After Steam Enabled The Aussie Dollar, Some Games Quietly Became More Expensive

Support for the Australian dollar is finally live. Some studios are still getting around to making their games available locally, but for the most part, prices and games have remained largely untouched.

But then everyone got to work, and very quietly, prices started going up.

When the Aussie dollar was finally enabled for consumers just after 1030 AEDT, I quickly scoured a bunch of games through Steam to gauge the initial impact of the change. For the most part, it was in line with what Aussies were already paying once currency conversions and bank fees were factored in.

One of those games was Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. Priced internationally at $US59.99, the immediate change was a positive one for Australians (emphasis mine):

The price of AAA games is now much more reasonable - but only compared to what was originally charged on Steam. Assassin's Creed: Odyssey was selling for $US59.99 earlier this morning, and that's still the global USD price. However, Aussies can now buy the game digitally for $69.95 - not the cheapest offering, but it's also not absurdly overpriced compared to retail the way blockbusters on Steam used to be. Civilization 6 is currently available for $20.98, which is incredibly reasonable given that Americans are being charged $US18.

But that was this morning. Shortly thereafter, the price of Assassin's Creed: Odyssey had risen to $89.95.

SteamDB, which is currently updating their database, didn't record the change on their tracker. But Steam Prices noticed, as did Kotaku readers misterbung and luke:

Assassin's Creed: Origins got a quiet price bump as well, going from $69.95 to $89.95. The Crew 2 is now priced at $89.95, and while I didn't check The Crew 2 earlier this morning, a price hike was recorded there as well.

It's worth pointing out that it doesn't seem like Ubisoft are the only publisher to have adjusted prices today. Here was the Aussie price for Civilization 6, as screenshotted at 1041 AEDT:

Now, the same game is $26.98. It's still discounted by 70%, but that's because the RRP was changed from $69.95 to $89.95.

The changes so far appear to be done on a game by game basis. Rainbow Six: Siege was priced at $20.98 immediately after the change, and is still priced at $20.98 at the time of writing. Spec Ops: The Line, another game published by 2K on Steam, hasn't had any changes in pricing since the AUD went live.

It's worth noting that the changes outlined above are in line with Steam's pricing recommendations after the pricing matrix was updated. So while the recent changes are certainly disappointing, it's not wholly unexpected.

When developers were notified that front-facing AUD support was being enabled, Valve did notify developers that top-selling games that are priced at parity with their global USD price sold 21% better over the last year. The prices for some big games are now more in line with what the digital RRP would be. It means buying directly through Steam for the biggest games - a lot of prominent indies remain unaffected, although it's very much a case-by-case basis - isn't quite the bargain it used to be.

But buying from third party marketplaces is still a good bargain. Take Odyssey. Instead of paying $89.95 on Steam, you can grab the game for $58.46 through Fanatical. Green Man Gaming only sells in USD, but their price of $55.58 (pre-bank fees) is also miles better than what you'd get on Steam.

I've reached out to Ubisoft and 2K to ask for comment on the changes. Ubisoft didn't have a statement at the time of writing, but did confirm they were investigating. If I hear back, I'll update this post with their statement.


Comments

    This is the important news to keep track of.
    Keep up the good work

    Humble a steam key seller, known for their cheap tiered bundles with partial proceeds to charity, also updated recently where the US prices dispkay AUD in brackets.

    I would be surprised if anyone didn't expect this to happen. The magic of price gouging at its finest. The strange part is in many cases, games can be bought cheaper at bricks and mortar stores.

      While it does suck, its not as bad as you first think

      If you convert $60US to AUD right now its approx $83 AUD. So the game got $7 more expensive

    I wouldnt normally use G2A. But for AAA publishers doing this shit i might.

      Reputable third-party vendors are actually well priced, but I'll come back to that tomorrow. Today's been a very rapid-fire day.

      Cd key house won't get you the same discount as G2 a, but they won't sell you a stolen key and then charge you insurance money to protect you from their shitty practice of being a fence.

      And now watch the region locking ramp up on Steam...

    Going through my wishlist, most games were only a dollar or two above the direct conversion price.

    Puyo Puyo Tetris was actually two dollars cheaper than the direct conversion price.

    So as someone who doesn't tend to buy AAA games on release, this doesn't affect me all that much.

    gotta love brick and motar prices for a digital goods....NOT

      But AAA has to keep GameStop happy....

    Doing it with three days notice was also a piece of shit move. I had a wallet balance in USD that's now worth less than it was yesterday. I'd they had given me time to spend it, I would have.

      Your wallet balance should have been converted into AUD, so there should be more in there than their was yesterday. Mine went from US$12 to AU$17

        But the aud price to buy is often higher than conversion rate. So even though the number is bigger, my buying power has diminished.

    Lets be real.
    $59.95USD converts currently to 82.91 AUD
    add the 10%GST and that brings it to $91.20

    So AC: Odyssey is now $2.20AUD cheaper than it was before the currency change.

      No you're adding twice. If it was $59.95USD before, that also included the 10%GST - so converting to AUD means $82.91 which includes GST.

        AC was never $59.95 for Aussies on Steam. It was USD$69.95 for Australia. The US is paying USD$59.95 before tax.

        In fact half of this article send to be based on a misreading of steamprices.com who have not yet taken the currency change into account for their chart shown here. Their site thinks Australia is seeing USD$89.95 for ACOD instead of AUD$89.95 inc GST. The game is cheaper today than it was yesterday for Aussies if you check currency rates.

          After the AUD change ticked over, Odyssey was 69.95 Australian. It was one of the first games I checked, because there weren't any AAA titles immediately advertised and I wanted to see the impact on blockbusters with AUD enabled. This was just after 1030. I then checked Civilization 6 - knowing 2K games have had a high premium on Steam in the past - and screenshotted that as an example. I reported on both of those prices in the first story this morning, before writing the piece on the games that were no longer available. Nobody challenged that at the time, but I think everyone quickly became more interested in the games people couldn't buy.

          This would be an easier conversation if I'd screencapped the Odyssey pricing as well, but I stand by what I saw and reported. As for Steam Prices, the USD designation is literally just text. It's not an actual conversion - they just track what the figure is and have USD appear in front to avoid confusion. The prices mirror exactly what I saw, so I'm comfortable standing by what I reported.

          It's worth noting that trackers don't seem to have picked up the change (like Civ VI) between the AUD going live and adjustments shortly thereafter, even though I've clearly captured it in at least one instance. In any case, that's how this all came together.

            Steamprices does not do any conversion, correct, but it was also probably not set up to change Australia's currency day and date with Steam. Steamprices had only just updated this since you wrote this article and now says "there is no price history scale for this region". This indicates that the currency code it displays is from the Steam API and not arbitrary. A region "changing" currencies after a decade is not an everyday occurrence and likely caused issues displayed on both Steam and Steamprices.

            It would be very interesting for you to share Steam's response about this from your queries.

      The advertised price includes GST, it doesnt get added on later. The $89.95 we're currently being charged is all we'll pay, just as the US$59.95 is all we would have paid before, assuming that was the US price before all this started.

      In the US however, as Gnorris says below, sales tax is added later on, so that $59.95 price isnt the final price they pay. Call it 8% (a fairly common number, can be higher or lower depending on the state), that means another ~$4.80 to be added on.

      The fact that the major economy doesnt include that sales tax in their prices causes a lot of confusion. Most countries that have a GST/VAT/sales tax have it in the advertised price though. Its written into law here in the A New Tax System (Goods and Services) Act 1999, with the ATO advising that taxable sales must include GST in the price.

      https://www.ato.gov.au/business/gst/when-to-charge-gst-(and-when-not-to)/taxable-sales/

    Still can't believe people were arguing this change would be a positive one when Alex wrote about it recently.

    Why on earth is Civ6 even still at that price as a base price.
    Do they know it's 2 years old?

    Pritty sure ACOD is that price on Uplay, so its just fixing it to come in line with the Uplay store.

    So it looks like there are some games that you can't purchase at the moment.. I went to buy Cuphead because it's now available for macOS but there's no buy button. Checked my wishlist and others like Celeste and Iconoclasts also don't appear to have Purchase buttons. Is this because they haven't provided Australian pricing, so Steam have barred sales?

      Oh nevermind, just saw the Kotaku story that addresses this.

        In case you hadn't seen yet, Cuphead has now been updated. Dunno about the others though. Cuphead was the only one in my wishlist

          Oh, I hadn't seen yet. Thanks for the heads up!

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