Valve appeals to EU sanctions for geo-blocking

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Aug 30, 2019.

  1. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    A game costs a certain amount of money to develop, market/distribute (advertise, CEO's new yacht, etc), and maintain (patches, possible servers, etc). It doesn't particularly matter how much money the game studio gets from an individual gamer, all that matters is how much money they get in total in a reasonable time to turn investment into profit. Sometimes the basic game isn't even profitable at all and profits come from those detestable microtransactions (if it's a free game to download but then you can pay to win, it goes without saying). So, the final price of the game everywhere or only in certain markets is merely something to calculate mathematically to figure out how to make profit in the end. You can't really say how big a portion of the final unit price is the game's value, per se. Sometimes it might pay off to sell a game cheaply somewhere or sometimes just to get a big playerbase, which in itself would work as advertisement. Plus if it's a regular game with DLC/microtransactions, the people who paid less for the basic game might still later invest more in it.

    This is quite different compared to cars, where every unit has a strict lower price limit because the materials, work, and transportation of a large, complicated physical object simply cost a lot. Especially a digitally distributed game, however, doesn't really have such costs, unless the store platform (Steam, etc) dictates a minimum amount to its share.
     
  2. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    It is no different. Fair approach is to set same global price. Because there are, and will be always people who want them but can't afford those games for whatever reason.

    Family that has certain income in EU that's exactly same amount of money in RU will hand their child same amount of money for games.

    And that means if given income family in EU gives $120 to child for games in a year, child will get two $60 AAA games. In RU child in same income family gets same $120, buys same two games for total $80 and uses remaining $40 to buy third.
    Just because there are more rich people in EU does not mean that our lower income families should be exploited more than those in RU or anywhere else!!!

    And same applies in opposite direction. Why should higher income class in RU get things cheaper than same income group in EU/US/...
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  3. TieSKey

    TieSKey Master Guru

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    I can't tell u if a game price in the EU or USA is fair or not or if steam is getting a big cut or not, but here in Argentina steam regional prices lowers a 20 USA $ game to 6 USA $.
    As much as I hate monopolies/oligopolies, the price difference is that huge, and I doubt the game devs would care to sell the game to us for that price if it weren't for steam making it almost automatic.

    Second, I really doubt game studios and the damn publishers take into account sales in our "third world" countries to decide if the investment is worth it or not, I think we are just an "extra" income that otherwise would be lost to piracy.

    Last, there's rich people in every country but while minimum wage in the US is 10 $/hr (last I checked), here it is 1,25 $/hr (both in US dollars), and average monthly income is around 400.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  4. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    Fair? It's business. They have calculated and tested these things.
     

  5. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    It hardly matters if your average income is 1/2 of ours. If I took your average person that has same income as great many in our country, moved it here, they would have to pay full price as our family with same income. If we take our low income family, they have smaller income than your average family, but still have to pay full price while your country does not.

    So, yes system of regional prices is broken and in this case I stand with EU even while their reason for doing that is quite different than would be mine.
    They have two acceptable choices. Price games based on family income with adjustment to number of family members that are fed from given income.
    Or set same price to everyone.

    Because It pisses people off if they come to bar and they are asked to pay twice as much just because they are from different country. It is discrimination.
     
  6. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    Has nothing do with Scam Its up to each publisher.
    Has more to do with Steam Keys Reseller and them making a hugh amount profit by buying super cheap by resell in high value area and if where make it fair play this is where we see the price sky rocket where a typical $60 dollar game in USA will end costing even way more in other county it not same when we had physical media.
    Like here in our USA housing cost just 1 bedroom will set you back $600 to over $3000 depend where you live and then there are run down places which are a bit cheaper but end up with slumlord who doesn't fix anything, it is so out control it ain't funny.

    What dose need to change if you bought the game in another country and put on your account and move to another country I do believe this where the problem lies
    Then are those with VPN they should be able to combat
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
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  7. fOrTy_7

    fOrTy_7 Master Guru

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    EU commission doesn't give a crap about your civil rights. They going after high-tech companies to get more revenue from taxes, and therefore increase EU Union budget to fight illegal migration and bad economy in rich countries.

    Removing geo-lock will only hit legitimate customers in less wealthy countries and game developers (lower overall sales).
    Those people who pirate games or use VPN to buy a key for cheaper price will still do that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2019
  8. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    Your for getting about the Steam Key Reseller who buying then up at low cost then turn around and resell for a hugh profits as much 90% you can't have you cake with icing and eat it to that way as that not only hurts the publishers but valve to in long run.
     
  9. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    But it is the law that within EU no Geo blocking should take place.
    So if for instance someone or a company in Germany buys a game in Poland for a really cheap price , he should be able to activate it in Germany or sell them without any problems.
    Valve thinks its above the law though, so it needs to be reminded from time to time how things really are.


    That doesnt work like that. There is free trading in EU. you can easily buy that porsche in a different country if you are unable to afford it in your own country.
    That is what the free trading is about. it will stimulate sales and better the economy.
     
  10. D3M1G0D

    D3M1G0D Ancient Guru

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    Yup. Geo-blocking goes against the idea of the EU and is clearly illegal. I have no idea why they're trying to appeal this - they should just accept the outcome and take their lumps.
     
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  11. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    But Porsche will not sell same model in other country for 1/2 of price they do here. In business where company values its products, they set pricing, and have it worldwide + import fees and taxes per region/country.
    It is called luxury product. If anyone regardless region/country can't afford it, they will not care. Or do you think you can go to some poor country and buy cheap gold bricks there?

    No, because there are no double standards. But digitally distributed games have double standards and discriminate some regions.
     
  12. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    I'm sure that will change and then you have nobody to blame for higher prices but your self when all within EU countries get same price that what will most likely what will happen bear in mind it not same as with physical good going the other way round.
    But digitally distributed need have one standards and not discriminate any of poor country regions as there doing this out of kindness of there heart for all player World Wide base on market valve for those countries no matter where you live.
     
  13. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    No way Porsche will sell a car in a really poor country to start with, it makes no sense if people have no money. So lowering price does not matter in this case.
    Fact is that within the EU there is a price difference between countries in every product and there are no import fees and additional taxes within the EU.
    EU is applying rules to internet sales as well. shops like aliexpress will need to comply to EU standards. right now they sell products that are illegal.
    I think its a good thing they do, there is a long history to get this kind of quality of life, and its a waste to throw it all away.
     
  14. WhiteLightning

    WhiteLightning Don Illuminati Staff Member

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    Well the EU is created to form a block of multiple countries against world economy powers like China or USA. this is not about poor countries that are not apart of EU.
    Im sure Valve needs to bend over , and follow EU's law if they want to do sales. its like the borg in star trek.

    We are the EU. Lower your geo blocks and surrender your prices. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us.
     
  15. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    Yep, new Cayenne is some 260 Euro cheaper in Germany than here. But they have 2% lower VAT. It is understandable that getting cars to some countries is harder, therefore they are more expensive. But neighboring countries have generally similar prices unless different geopolitical rules apply to them.

    But back to games.
    If you take scale of people (based on income) who here buy given game for $60. And scale of people who buy them elsewhere for $40 (again based on income).
    There is overlap where poorer people in $60 country have lower income that richer part of $40 country.

    This means that poorer people in one region are asked to pay more than richer people in another.
    Nobody will ever persuade me that this is right.
    - - - -
    And I understand stance of some members who generally benefit from this dual standard. But "nobody" stood for different smaller groups of people in Germany 80 years ago too.
    People should at least acknowledge that it is wrong even if they do not take action. Because next time they may be on damaged side...
     
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  16. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    I guest we have to wait and see what happen and may you end on damaged side of thing.
     
  17. Kaarme

    Kaarme Ancient Guru

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    It's not about the poorest people and richest people at all. It's about the middle class of the particular country, where the vast majority of potential customers lie. The prices are adjusted to their average income if they are adjusted at all. A game studio won't be expecting a poor family with barely enough money for basic necessities will be buying lots of new games. The rich would pay any price, but they haven't got the numbers since a person typically only buys a single copy, rich or not rich. The poor in a wealthy country will suffer as collateral damage and the rich in the poor country will benefit on the side. It's a compromise like great many things in life.
     
  18. SHS

    SHS Master Guru

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    Except even richer people of the particular country are the considered middle class or even lower to you which mean you judging them.
    There income are way diff hell even where I live in US you see all kind diff from one state to next state especially in california there are lot homeless that have full time job that no joke that are considered middle class income folk but yet they can't even afford a place because of sky high cost of living and many of then work in silicon valley area living out there car, van, camper or rv hell even just a tent on the street.
     
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  19. Fox2232

    Fox2232 Ancient Guru

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    It is not compromise, it is unfair discrimination for sake of maximizing revenue. It is basically saying that if you are from given group of people you have to pay more.
    Imagine that there would be some local store in your country that would ask you and everyone else to pay differently depending on country of their origin.

    Do you know what would happen here? Their business would be removed by government in eyeblink. It is illegal here to behave like that.
    Thinking that it is OK because it is done on large scale is rather comparable to:
    "Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god."
     
  20. The Laughing Ma

    The Laughing Ma Ancient Guru

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    Says a lot doesn't it, a series of publishers have been caught along side Valve breaking the law with regard to region locking. The publishers put their hands up and say yup we've been caught we'll take the punishment. Only Valve is arrogant enough to think it is above the law and fight it. I very rarely go for what the EU says as they are for the most part a bunch of meddling tosspots but in this case I hope they throw not only the book but the entire libary at Valve.

    Remember Steam was pushed by Valve themselves as the future of PC Gaming the service that would allow you to play YOUR (note the word YOUR ) from anywhere but I guess that's only if you never move country. This future is being treated as something from the bad old day's of PAL and NTSC region locked consoles and games where prices were set not only because of the localisation involved in converting the games but because of factors such as, distribution by country costs, physical media production costs, storage costs, local business and seller costs. Factors that simply do not exist for a game bought on a Digital Distribution service in the 21st centuray.

    Does it cost Valve more per bit for me to download the game here in the UK than if I bought it in Russia? I guess it must cost more for them to store the game on their servers if I am buying it in the UK?

    I could perhaps throw them a bone and say that regional VAT and taxation charges would account for some price variances but I am willing to bet that like all big gaming companies they have any number of lawyers and underhanded douchebags finding every and any loophole that means they pay next to nothing in taxation.

    2019 their is simply no excuse for the widely varying prices of a digital copy of a game bought on a store front that can be accessed by anyone with a computer and a copy of Steam.
     

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