Australia’s gotten the short end of the stick in game prices for years, but soon Aussie gamers will at last be able to purchase Steam games in their local currency. AUD support has been mentioned for ages, and the big shift is finally set to happen in just under a week.
We won’t know exactly what this means for pricing until AUD purchases go live on November 21, but a premature announcement of the switch on the Steam store offers a few details. Australian customers will be required to buy using local currency. Existing USD wallet balances will automatically be converted to AUD using whatever the exchange rate is at the time.
You can see that announcement on Steam. Valve has also been emailing developers reminders to set AUD prices ahead of the launch, as noted on the Steam forums. The company has provided recommendations for pricing, but it’s up to developers and publishers to set the specific amount. Since Australians will now be forced to pay AUD, if a publisher neglects to input an amount, that game will temporarily be unavailable for purchase there.
“Right now, games are available to purchase on Steam in Australia with USD, but are often more expensive compared to the price in USD throughout the rest of the world. Here’s some data: over the past year, we’ve found that the proportion of sales in Australia has been 21% higher for top-selling games that price at parity as compared to top-selling games that price above the worldwide USD price.”
Clearly, Valve is encouraging developers to price fairly for the AUD shift, and hopefully they’ll do so. The next Steam sale date coincides with the November 21 launch, so you’ll have plenty to buy no matter what currency you’re paying with. Stretch those dollars as best you can.