You know how the price of DOOM for Australians was way too expensive, thanks to our glorious exchange rate and Steam's refusal to actually sell products in Australian dollars?
Well it quietly went down yesterday, from US$79.95 to US$59.99. Pity that didn't last.
DOOM's US$79.95 price point was a point of contention for many Australians. Irate users posted threads on the official forums and even left sour reviews on DOOM's Steam page to indicate their disgust at the presence of the Australia tax.
And it's difficult not to agree with them. If brick-and-mortar retailers were selling copies of DOOM for around $60-70 locally, shouldn't Steam at least be equal with what those in the United States were being asked to pay?
For a short while, we were. Out of nowhere, Steam was telling Australians (via the website or Steam clients on desktop and mobiles) that DOOM could be purchased for US$59.99, the same price as what Americans were being charged.
Enter stage right, the Australian tracker for Steam Prices. Like myself, a few sharp commenters late last night and many others this morning, it also noticed that DOOM's Australian pricing had jumped back up to US$79.95 spending a day at the somewhat more palatable US$59.99.
Here's the full picture, for reference (you may need to click the image to zoom).
I emailed Bethesda yesterday asking what happened when the price dropped, but they didn't reply prior to or since publication. I've sent another query given the latest changes, although given the fact that it's a weekend I'm not expecting to hear back from them.
It's a bizarre situation for consumers. A lot of savvy gamers will have avoided buying DOOM from Steam directly anyway: there are good deals for those who want a physical copy, and there are even better deals online if you just want a PC code. Those who pre-ordered through Steam at the higher price were even able to refund their pre-order and/or use key re-sellers, as the marketplace has allowed users to refund games if they become available for cheaper.
But still, you have to wonder what on earth is going on.