Steam has just made some dramatic adjustments to its pricing recommendations to developers which have seen some games in Argentina and Turkey increase by nearly 500%.
Regional pricing is a significant factor in Steam games pricing with many countries enjoying rock-bottom prices when earning power and exchange rates are taken into consideration. But headlines can be misleading and the media does like a dramatic front page. While some games may have increased by 485% in Argentina, while in Turkey, and some other countries many games are still significantly cheaper. Red Dead Redemption, for example, a AAA game from Rockstar, is priced at $29.99 in the USA and is still selling at $8.00 in Argentina and Turkey which is 73% below the base price in the USA. Russia, before sanctions were introduced, also enjoyed the same heavy discounts, so it’s fair to say that this move by Steam is simply a recommendation to game developers who may or may not implement the new policy because it’s not mandatory.
It could also be said that region swapping has a bearing on this, by customers accessing cheaper games through VPNs and changing their IP address to Argentina or Turkey. This is easily spotted by developers due to the total sales, which are often three to four times greater versus actual players from those countries.
On a personal note, I no longer buy games directly from Steam because if I use an Argentine credit/debit card, I get whacked with an additional 75% Argentine government tax which for me kills all Steam prices across the board, not to mention the matter of principle of not handing over my hard-earned cash to an inept and corrupt regime, but that’s another matter entirely.
In conclusion, this may well be a storm in a teacup because I’m sure that most developers would prefer a bird in the hand than two in the bush, and having done a quick check on some Steam games I’ve bought through third parties over the last eighteen months or so, barely any of them have increased in price.