Diablo® III

Australian parliament probes technology price

90 Blood Elf Paladin
10615
Posts: 145
04/28/2012 07:06 PMPosted by p3zd1sp3nx0r
While I hate it myself, I can understand it from a business perspective - in the past it made sense (due to increased costs for physical copies, but mostly due to the exchange rate), but now with the exchange rate going from 2:1 to 1:1 in a relatively short time they have a choice - A: do the right thing by their customers and equalise the costs, or B: do the right thing by their shareholders and maintain the old prices for maximum profit. I understand why they choose B, but I certainly don't like it.


That's a complete misunderstanding of the exchange system.
E.G using your strange 2:1 / 1:1 system...
Before:
We pay A200 dollars. Blizzard gets 100 US dollars.

Now:
We pay A100 dollars. Blizzard gets 100 US dollars.

What they are actually doing is increasing profits!
Before:
We pay A200 dollars. Blizzard gets 100 US dollars.
Now:
We pay A150 dollars. Blizzard gets 150 US dollars.


I think you misunderstood my post, because we're saying the same thing.
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I'm glad someone is looking into it, even though I'm a kiwi and it might not effect anything over here.

I'm surprised it's taken so long for something to be done about it, it's crazy stupid for Australia/NZ to be charged extreme prices when our currencys arent that much different from the USD these days.

Greed is powerful though. I don't expect any changes to happen, companys will find a way to make it all sound perfectly fine, and they'll get away with being greedy.
(Not directed at Blizzard, just American company's in general)
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91 Blood Elf Priest
0
Posts: 88
As it has been said before, if we get the same prices as the US then it will hurt retail. If it hurts retail then more people are losing their jobs.

This is the same issue that was around people wanting cheap clothes, cheap white goods, cheap everything but still being paid a good amount of money. Its the reason why so many companies close down factories etc here and move them to China, its the only way to satisfy the masses thirst for "cheap".

In the long run it is actually detrimental to an economy because suddenly your import > export which is not a good thing, lucky we got mining.

But on the other hand, i totally agree with with the digital copy argument and that maybe we should pay the same. It is just no way to charge a smaller price online without destroying the livelyhood of everyone that works in retail....

Life is confusing at times, i do not know what is better, maybe i am not smart enough.

But one thing is that this game is still cheaper online than most other games that we buy, Stream had Skyrim for $99.00 AUD and a digital collectors for $129.00, the same as retail box, now that is a ripoff, at least the $79.00 AUD is cheaper than the $99.00 it most likely will be in store.......
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Posts: 344
Its a digital product, no one's losing their job and we're not asking for cheap products we just want equality. A 30% price disparity is just ridiculous for this kind of good, there's no reason why this should be the case. At the very least we should get a rationale from blizzard about why we are footing an extra $20 to download their game. Looking forward to this probe, sick of getting screwed by these companies.
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Posts: 117
Well this is the reason, we are buying overseas and not buying local copies.

Given it is digital distribution, obviously the government can see there is a need to examine exactly why these companies need to charge more. So that is the aim of this inquiry.

The results of the inquiry will then lead to further action. At this stage no action is actually going to be taken as a result of this inquiry alone.

There is clearly a problem with pricing in Australia however for digital products.
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Posts: 437
As it has been said before, if we get the same prices as the US then it will hurt retail. If it hurts retail then more people are losing their jobs.

This is the same issue that was around people wanting cheap clothes, cheap white goods, cheap everything but still being paid a good amount of money. Its the reason why so many companies close down factories etc here and move them to China, its the only way to satisfy the masses thirst for "cheap".

In the long run it is actually detrimental to an economy because suddenly your import > export which is not a good thing, lucky we got mining.

But on the other hand, i totally agree with with the digital copy argument and that maybe we should pay the same. It is just no way to charge a smaller price online without destroying the livelyhood of everyone that works in retail....

Life is confusing at times, i do not know what is better, maybe i am not smart enough.

But one thing is that this game is still cheaper online than most other games that we buy, Stream had Skyrim for $99.00 AUD and a digital collectors for $129.00, the same as retail box, now that is a ripoff, at least the $79.00 AUD is cheaper than the $99.00 it most likely will be in store.......


When it comes to hurting retail, I completely understand where you're coming from - but that is an utterly inevitable process which is generally independent of gaming products anyway. Retailers all over Australia are collapsing and closing down outlets, firing staff in droves and trying to change their business models. Books, cars, clothes, nothing is safe - and nor should it be.

Whether retailers like it or not, people are not willing to pay 50% more in a shop, when they could just order it online much cheaper. Gaming companies (and many electronic products distributors) have gotten around this for a long time by region locking their products (something which has recently been questioned as being potentially illegal in Australia) so one cannot import.

There is no excuse for it. If business models have to change, then too bad. Adapt or die - that's always been the rule of business.
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Ahaha, the "The sky will fall" posts always crack me up.

There are plenty of games that aren't regionally priced by devs who have decided not to price gouge.

Wat now?

This insulting attempt at justification is as bad as blaming it on country law, when the price is the same for NZ and AU, two separate countries with two separate laws.

Defense force - Making up nonsensical excuses for insulting practices since ages ago.

There is no reason, no justification, NONE barring the one that says "They do it because they can."

None.
Edited by Markuchi#1521 on 4/29/2012 5:44 PM PDT
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91 Blood Elf Priest
0
Posts: 88


When it comes to hurting retail, I completely understand where you're coming from - but that is an utterly inevitable process which is generally independent of gaming products anyway. Retailers all over Australia are collapsing and closing down outlets, firing staff in droves and trying to change their business models. Books, cars, clothes, nothing is safe - and nor should it be.

Whether retailers like it or not, people are not willing to pay 50% more in a shop, when they could just order it online much cheaper. Gaming companies (and many electronic products distributors) have gotten around this for a long time by region locking their products (something which has recently been questioned as being potentially illegal in Australia) so one cannot import.

There is no excuse for it. If business models have to change, then too bad. Adapt or die - that's always been the rule of business.


It totally agree with you, but there is a bigger picture here as well. How about i said it this way instead: Yes, you can have the same prices as the US, you can have all the cheap stuff in stores, but you will have to take a income cut at work to achieve this. Would you accept that?

In this case i sort of agree with OP, but as a general we have become a state that wants everything for nothing, but make plenty money. I am from Norway originally, we have one of the bet systems in the world, free medical, free dental, free hospital etc, rated #1 for living standards. People here in Australia have said to me that they want all that as well, they want the better social system. My rebuttal is then Sure, you can have that, just pay 40-50% tax as we do, and on top of that pay 24% GST and we got a deal.... the Answer to that is usually HELL NO, but i still want those things......

We have to some how get from a society that wants everything for next to nothing to a society that is willing to pay what something is worth. Farmers are going under because we want dirt cheap food. Personally i pay extra for local produce because it is better for me, and better for the community where i live....

Just saying....

Sorry for making this post a argument about social economics etc....
Edited by Stormcrack#1668 on 4/29/2012 11:26 PM PDT
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To summarise this discussion the reasons for charging ANZ more for the copies are:

1. Because they can.
2. Because no one is complaining, and if they are they will buy it anyway.
3. Because they want to sell more physical copies (help out the retailers)
4. Because it will hurt retail to undercut

So..

1. Possible.
2. Maybe... but im not sure I've seen anyone from US complaining about the price. - A quick google search only finds other non US residents complaining about the same thing.
3. Maybe but wouldn't blizzard-act would make more off digital copies. I'm not sure they care too much about AUS retail stores.
4. See point 3... also we are just talking about the digital version.
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Posts: 44
Guys....please. You're making us look stupid.

Look, yes, this is a fine definition...

"a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination."


...of general discrimination, the part that actually specfically defines it as "racism" is when it's discrimination based on race.

"Australian" is not a race. I can understand your passion, but you're using the wrong term.

However, this...

... the prices we pay 'in-store' are 'x' so they put it at the same price so as not to undercut them (? whether blizzard has some sort of agreement about fair trading in this regard) and at the same time make a tidy profit...


...is true, and therefore we shouldn't really be looking at Blizzard (or Funcom, or any game developer) and asking "Why are you trying to make a profit on your product?", but rather we should be looking at the Australian distributors and asking "why are you pricing unfairly?".

This enquiry is most definitely needed.
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Posts: 4,310
04/30/2012 05:15 AMPosted by panserbjorn
"Australian" is not a race. I can understand your passion, but you're using the wrong term.


This reminds me of a news article 2 months ago where an Australian who has been living in Britain for 27 years claims he got "racially abused" by British colleagues who constantly poked fun at him for being Aussie, saying things like "G'day sport" and other Aussie slang.

Australian is a nationality, not a race.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2106044/Australian-claims-racially-abused-colleagues-greeted-GDay-sport-takes-case-European-courts.html
Edited by Hypersonic#1142 on 4/30/2012 5:51 AM PDT
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Posts: 60
well i dont care what you think the correct term is. if they discriminate against us based on where we live do i call that regionism or countryism? nope. racism is really the only term that makes sense. in fact most people define it as racism if you discriminate based on country alone.... if you know a better word to use then by all means please share it.
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Posts: 4,310
04/30/2012 07:07 AMPosted by Hitman
well i dont care what you think the correct term is. if they discriminate against us based on where we live do i call that regionism or countryism? nope. racism is really the only term that makes sense. in fact most people define it as racism if you discriminate based on country alone.... if you know a better word to use then by all means please share it.


It's called price discrimination.

http://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/price_discrimination.asp

A pricing strategy that charges customers different prices for the same product or service. In pure price discrimination, the seller will charge each customer the maximum price that he or she is willing to pay. In more common forms of price discrimination, the seller places customers in groups based on certain attributes and charges each group a different price.


http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/price+discrimination

the practice of offering identical goods to different buyers at different prices, when the goods cost the same.


Racism? Completely missed the mark. The SMH article did in no way, shape or form even allude to racism.
Edited by Hypersonic#1142 on 4/30/2012 7:53 AM PDT
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90 Night Elf Druid
12135
Posts: 471
Physical copies I can understand them charging more for. Costs to replicate, box, ship and sell, with everyone one in between taking a cut will drive the price up. I think that is fair.

Charging more in different regions for digital purchases which costs the company virtually nothing to distribute? Blatent ripping off of customers.

I am glad this is taking place.
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Posts: 60
It's called price discrimination.


Thats 2 words and the definition is not specific to a country or region. Referring to the smh article - specifically the quote ''the Australia tax, the tax we pay just by being in Australia'' is the point I'm trying to make. Its 100% based on our location and nothing more.
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Posts: 4,310
04/30/2012 08:25 AMPosted by Hitman
It's called price discrimination.


Thats 2 words and the definition is not specific to a country or region. Referring to the smh article - specifically the quote ''the Australia tax, the tax we pay just by being in Australia'' is the point I'm trying to make. Its 100% based on our location and nothing more.


So what if it's two words, it's a general definition and the correct one. Geographic price discrimination is one form of it and this is exactly what is happening.

How does "the tax we pay just by being in Australia" constitute any form of racism? You seem to be misinterpreting that for "the tax we pay just by being an Australian". Discriminating against Australians is not racism unless you are targeting specific ethnic or racial groups like Aborigines and no one else.
Edited by Hypersonic#1142 on 4/30/2012 9:47 AM PDT
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Posts: 60
fine. if it worries you so much then replace racism with w/e word you want. some ppl cant see the general point and move forward at all...
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Posts: 4,310
04/30/2012 09:51 AMPosted by Hitman
fine. if it worries you so much then replace racism with w/e word you want. some ppl cant see the general point and move forward at all...


Pot, meet kettle?

I get what is going on here. You seem to be unable to accept the fact that there is nothing racist about US tech giants ripping us off.
Edited by Hypersonic#1142 on 4/30/2012 10:05 AM PDT
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Posts: 60
jeez mate. just w/e already - go internet warrior someone else who wants to continue a argument. u win ok?

please go annoy someone else now (or don't, and just continue to derail a thread which has merit).
Edited by Hitman#1360 on 4/30/2012 5:21 PM PDT
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Posts: 437
I totally agree with you, but there is a bigger picture here as well. How about i said it this way instead: Yes, you can have the same prices as the US, you can have all the cheap stuff in stores, but you will have to take a income cut at work to achieve this. Would you accept that?

In this case i sort of agree with OP, but as a general we have become a state that wants everything for nothing, but make plenty money. I am from Norway originally, we have one of the bet systems in the world, free medical, free dental, free hospital etc, rated #1 for living standards. People here in Australia have said to me that they want all that as well, they want the better social system. My rebuttal is then Sure, you can have that, just pay 40-50% tax as we do, and on top of that pay 24% GST and we got a deal.... the Answer to that is usually HELL NO, but i still want those things......

We have to some how get from a society that wants everything for next to nothing to a society that is willing to pay what something is worth. Farmers are going under because we want dirt cheap food. Personally i pay extra for local produce because it is better for me, and better for the community where i live....

Just saying....

Sorry for making this post a argument about social economics etc....


Again - I get where you're coming from, but don't entirely agree. High taxes to provide for 'essential' services is a tricky debate - but on an entirely separate subject.

Video games are a 'luxury' good in economic terms. We aren't talking about placing a burden on an entire population so that an 'essential' service may become cheaper/free for those that cannot afford it.

When certain production processes around the world became automated, many factory workers lost their jobs. Why? Because the automation of various processes made the process cheaper, and (arguably) much more efficient. Workers lose their jobs, products improve, due to technology gains.

Would it have been right to place a ban on automated machinery in factories, so as to save those workers their jobs - and a resulting higher price on all good produced? Of course not. It's sad that the workers lost their jobs, but that's life - sometimes technology makes certain jobs/industries entirely redundant.

Retail is heading in that direction. Companies are discovering that it is much cheaper to have a few warehouses around the world and sell everything online, than it is to have outlets at all major shopping centres, and staff for each of them.

In 25 or so years, chances are there won't be much in the way of retail in Australia (or many other developed countries) - virtually everything will be produced very cheaply in countries where wages are minimal, and shipped in response to online orders.

That is a natural process. It is ridiculous to allow companies to impose a 50% (or more) price increase on a digital download product - and retain the additional profit - to achieve a social outcome.

Even if the government wanted to achieve the social outcome that you are describing (which it is clear they don't - as they only just seem to be becoming aware of this now) - they should be imposing additional taxes on the products and retaining the excess 'profits' themselves - as opposed to Blizzard (or any other game company)!
Edited by Eternity#1586 on 4/30/2012 5:46 PM PDT
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