Friday, 18 January 2013

Green Man Gaming championing fair prices

Digital Gaming store Green Man Gaming is taking a stand against inflated prices being suffered by Australian consumers, with a special discount code created to neutralize what is now a widely recognized phenomena of price gouging perpetrated on Australian consumers.

Allegedly, they were forced by publisher 2K to raise their game prices for Australian consumers, and the reason seems obvious. Less competition and regulation of pricing in Australia has resulted in gamers being exploited and disrespected as consumers, in this blogger's opinion, and driving them to find bargains online.

The code, available on the cnet article and many other places, supposedly can be used (at the moment, on a small number of titles) on any game where price inflation for Australia is raising the price well and beyond what others are paying.

In 2011, Australian gamers circumvented price gouging on RPG title the Witcher 2, which was being sold on digital gaming store GoG (GoodOldGames), by selecting a different country of origin. This was not the fault of the company, which stated that it believed it was an invasion of privacy to send bots to determine someone's genuine country of origin, and that it was important to trust consumers- a worthy sentiment. This technique enabled Australian gamers to also receive the uncensored version, as the antiquated ratings law in Australia then forbade mature games. An R18+ does exist at the moment in most states in Australia, but is very recent, and its effects are yet to be seen.

Retailer explanations for the drastically increased Australian prices, in some cases almost twice what is paid overseas in countries with comparable currencies and standard of living, is the geographic isolation and small population of Australia. While these reasons could justify a small margin increase in Australian prices, it seems dubious that the severely bloated prices gamers in the technologically advanced country have to pay is due to these factors, and not other, more cynical ones.

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