to maximize income...Sony, still clueless...It's this bs that means Playstation+ is a complete waste of money down here...

    Now waiting for the follow up story where Ephraim will attempt to explain, yet again!, why we can pay close to double for a Vita...Sony, please get a clue!!!

    "What is often forgotten is the EU consists of not just one or two countries — it includes a variety"

    ...Of which Australia is not a part. We don't need localisation because, surprise surprise, we speak English! Why can't we be cut out of the Euro distribution now and just shuffle into the US/Canada one? Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we geographically closer to the USA than Europe anyway? Plus, PAL and NTSC don't have any bearing on modern consoles (except the Wii.. like anyone cares), so the old argument that we HAVE to be thrown in with the UK and Europe is utterly baseless these days.

    well there is a fucking easy solution: Australia is divorced from the EU Store and Sony builds a new Asia Pacific/Australia store.

    Localisation would require a single licence basically and the US language versions of the title could be used.

    or better still migrating Australia to the US store.

    More concerned with the discrepency in pricing international vs here and also why the prices are like 2 to 3 times more than buying the same prodcut from a retail store. Now thats a question i'd like sony to answer.

    The classification argument doesn't hold much water for PSOne games. They were classified under the same ratings before PSN even existed. The additional cost is $0, and yet for a game like Resident Evil or Parasite Eve II, we pay nearly triple the US price.

    So how does localisation affect the Nintendo Switch? It is region free, enabling developers to submit one global submission for smoother localisation and processing. Secondly how different is Aus localisation that the US?

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