Australians are being charged high prices for video games, official report

An official report released by the House of Representatives Infrastructure and Communications Committee in Australia suggests that Australians are being charged high prices for video games. This finding forms part of an inquiry into the prices of IT-related products in the country.

According to the report, the Australian consumer watchdog compared the prices of twenty recently released and new-release games sold on the website for EB games, a popular game store. It was found that only one game’s price was on par with the US version. The alarming thing is that most games were between 40% and 90% more expensive.

Steam games are no exception where some games are 200% to 300% more expensive in Australia! Ouch. The atrocity doesn’t end here, though. Apparently, digital games are so expensive in Australia that a physically imported copy actually turns out to be a cheaper purchase.

While the committee acknowledged several reasons why IT products can be expensive in Australia, they’ve said that “in many instances these higher costs cannot, even cumulatively, explain the price differences consumers experience in relation to many IT products, and especially those delivered via the internet.”

The good news is that the committee has put forward recommendations to deal with the issue, which include relaxing parallel import restrictions and amending the Copyright Act 1968.

To read the full report, click here.