Steam are paying more tax in ten countries, but it will be up to publishers to increase prices | PCGamesN

Steam are paying more tax in ten countries, but it will be up to publishers to increase prices

Is Steam too powerful?

Update February 23, 2017: Yesterday we reported that Steam's prices will rise across ten countries due to new tax jurisdictions. However, that's not necessarily the case.

In the email we saw, it showed the percentage increases across each country, but this tax amount will be included in the current prices of the games, meaning it will be the publishers taking a smaller cut, essentially. Of course, publishers could choose to up their prices because of this. 

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"The VAT tax amount will be included in the advertised price of your product, just like VAT is currently treated in the EU," say Valve. "This means the customer will pay the price displayed on the storefront, and the tax will be separated out afterwards."

Originally, we interpreted this paragraph as the tax change being reflected on the store, making it easier for the customer to see the new price without worrying about tax charges after. However, it means the take will just be a bigger chunk of the existing price. 

Thanks to Josh Bishop, managing director of Brightrock Games, for pointing out this inaccuracy. 

Original Story February 22, 2017: Beginning in March, Valve are upping Steam’s prices across ten different countries to comply with new tax jurisdictions regarding sales tax on digital goods and services. 

Steam partners were sent an email about the change today, listing the following countries for March 2017: 

  • New Zealand  - 15%
  • Switzerland - 8%
  • South Korea - 10%
  • Japan - 8%
  • Iceland - 24%
  • South Africa - 14%
  • India  - 15%

In April, Serbia will see a 20% rise in prices. Taiwan will get a 5% increase in May. Australia will see a 10% hike in July. 

There might be time to panic buy some games in a sale before then, you never know. The extra tax will be included in each game’s price on Steam to make things more readable for buyers. 

“We expect to add other individual countries over the course of 2017-2018, depending on applicable law,” said Valve in the email sent to developers, verified by PCGamesN. 

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llubtoille avataret operiet ipsos formido avatarDean478 avatarNihlusGreen avatar
llubtoille Avatar
1 Year ago

Makes sense.

This will likely hurt steam more than anyone as they shouldn't be making anything off the increased prices, while still pushing customers towards other options (3rd party key-traders, retail, going without).

et operiet ipsos formido Avatar

This is a response to rising sales taxes on _all_ digital distributors, right? It shouldn't impact Steam any more than it impacts all other digital distributors in those jurisdictions. Essentially, should still be status quo as far as market dominance goes.

llubtoille Avatar
1 Year ago

Probably, though there's always the element of the consumer saying 'sure, I live in this low-tax region'.

I recall with 3ds, it allowed me to pick from a list of regions with the tax rate stated beside each XD

Steam is a bit trickier to dupe than that I believe.

Dean478 Avatar
1 Year ago

10% hike on top of the already absurdly overpriced games that are still being charged in USD.

This is a joke.

Most premium new release titles cost $20-30 AUD more on Steam than they do for physical retail copies.... which have always included GST.

This digital price gouging business apparently knows no bounds. And they wonder why our piracy stats are exceeding the rest of the world.

I wonder why.

NihlusGreen Avatar
NihlusGreen(18 hours played)
1 Year ago

Will definitely be shopping around more, GMG and direct from developers etc.

Bethesda titles are shockingly priced on Steam for Australia.