Today the Federal Government announced it would be accepting submissions for an upcoming Committee focusing on the price of technology and software locally in Australia — including video games. According to Ed Husic, the NSW MP helping drive this Committee, this is good news for consumers, and a real opportunity for those involved to explain themselves.
"This Committee is good news for your readers," said Ed Husic. "Actually, Steven Conroy was someone who thought it was very important that games be involved in this inquiry."
"A lot of gamers have been contacting me personally about this issue."
The announcement of this committee has some interesting timing — GAME has gone into voluntary adminstration, and JB Hi-Fi has resorted to openly selling parallel imports in store. We asked Ed Husic how this might affect the inquiry.
"Well that's ultimately something the retailers themselves will have to discuss," he said. "Embracing online channels is obviously very important. You're starting to see in the US that a lot of brick and mortar retailers are starting to embrace online channels a lot more."
"Retailers always have to go through periods of transition. At the moment consumers are using technology to drive this change and retail will respond to that."
Ed Husic was very keen to reinforce the fact that this inquiry wouldn't necessarily be a beat up. He encouraged retailers and publishers to this as a real chance to educate consumers. If video games were expensive in Australia for good reason, perhaps now would be a good time to explain those reasons?
"This inquiry really gives everyone a chance to talk about this issue," he said. "My view is that the inquiry is a chance for retailers and publishers to educate the public about the reasons for the added cost. They should really seize this opportunity to talk to consumers."