European Commission Seeks to End Regional Pricing on Digital Purchases

Smygskytt

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008Zulu said:
It won't mean censorship. It will mean a unified price structure.
I am very much fearing that it will do just that. Germany, like Australia for the Anglophone world, is universally lauded for it´s quixotic moral crusade against violent games. That is because the Germans themselves believe in the Sondererweg - The theory that Germans are the only evil people on the planet, and must be preserved from bad influences.

Steven Bogos said:
European Commission Seeks to End Regional Pricing on Digital Purchases


"The Digital Single Market initiative seeks to provide an unfettered European market for digital goods and services across all its 28 member states,"

"Simplified and modern rules for online and digital cross-border purchases will encourage more businesses to sell online across borders and further develop digital markets such as games," the commission added."
This quote could be interpreted to mean that those standards will be expanded across the rest of my world. I do not think that there will be a pan-EU ban on violent games. what is likelier that publishers will be forced to only sell one edition in the whole EU, and since none of the publishers wants to miss on the German market, we will all play the watered down sauerkraut editions.
 

Adeptus Aspartem

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How is it hard to justify regional pricing? There are gaps in wealth between countries. If everyone has to pay the same relative price they all have to pay a diffrent nominal price. It's really friggin simple.

And jeah, there are cases where it gets used wrongly, but that doesn't make the system inherently flawed on all levels. And alot of people in this thread already voiced the reasons multiple times already.
 

MetalDooley

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Steven Bogos said:
Regional pricing was one of those things that made sense back in the days of physical goods - as companies had to pay extra costs to psychically ship things to foreign countries
Yeah those psychics are pretty high maintenance so I guess it justified the price differences:)

I don't see this as a bad thing tbh.Stuff in Ireland generally tends to be a bit more expensive than the UK so if this lowers prices even slightly then great(it probably won't though as they'll find some other way to screw us over)
 

RealRT

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Steven Bogos said:
As an Australian, who has felt the sting of regional pricing [https://www.steamprices.com/au/search/?preset=unfair] ever since I started gaming, I only have good things to say about this proposal and really hope similar ones are put in place all over the world.
As a Russian, to whom regional pricing was a saving grace, I have nothing but bad things to say about such a hope, especially considering how our currency was struggling (to say the least) for the last year or so. There are two sides to this coin, you know.
 

mrverbal

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By getting rid of regional pricing, they're not talking about making the EU region one region instead of N, they're talking about preventing game makers gouging the EU compared to the US.

If a game is 30 USD, it should be (subject to local taxes) 30 USD everywhere.

Regularly in australia a game will be 90-100 bucks when it is (adjusted for exchange rate) more fairly priced at 40-50.
 

Doom972

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So instead of some countries getting lower prices, every European country gets the maximum price? I don't see how any consumer benefits from this.
 

somonels

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For those of you who don't really get why this is a 'thing' I'll point two examples in the context of steam. Publishers like Deep Silver and a few others had been pushing some eastern european countries, baltics, as part of the russian free trade zone region. There have been also rumored where those countries have been limited to accessing and trading steam codes within the russian region.

The second is a tier system wherein the EU was divided in two zones, there used to be three, with different prices. This did not mean that certain countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain or the Vatican City (We?re sure the pope is happy), now including the baltics; got games for cheaper. It was quite common to pay full price or more for games and not have the random discounts that T1 had.

But this isn't really a directed towards games/steam, because gamers/gaming holds almost no political sway, but slightly more bastardly companies like Microsoft, Adobe.

mrverbal said:
By getting rid of regional pricing, they're not talking about making the EU region one region instead of N, they're talking about preventing game makers gouging the EU compared to the US.
You are mistaken on that. The proposal would force companies to gouge the european trade union only as a single whole, companies will continue to do it even if it'll prevent the consumers of less wealthy EU countries to obtain it legally. Because they don't have money anyway so nobody cares.

erbkaiser said:
Ugh. Just what we need... German prices and German censorship laws across all of Europe because the (non-elected, non-democratic) EC wants to force Ein Volk, Ein Union, Ein Euro?
That has little to do with it. Alterations for the german censors are legally a matter of localization, not service.

sites used: steamprices, steamunpowered.
 

Riotguards

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sounds good but kinda wish it also had something about preventing additional profit being made over solid products (i.e. less costs in producing CD's, cases, manuals, etc)
 

General Torg

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I thought they changed prices to help stop piracy. Although that wouldn't explain why the Aussies are getting screwed all the time.
 

OldNewNewOld

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RicoADF said:
Regional pricing should be outright banned, punishable with billions of dollars in fines. It's ridiculous and discriminatory.
Hell even capcha can see how stupid it is:
Captcha- flat out
lol
No, it shouldn't. It should be regulated heavily.
Best example would be Germany and Poland. I buy games from Polish key reselling sites because the games are waaaaaaay overpriced for my region and the Polish prices are somewhat more reasonable, but even then overpriced.
If they regulated the regional prices in a way that makes sense (poorer regions have cheaper prices), it would be actually a good thing. You can't expect someone from my region to have the same shopping power as someone from Germany, Switzerland or Norway (yet my country is placed in the same pool as Germany on Steam). My country has a 10 times lower average salary, combined with the fact that the average salary is heavily inflated thanks to politicians having insane pay checks, a selected few earning almost everything while the rest is far below the average, yeah... I think you get the picture.

What the EU is trying to accomplish sound noble and good, but it's quite the opposite. Rather than Steam lowering the prices for every other region, it will just increase the prices for Poland and other cheaper regions, effectively killing the only legal source of video games for a lot of us.
 

TallanKhan

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Abomination said:
What'll happen? German consumers will pay 10% less, Polish consumers will end up paying 50% more because there's far more profitability out of the German market by comparison.
Wishful thinking, I suspect we will find that the highest price across the block gets rolled out across the rest. Simply put, the profit margins involved would mean it would be more cost effective for platforms to effectively abandon poorer countries in order to maintain their profits in richer countries.
 

MonsterCrit

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How this will play out in reality. Publishers will simply base the price off the highest region. Glad I'm not in the EU states. No matter what way that decision goes... there is some region that's gonna see their game prices jacked up. Never mind that one reason for higher regional prices is partially due to regional distribution agreements on physical copies. I.e standards caveat with regional distributors is that the publisher is not allowed to sell directly to the customer at a price lower than the given MSRP. In fact they are encouraged to sell just a little above that.

Many digital games are still sold with physical copies. And the physical retailers need some protection otherwise they really aren't going to bother taking on the risk of buying inventory. There's also the other simple fact that producing a game for some regions is simply more expensive than others, for example, germany has some interesting censorship laws that many other eu states don't have. Thusly the german version needs to be retouched which is a time/money cost. The solution would be to simply create a version that would pass the censorship of all the 28 eu states. Think about that and let it gel in your mind . Imagine what kind of version of say... Wolfenstein would pass snuff of all 28 eu states equally. And yeah that's what you're gonna get. If you thought you had censorship neutering stuff before oh brutha you ain't seen nothing yet.
 

cikame

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I see an issue, prices for games in the UK are usually higher than they are in America, this proposal only seeks to match pricing across Europe, i realise that is their only jurisdiction but could publishers respond by saying "ok we'll abide by this ruling, games are now the same high price across the whole of europe, thank you"?