No Aussie Tax For Middle-Earth: Shadows Of Mordor... Oh Wait, There It Is!

Sigh. Another day, another game on Steam has its price "adjusted" upwards for the Australian market. The latest casualty is Middle-Earth: Shadows of Mordor, with publisher WB Games yesterday adding an extra $US22 on top of its $US49.99 tag, bringing the total to $US71.99. Uh, thanks?

Tim Colwill over at was made aware of the change, one that can easily be confirmed via the appropriate tracking sites. Colwill points out that Shadows of Mordor remains at $US50 on Green Man Gaming, though that may not last long.

As Mark mentioned last month, the least publishers could do is make sure the price is correct in the first place, rather than sneaking it in later.

Here's an image for posterity:

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor just went up $22 on Steam []


    When will it end? Getting ridiculous! I really wanted to buy Destiny digital on PSN but how can you justify $99.95 when I can grab it from the shops for $65-70

      That's one of the big reasons this issue exists: it makes retail stores competitive by shafting digital consumers.

        It's a convenience premium. They're applying it because people will pay it.

      Yeah i was the sucker who payed $99 for it on Xbox live... i didn't think i wanted the game until about 3 hours before launch and at that point couldn't just run to the shop :(

    Welp, it's gone from a 'OMG BUY IT NOW' to "eh... wait until it's on sale"

      Yeah, they're tools. I would have happily paid $49 through steam.
      Instead, I just bought on GMG with a 25% off discount code = win.

      Being honest, it was always going to be "eh... wait until it's on sale" for me

      That's why I always buy new games via reputable key sites like fast2play, here it's US$47.27 (AU$52.46 as of this post) or another US$2.70 for the DLC as well.

    So if you preorder stuff before they raise the price, do you still get it for the lower price or do they refund your preorder so that you have to pay the new price?

      shhh don't tell them that, once they find out AUSSIEs can get a refund thru steam due to our local laws, these companies may just start doing that :(

      If you manage to snag it before its hit with OzTax you're fine, I've never seen a case where a refund has been forced on us.

      The fact that you get the lower price and that we all KNOW that Australia Tax is going to be applied by these exploitative fucks leads me to believe that it's an intentional tactic to boost day-one preorders. Either that, or a sympathetic tactic to reward the faithful for jumping in early, while they claim to the higher-ups that they had to wait for processing before adding Australia Tax.

    Ozgameshop have it for sale at $38.99 with the code sent by email. Can't do much better than that

      GMG's $40 with their 20% off code. Not quite as cheap, but still way better than Steam.

    and they wonder why aussies' pirate

      I understand why people pirate, I don't agree with it but.

      If a game is not worth paying for it's not worth playing IMO.

        But why should it cost me more than someone else?

          It should not.

          If you think a game is worth $50 only pay $50 for it. Don't pirate it because it's $70, if they can't sell their game at $70 they might start to realise that they have to give us the same price as the rest of the world.

          Unlike some people who use a number system I use a purchase system for Games.

          Buy it now, Under $70, Under $50, Under $30, If somebody gives it to you for nothing, Not even if it was free. By default Shadows of Mordor is in my under $50 listing.

          Last edited 13/09/14 1:36 pm

    Without looking into the game when I saw it on Steam, I thought for the price it was a mobile port or some 'let's milk out a few more coin on the Middle Earth licence'. But then I've never been one to buy a game let alone a triple AAA game above $50. So won't bother checking it out till it's hit one of the big Steam sales in future.

    If there is a game on Steam that you can pre-order don't wait, buy it straight away because games that are $50 US pre-launch have a nasty way of jumping to Australian prices a month or so before they actually launch.

    This practice has been going on for years, I just never heard anybody reporting on it until recently. Perhaps if lots of Australian game publications started discussing this BS we might get fairer prices. Or it would massively backfire and we're get hit with the higher price from the day it appears on Steam.

    I would love to see three questions asked to these companies post price jump.
    1). Why did you suddenly increase the price of Game X in the Australian Market.
    A1: We did it because our Bricks and Mortar retail partners demanded it.
    2). Why don't you simply sell at the lower price to the Bricks and Mortar Retail Partners so that they can compete with the Steam Price?
    3). Are you aware that most Australians look at this and say "To hell with that, maybe I'll buy it for $10 next Steam Sale" when ever you do this thus losing a lot of $50 sales because you want an extra $20 from them?

      I would imagine that they would prefer you to pre-order immediately. By forcing people to buy before the price goes up they are essentially using the same type of marketing as a pre-order bonus; you have to give them the cash straight away or you'll "miss out". The only way I think they will concede is if enough people protest and refuse to buy it at all.

      2K were the first publisher to do this, they did back in 2009 with the original Borderlands ( this was when 1 AUD = 1.10USD) and they did it 2 weeks AFTER the game was released.
      2K were also the ones trying to force GMG and GoG to charge more to australian and NZ customers.
      To be quite frank, they are cunts and you should never pre order or buy the games until they are on a steam sale

      ^ This, to both Jan and Thyco.

      1. Don't buy it,
      2. Buy it from somewhere that supports equal pricing,
      3. Wait for a Steam sale and buy it much cheaper than the release price, or
      4. If you can't wait, pirate it - they screw us over so let's screw them over, even if it is technically illegal; what they're doing to us with this Australia Tax nonsense should be illegal for them.

        What do you mean Technically illegal? It is completely 100% illegal, if I give some piece of software away free that doesn't mean you can distribute it without my permission. Chances are if I'm giving it away I'll say sure but I am in control of it's distribution. Distributing it without my permission is still piracy.

        If you believe a game is too expensive follow your own steps 1 through 3. But high prices are no reason to steal. With most games dropping to bargin basement levels a year later the only real reason for piracy now days is to play it on release without paying the full price or to put it bluntly because your impatient.

          Actually, I don't think it's illegal. I think it's a breach of licence terms, so cause for a civil suit - breach of contract. Which is why the government is trying to amend laws and push for ISPs to assist with issuing of infringement notices, rather than getting the police to do the job.

          If it was illegal, the police would be responsible for enforcement, not ISPs (ie: internet users).

          It's a hop, step, and a jump away from calling it theft. And it's why either the ignorant or immorally manipulative do call it theft.

          Also, you're dismissing 'piracy as protest'. It's a totally worthwhile form of protest. If your suggestion is to pay for it, what's the publisher going to say? "Oh, boohoo, a tiny, well-informed subset of the market are making a stand by giving us money! Woe is us!"

            Why is not buying and playing it not a form of protest?

            Piracy as protest doesn't work because the companies stick their head in the sand and say you just don't want to pay. Only recently has Village Roadshow realised that holding back the release of a certain movie massively impacted the money they could have made from it. Because now days we live in an online world and if everybody wants to talk about a new movie it's harder and harder to ignore it.

              Piracy as protest is working. Why?


              These fuckers have no incentive to do right by the Australian people. If people don't buy til it's cheap, they write it off as an insignificant market and get money anyway - US theatrical releases are graded separately for domestic and international. As far as American companies are concerned, there's 'the centre of the world' and 'the rest of the world'. You say that companies stick their heads in the sand and say piracy is just about not wanting to pay? I say that companies see 'voting with wallet' protest as a lack of demand and low popularity. Two can play that game. In fact, I suspect the yes-men and the corporate masters who can do no wrong play BOTH those games.

              If people don't buy it, they can show through piracy that they want it, but aren't paying. Naturally, those clods see every pirated copy as a lost sale and they want that money. So they jump up and down and scream for someone else to fix things without them having to actually do right by foreign customers. Which is where we're at right now. And when it becomes tragically obvious that trying to wield power you don't actually have doesn't work, they'll be forced to do the unthinkable, out of desperation: consumer-friendly practices.

              Humans don't do anything without an incentive. There is NO incentive for foreign companies to do right by Australian consumers. The futility of trying to stop piracy? That's an incentive to actually pull their heads out of their asses.

              Last edited 16/09/14 1:49 pm

                I still disagree with piracy, but I admit I can not refute your argument.

                The day is yours.

                  But... I don't understand, what do we do next? This is not how Internet Arguments go!

                  Seriously though, they just need to fall into line with the games and music industry. The blueprints for success are there, they just need to suck it up and buy in. I don't pirate games myself anymore because it would be the icing of absurdity on a cake of irony. I've paid shitloads of money on games I haven't played (thanks, Steam!), but to not pay for what I will play? How ass-about-backwards would that be?

                  As unsavory and immoral as it is to take money out of the hands of content-producers because you don't want some of it passing through the hands of greedy middlemen... I'm not upset that it's happening, and happening a lot, as long as it gets us somewhere closer to fairness. Fairness is key. If you don't offer it yourself, you shouldn't be able to hide behind demands for it.

                  These guys have a roadmap for where to go from here, they just don't want to go there because it means change - and change is scary and expensive.

          "If you believe a game is too expensive follow your own steps 1 through 3"

          Personally, LOTR games don't really interest me that much, so the options I listed aren't really relevant to me. Though, I mostly follow #3 for the games I do want - I'm patient enough to wait for a price drop before buying it, even if it's months after release.

          #4 was directed at those who just can't seem to resist playing something the instant it comes out. They're all like "This Australia tax stuff is bullshit! I refuse to buy this game! ....... Awh, but I REALLY want to play it. I can't resist!" and they end up buying it on day 1 regardless of how much they're being ripped off because they're too impatient to wait even just a little bit. To those people, pirating is a win-win situation - they get to play it pretty much on release, and they're still voting with their wallet by not paying the inflated price.

          I myself don't pirate games anymore. I've got plenty of Steam games to keep me entertained until a particular game I want goes on sale, and those games are ones I accumulated by, again, buying during a steam sale once their initial hype had died down. So I do follow my own steps 2 and 3, and sometimes even #1 too - I wat for a sale, find out a few weeks after release that the game isn't all it was cracked up to be, and so I just remove it from my wish list and move on. And as you can probably tell, that's drifting into a whole other debate: the risks of pre-ordering or buying on day one.

    Do we really need to be reminded about the Australia tax? It's hardly news anymore. A *much* more pertinent article than this one would one highlighting a publisher had neglected to initially apply the Australia tax, and Aussie buyers might want to jump in before the inevitable adjustment. I managed to buy civ beyond earth before it got adjusted, and was not even remotely surprised when it did get adjusted. Surely actual game journalists could get really good at this, instead of belated displays of conspicuous indignation once it's too late.

      Doesn't your solution revolve around mentioning the Australia tax? It's a redundant B-side to current reporting.
      I'd find it a bit strange if the focus of these Australian articles became authors shouting at us to "PREORDER THIS GAME BEFORE THE PRICE RISES". Something doesn't sit right with that kind of logic. Nor does your backhanded assertion over what an "actual" journalist should/would/could do sit right

        Why would the author need to shout at us? Why not a simple, to the point: "Hey everyone, this game just appeared on steam currently priced at $50. We'd normally expect a game like this from this publisher to sell for $90, and this publisher has form for such high prices for Australians. Expect the price to bump up in the next day or two for this game, and if you were already intending to preorder, maybe get in soon". I think that would be a better article than another one like this that seems as incensed by the sloppy pricing policy as the Australia tax itself, and actually calls for the publisher to do the right price the first time and never give us a look in at a $50 pre order.

          Because the purpose of the article is not to encourage consumers to pre-order the game early, rewarding the publisher. The purpose of the article is to drive awareness of how the publishers are cunts and more people should be aware of how often this happens and how outrageous it is.

      No, this needs to stay in the spotlight. "Australia tax" is wrong and the shame of it needs to be made aware to everyone so that it's not shuffled off to the side in the pile of acceptance. Look at the changes to the XBone's DRM/Kinect/etc because of ppl bitching. This is what enough internet outcry and speaking with your money can accomplish.

    Oh Warner Brothers. Considering the base price for Lord of the Rings: War in the North (released 2011) is >$70, I'm not surprised they pull this crap.

    EU price is € 49.99, thats $71.67 atm. Stop complaining about Australia tax. Except US and UK, almost everybody else pay the same. Not to mention the average salaries in these countries...

      Except US and UK, almost everybody else pay the same.
      See the part in bold? That's the fucking problem. And localizing it is relevant to locals. It's utterly irrelevant to Australian consumers what somewhere like, say, Brazil pays. Other people have it worse? Boohoo. What's relevant is that other people have it better, so why don't we?

    Its actually $24.34 AUD extra with Googles currency converter. We would have paid $55.30 AUD but now will pay $79.64 AUD. Complete F*****G rip off!

    I have some steam wallet cash and every time this happens I make a point of not buying the game until it goes on sale at around $35.

    Should be buying AC Black Flag soon.

    I hope you publisher prick's are taking notice.

    I usually just transfer the money to my US mates adn get them to buy it on Steam and gift it to me. US prices all the way

    Has there been any word on the government's investigation into it? I mean, tgis is pretty shitty. But they charged something like $400 extra for Photoshop CS3 online.

      Yeah they completed the investigation and the companies reactions were from "hahaha we don't care" to no response at all.

        I did see an interview from a Game Traders rep that convinced me to never shop there again...

          I didn't know Game Traders still exists! Haven't seen one for years!

    The Metro Redux Bundle had a price jump on the Aussie x1 store also, the same way D3 did.

    When it first dropped it was $51.70, now it's $69.95. Went from me buying it on payday (as I'd already spent my weekly allocation) to "meh, I'll get it on sale."

    Game companies are crying poor due to poor sales but make stupid moves like this one which only serves to decrease sales.

    So, do we know why we have to pay the extra $22 for a game which is distributed digitally?
    It's not to cover shipping expenses, and it can't be to cover GST... and the conversion rate is not THAT bad, I think $1AUD buys something like $.89USD at the moment.


    Last edited 15/09/14 11:18 am

    The problem is that people still pay the Australia tax and so publishers will continue to do this. Stop being sheep and either source the game at a legitimate price or wait until the great steam sale comes around.

    just saying to all you guys

    go to cj cd keys i got my copy fro here, you have to do a lot of verification and stuff its a legit website and it ony cost $40 on there. You can then add the the cd key u bought to steam. ;) your welcome.

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