Steam Will Fully Support Aussie Dollars From Mid-November

Image: Twitter (@Mel_Tea)

Years after integrating support in the developer backend for Australia as a currency and a region, Steam has revealed to developers that customer-facing support for Australian dollars will arrive mid next-month.

Developers at this year's Game Connect Asia Pacific conference, which is part of the Melbourne International Games Week, were treated to a slide showing that support for selling games in Australian dollars would "go live ... in mid-November".

Developers have already had the ability to enter region-specific pricing for local gamers, although the end price shown was converted back into US dollars. "[It] won't affect your ability to discount for sales," attendees read.

Mel Taylor, one of the developers on Orwell, also noted that Steam was continuing to work on their own alternative service to the antiquated Steam Spy third-party tracker.

Valve hasn't officially revealed how many Australian users are on Steam at any given time, but the company did reveal privately in late 2015 that there were 2.2 million Australian Steam accounts. The figure became public six months later, as part of the legal battle between the ACCC and Valve over Steam's original refunds policy.

Valve Says Around 2.2 Million Australians Use Steam

You probably know from earlier today that Valve recently lost their case in Federal Court against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). If you haven't caught up on that, you should do so. But the case has also brought out an extra bit of information: namely, the number of Steam accounts in Australia.

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Comments

    So that slide says:
    “Like all regional pricing, it is based on purchasing power, not a strict currency conversion”

    Does that mean instead of buying games for the US price and converting into Australian dollars, we’ll now be getting a localised Australian retail price?
    Because they have that on Xbox Live at it means $99AU launch titles and not $59US converted into Australian dollars.

    If that is the case then I think that’s the bigger story here.

      Yes. You can see this reflected in New Zealand prices (they had their own currency pricing for ages) NZ are similar to store prices while Australia was getting stung by Australian Tax by conversion.

      The worse offenders were publishers who were putring AU priced in the US field and refusing to adjust... Bethesda for example were puting US79.95 into Australia region when the game was $59.95 in US. So we were overcharge more than $35 dollars.

      That already happens all the time

        Not on Steam. I'm not sure what you're talking about.

        At the moment we just pay the US price converted into Aussie dollars.

        Most Aussie stores charge a localised retail price based on what Aussies expect to pay ("purchasing power" up to $100 normally).
        We're almost always better off paying the US price and converting it.

        This looks like there will be localised pricing for Steam games. That's probably not good.

          @edc is correct - the AU store shows different prices from the US store, using the same currency. AC Odyssey, for example, is currently listed on the AU store at USD$69.95, on the US store it's listed at USD$59.99 - the US price is 14.28% less expensive, although iirc tax isn't included in the US price and varies by state. The markup isn't even consistent, tho - the Deluxe Edition is 8.95% less on the US store, the Gold edition is 14.28% less, and the Ultimate edition is 9.2% less on the US store.

            Well, I learnt something today.

            Thanks all.

            That system sucks though.

              That's why I haven't bought any games directly from Steam in the last 4-5 years. I generally buy steam keys through other sites that don't cheat us out. The last game I bought I paid for in Euros oddly enough, got something like a 60% discount on it.

              isthereanydeal.com is a great website to see prices from a bunch of stores.

          I assume that's why developers like it. They can now charge us $99 instead of ~$60 to $80.

          Actually we don't pay the US price converted into US dollars.

          They actually started localising Steam prices a fair while ago, so they were priced to basically match Australian prices and our rrps. However that localised price was then converted back into USD for the transaction.

          In other words we were getting ripped off twice with the one dodgy transaction.

          This new just says that they will skip the last step and you know... Charge AUD for the products they exclusively sell to Australians in their Australian store.

          NB: A number of publishers did try and be more fair by ignoring the option of regional pricing so their games would have the same USD price for us, but this was a decision purely publisher by publisher and had nothing to do with Valve.

      "If that is the case then I think that’s the bigger story here."

      Yep. Yet another digital/electronic media source gouging Australian consumers.

      Oh this was fun a few years back when Take Two/2K removed Borlderlands from sale at USD$49 and put it back at USD$79, with similar things happening for Bioshock 2 at the time. Fun fun times.

      From the article:
      Developers have already had the ability to enter region-specific pricing for local gamers, although the end price shown was converted back into US dollars.

      We have been paying localised prices on Steam for as long as I can remember. It's a lot more obvious when there are sales on and people compile tables showing all of the region's prices and discounts.

        Which makes it all the more shitty that they’ve then continued to charge us in USD all these years.

          I think they were working under the assumption that by charging in US$, the Australian government wouldn't notice that they were doing business in Australia.

            If they pulled the Steam gift cards from retail shops then they wouldn't be doing business in Australia, that was valve's fatal mistake.

              I think having 2.2 million Australian accounts implies business in Australia regardless of any physical sales, especially when the Australian price is higher than the US price even though it's the same currency.

              Having Australia-specific pricing and following local classification/censorship didn't help in maintaining the fiction of not doing business here either.

              With that said, I suspect the thing that pushed them towards this was the GST changes that removed the tax advantage of pretending not to do business here.

    This will be much worse for us.

    Imagine a game is US $59 on the Steam store. That's AUD $84. But because of the variable exchange rate, you can expect to pay at least an extra AUD $10.

      This should hopefully be tempered somewhat for AAA at least, as they'll face pressure to price-match or better with brick-and-mortar retail.

        It doesn't stop Microsoft or Nintendo (I don't know about Sony), and all their systems at least have a method of playing physical media! Plenty of good PCs don't even have disk drives anymore.

        Besides, the slide says "based on purchasing power" and not a direct conversion, so Aussies can expect to pay more for games the way we always have.

        This looks like bad news to me. I think it's just been poorly reported.

          It's not bad news it's just not something amazing.

          When they say "based on purchasing power" they just mean judging regional prices and how much games are sold there. Currency exchange does affect this, but usually over longer periods so you may adjust prices as a whole every 6 months or a year.

          Apple does this a lot and you see their tiers of pricing. $0.99 for an app might become $1.19 as the AUD drops, $9.99 books become $10.49 and you basically try to speculate in order to cover the small fluctuations in prices in different regions without having a customer look at one price one day and a new one the next due to a small change in the market.

          Publishers already price based on purchasing power, they are as expensive as they think they can be. This will not make them any more expensive, it will just remove currency conversion or international fees on some credit card purchases and make it easier for customers to see how much they're spending.

          However it also will not make games any cheaper either.

        That's correct - it will be a lot easier to compare prices when both are in AUD. Also will be easier to compare Steam with GOG and other online websites that are already in AUD.

      The other side is that I don’t have to guess what exchange rate will be applied at the cart, so I can choose not to purchase it.

      Steam hasn’t been a good deal for us (outside of sales) for years now. Hell sometimes new releases are cheaper on consoles from JB HIFI.

      I don't see how that's really worse than all the times they currently take that US $59 game and sell it to us for $89 USD (~$125 AUD) just because it's $89 AUD at EB/JB.

    Meh, except for some sale pricing I've not purchased directly via Steam for years. Humble Bundle, GMG, GamePlanet, etc are almost always much better priced and still provide Steam Keys. Yay internet.

    Sweet Jesus, thank you very much. Been waiting for this ever since I got Steam, having to buy products in a different currency is a real pain. Hope this goes smoothly.

    Yay... $120 AAA games here we come.

      That's what we paid in the mid 90's through to mid 00's. I have HL, Q2 and others still with their $119.95 price labels on. I paid $120 each for Goldeneye and SM64 on the N64. You know what's scary? How much money $120 was back then. It's not that much now.

    I'm not sure if this is better or worse for the terrible current state of the AUD-USD conversion.

    Do the prices get converted for good based on current exchange or do we just pay aussie retail?

    They'll need to keep their prices under the local store prices or they'll lose most of their business

    This pricing stuff for games over steam is just silly, your not paying for a physical version (haven't for years now), and yet still pay more than you would if you bought a physical version at some places and you have no way of reselling (like reselling console games).

    i refuse to pay more than 70 to 80 bucks AU for any game. NOTHING is worth more than that

    This is so good, and it's about time. Too bad I'm abandoning my $2800 Gaming PC for an Xbox One X and Red Dead Redemption 2.

    Now I can have all my games and achievements in one place instead of having to use Steam, Uplay, Origin, Bethesda.net, Epic Games Launcher, etc.

    Now I don't have to worry about losing my save data.

    Now I don't have to worry about all the glitches and bugs that PC ports have.

    I've been training my eyes to accept 30fps again by locking Far Cry 5 and Assassin's Creed Origins to 30fps.

    I don't read replies.

    I usually buy my PC games from JB or Green Man Gaming.

    The steam prices are fucking ludicrous.

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