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MIK0

Broken Age unfair price on GOG

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As many of you know, today GOG made another big step into greatness adding drm free movies the catalogue. At the same time they improved their policy about fair price adding local currency to help users in paying the way the want. However it also changed the number of games that doesn't use fair price and charge you more depending on the place you live. GOG offers a sort of compensation giving you back some money as store credits (before they where coupons) but that's not enough and it's not fair.

I find out that Broken Age now has regional price too, and I find it strange as I believe they where against this kind of things. They also publish the games themself so I don't understand why they are charging people differently. I remember that years ago DF stepped back about the price of Costume Quest on steam because they didn't know that Valve push regional prices and corrected the issue. This time however it's difficult to think they weren't aware as GOG push the other way to avoid regional prices and you have to actively ask of regional price to make that happen.

http://www.gog.com/game/broken_age

Please, change your mind.

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Hmm, always try to look at things from different angles, in this case use proxies.

It's another -1 on DF's recent stack. GOG tries to compensate for most of it (*1) at least this time but as soon as local markets and different currencies are involved these things are very unlikely to be exactly the same anymore. Not many have the balls or the interest to charge exact or reasonable prices. Maybe Justin Bailey would be the right person to talk to.

*1

BUY ITEMADD TO CART €22.99

Get €4.00 back in Store Credit for any future purchase! Due to the regional pricing this item comes with a Fair Price Package.

Includes DRM-free item & Money Back Guarantee! Learn more.

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Hey there!

We are participating in GOGs program adding local currency. But doing so means there's not an option currently for real pricing like there is on Steam. We've asked for this feature to be added but there's no ETA yet.

Best,

Justin

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Hey there!

We are participating in GOGs program adding local currency. But doing so means there's not an option currently for real pricing like there is on Steam. We've asked for this feature to be added but there's no ETA yet.

Best,

Justin

Adding local currency means that customers could pay in their currency not the they pay differently.

GOG is doing currency conversion to give freedom to the customers to pay in their currency to avoid conversion fee by their credit card company and make it easy to understand how much you pay. You can still choose to pay in USD instead of your local currency. The conversion is made as it is and rounded to a more suitable number by GOG (if you chose your currency) or by your credit card company if you pay in usd like always. The purpose is not to make customers pay more.

You just need to simply set one price in usd and let GOG do the conversion for you. That's what GOG is trying to push, one price, eventually converted to different currency.

GOG has real pricing, where you set local price. That's what you did with broken age. But that's an option GOG allowed to keep shady company/publisher in their catalogue that otherwise wouldn't do that. It's not mandatory if you are honest with your customer. Regional prices are marks of shame.

As you can see Costume Quest on GOG has a fair price. You pay the same in every currency.

Broken Age does not. Its price is set differently for each currency so for example european pay 5$ more. For nothing. That's why GOG is giving back that difference in store credit, to amend for bad company policy. But you really wish to be remembered as a company that screw their users and be unfair to them? I hope no.

And to be clear, on steam your price are unfair too. You charge about 30% more to european users.

What you are doing there is not real pricing, is changing the currency simbol while keeping the numeric value the same. How can this even be fair or honest? It's only being greedy masking it with the easiest way to make a (wrong) conversion.

But even on steam you could choose fair prices.

I remember that some time ago you changed a price of one of your game to a better one because someone made you notice that the price suggested by steam was unfair (as always, they invented 1:1 conversion after all) and you weren't aware. But now you are, so you are doing it on purpose and have no excuse for that.

I understand that this is normally a problem when you have a publisher that set the price, but you own your ip so you should be able to avoid this shady practice.

Please reconsider.

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Totally agree with Miko.. What Greg and Double Fine are calling "Real Pricing" is actually rip off pricing because you live in a different part of the World... It disappoints me greatly (sadly one of many things with Double Fine recently) that they cannot accept that in the digital world everyone should pay for one price Worldwide, and that is the only just and fair option a company should adopt. I hope that GOG will remain true to their fair vision... and I hope Double Fine seriously looks within themselves, of what company they are trying to portray, and what many are seeing them becoming in recent years.

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The problem with single price for all regions is.. well, not a single problem, but the one you find in most of the "western" world: The majority of countries have some form of value added tax, VAT. And in the US there is sales tax. Which I believe depends on both the seller and the buyer's location, so it's not relevant for GOG. But if you price a game at $50 in the US, and use a straight currency conversion, then that game will actually only give $40 income for the store in some countries because there is a VAT of up to 25% on gross price, so 20% of net price. So, the fair pricing model is actually unfair on the seller. And depending on what type of contract the retailer has with the publisher or developer, that can mean either the publisher, developer or retailer get a 20% reduced revenue stream from those buyers. If we say GOG had a 20% margin on a set price from a publisher, that means that GOG will get no portion of that sale whatsoever. Now, I know nothing about what kind of contracts GOG actually has with publishers, or where that 20% hit in revenue will end up, but I can guarantee that it will hurt SOMEBODY in all of this, straight in the wallet. Now for old games by huge publishers, that is of little importance, game has already paid for itself, any further sales are pure profit. But for GOG as well as for smaller publishers and indie devs, that can actually hurt.

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The problem with single price for all regions is.. well, not a single problem, but the one you find in most of the "western" world: The majority of countries have some form of value added tax, VAT. And in the US there is sales tax. Which I believe depends on both the seller and the buyer's location, so it's not relevant for GOG. But if you price a game at $50 in the US, and use a straight currency conversion, then that game will actually only give $40 income for the store in some countries because there is a VAT of up to 25% on gross price, so 20% of net price. So, the fair pricing model is actually unfair on the seller. And depending on what type of contract the retailer has with the publisher or developer, that can mean either the publisher, developer or retailer get a 20% reduced revenue stream from those buyers. If we say GOG had a 20% margin on a set price from a publisher, that means that GOG will get no portion of that sale whatsoever. Now, I know nothing about what kind of contracts GOG actually has with publishers, or where that 20% hit in revenue will end up, but I can guarantee that it will hurt SOMEBODY in all of this, straight in the wallet. Now for old games by huge publishers, that is of little importance, game has already paid for itself, any further sales are pure profit. But for GOG as well as for smaller publishers and indie devs, that can actually hurt.

If you sell a game in a particular market you should expect to gain less per piece due to tax. That's something the publisher should understand. It's not the customer to make up for that and you also cannot mask it using the different money value per country as often happens. Also, usually, the regional price never reflect taxes on that product. The above case is an example, that 30% difference is more than the tax eventually applied to that product.

There are publisher with no issue in using the same price for everyone so I don't understand why they cannot do the same.

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Actually, most of the big publishers have their pricing set to account for local tax in the big regions. The other factor they usually correct for is personal buying power in that region. One of the reasons it's not uncommon for $=€ in stores (whether digital or physical) is that taxes and currency conversion in that case have been roughly cancelling each other out recently. Except of course that when they calculate eurozone prices they calculate on the highest VAT everywhere. Why the £ price is on average a bit worse is not something that can be explained by other arguments than "we can get away with it for the most part", though. Likewise for Australian pricing which often ends up being the worst. I recall reading an article about how a game was sold at a 161% markup in Australia, and even then that was a censored version!

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If you sell a game in a particular market you should expect to gain less per piece due to tax. That's something the publisher should understand. It's not the customer to make up for that and you also cannot mask it using the different money value per country as often happens.

It is absolutely the customers responsibility to pay the extra money when products are sold in different regions under different tax systems. The customers live in the country they're buying from. The citizens of that country voted for a government which imposed these taxes, be they VAT or tariffs or whatever else and so they should pay the tax, not foreign companies. The customer is the only one with the power to vote to have the tax code changed.

Doublefine is based in the US. Its employees live, work, vote, and pay taxes in the US. Why should a developer or publisher subsidize the taxes of foreign citizens? It is absolutely irresponsible for consumers to expect to 'pass on' the tax burden to foreign sellers, something about 'taxation with representation...'

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If you sell a game in a particular market you should expect to gain less per piece due to tax. That's something the publisher should understand. It's not the customer to make up for that and you also cannot mask it using the different money value per country as often happens.

It is absolutely the customers responsibility to pay the extra money when products are sold in different regions under different tax systems. The customers live in the country they're buying from. The citizens of that country voted for a government which imposed these taxes, be they VAT or tariffs or whatever else and so they should pay the tax, not foreign companies. The customer is the only one with the power to vote to have the tax code changed.

Doublefine is based in the US. Its employees live, work, vote, and pay taxes in the US. Why should a developer or publisher subsidize the taxes of foreign citizens? It is absolutely irresponsible for consumers to expect to 'pass on' the tax burden to foreign sellers, something about 'taxation with representation...'

I express my point using a poor wording.

What I meant is that if you sell your product in a market that has a certain taxation, the purchasing power of the customer base is reduced.

So you should expect to gain less. Also you choose that market, you also should share the taxation problem.

However different price are used in different market. That's why russian pay less for example.

They don't fix an equal price for everyone and apply taxes based on the country like they should.

What actually happen is that they earn the most from country with high taxation, masking it.

Even with a VAT of 22% (really bad), euro country should still pay less due to USD/EUR conversion. This doesn't happen. They are charged more.

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It is absolutely the customers responsibility to pay the extra money when products are sold in different regions under different tax systems.

[...]

It is absolutely irresponsible for consumers to expect to ‘pass on’ the tax burden to foreign sellers...

It is not the customers' responsibility to ensure that a company gets equal amounts of profit everywhere.

Fair pricing is however one of GOG's core values.

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It is absolutely the customers responsibility to pay the extra money when products are sold in different regions under different tax systems. The customers live in the country they're buying from. The citizens of that country voted for a government which imposed these taxes, be they VAT or tariffs or whatever else and so they should pay the tax, not foreign companies. The customer is the only one with the power to vote to have the tax code changed.
The VAT system does not work that way. The burden of paying tax must always lie on the receiver of the payment, any other system is unworkable in practice - tax payment lies solely on the entity that closest deals with the customer. However, this entity, whether it is a foreign company or a local one, can of course in effect pass the cost on depending on their agreements with their suppliers, whether those be publishers, developers or other entities.

VAT must by law in most countries that use VAT systems be included in the list price of the product. That means that sellers have one option to lay the paying of that tax on the consumers: Increase list price to compensate. And if you deal with Europe as a single zone, then you have varying VAT payments you need to pay as part of that. Some stores simply use the highest VAT and get a little more from those customers that are on lower VATs. Other stores actually have a local VAT in the buying screen with a lower end cost for the consumer, thus costumers in lower VAT areas actually pay less than the list price.

Doublefine is based in the US. Its employees live, work, vote, and pay taxes in the US. Why should a developer or publisher subsidize the taxes of foreign citizens? It is absolutely irresponsible for consumers to expect to 'pass on' the tax burden to foreign sellers, something about 'taxation with representation...'
The tax is always to be paid by somebody. If you as seller desire same price across countries with differing VATs, then you need to either take the tax hit yourself, take it out of the payment you pass along to your suppliers, or you increase the price so that it's effectively the consumer that pays it (guess which option will be taken?). Who takes the monetary hit of course depends on contracts and store decisions regarding pricing model. And if you don't want to pay tax for selling to people from a certain country, then you need to not sell to consumers in that country, it's that simple. (Amazon digital sales is an example of a company that has decided that the tax is too complicated to deal with correctly, so they don't sell to lots of countries. ARGH!)

The tax lies on the transaction of the sale - suppliers such as developers don't have any need to deal with it. Sellers do, however. How it's dealt with from the seller's side is dependent on their pricing model, payment solution and their contracts with suppliers.

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