• Welcome to TechPowerUp Forums, Guest! Please check out our forum guidelines for info related to our community.

Does anyone understand Steam's regional pricing?

Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
780 (0.59/day)
Location
Buenos Aires, Argentina
System Name Ryzen Monster
Processor Ryzen 5 2600X
Motherboard Asus ROG Crosshair Hero VII WiFi
Cooling Corsair H100i RGB Platinum
Memory Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4x8GB) 2400Mhz
Video Card(s) Asus ROG Strix RX580 OC 8Gb
Storage 250Gb Samsung EVO SSD, OCZ 500Gb SSD WD M.2 500Gb, plus three spinners up to 1.5Tb
Display(s) Samsung C27F591 curved monitor 27" with FreeSync
Case Cooler Master Storm Trooper
Audio Device(s) Supreme FX on board
Power Supply Corsair RM850X full modular
Mouse AFX LMO216
Keyboard Corsair Strafe RGB Silent
Software Windows 10 x64 Start 10
Benchmark Scores 3DMark Time Spy 4532
From what I've read on Steam community forums and numerous articles, it's up to the devs what prices are set for games on Steam. On the other hand, some are suggesting that Steam has its own pricing algorithm which they suggest to devs/publishers, but are not mandatory, so to speak.
That algorithm is said to be based on each region's cost of living index and is directly related to monthly income and purchasing power, although I can't find any evidence to back that up. Getting Valve to comment on matters such as this is almost impossible.
According to PC Gamer in 2014, Russian gamers weren't using credit cards so much to buy games and instead buying physical versions in actual shops. Then Steam introduced a local payment system for Russia in 2011 where you could pay cash through a kiosk (as per Arg). But Steam games still remain the cheapest in Russia, even today, with it's purchasing power listed as less than Argentina.
The reason I don't understand their regional pricing are the fluctuations, but more importantly, the relation of price vs the aforementioned purchasing power per region. For example, Gears 5 is on pre-purchase at Steam and is due for release on 9th September with a base price of US$60. Many Steam gamers from South America are complaining that the equivalent USD price of around (depending on ex rate) $52 for say Argentina is far too steep. At first, I thought this was simply whinging until I looked at Steamdb and found that the price in Turkey and Russia is around $15 -$17 and the price for more developed countries such as S. Korea and Hong Kong are less than say Argentina, Mexico or Colombia.
Having said all that, if you look at the worldwide cost of living index, you'll see that there is some correlation, but there are also some pretty wild discrepancies if that index is taken as the yardstick.
Then I looked at Cyberpunk 2077 where the base purchase price is US$60, yet Argentina's price (I'm only using Arg as an example of a low-income country) is US$39.20 at a rate of exchange of AR$56. I'm also led to believe that the rate of exchange to the US$ is set on the day of publishing, but how often that is changed, I can't be certain.
I'm not an economist by any means and am just curious as to how Steam prices are arrived at. My curiosity was originally piqued when I started picking up games on Steam for bargain prices and I wondered why that was the case.
The more I look into it, the less sense it makes, although I'm inclined to think that many publishers are ignoring Steam's so-called algorithm, with Gears 5 from X Box Studios being a good example.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2007
Messages
11,569 (2.62/day)
System Name Pioneer
Processor Intel i9 9900k @ Stock
Motherboard ASRock Z390 Taichi
Cooling Noctua NH-D15 + A whole lotta Sunon and Corsair Maglev blower fans...
Memory G.SKILL TridentZ Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 @ DDR4-3400 14-14-14-34-2T
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 1080 FTW2
Storage HGST UltraStar 7K6000 3.5" HDD 2TB 7200 RPM (w/128MBs of Cache)
Display(s) LG 32GK850G-B 1440p 32" AMVA Panel G-Sync 144hz Display
Case Thermaltake Core X31
Audio Device(s) Onboard Toslink to Schiit Modi Multibit to Asgard 2 Amp to AKG K7XX Ruby Red Massdrop Headphones
Power Supply Seasonic PRIME 750W 80Plus Titanium
Mouse ROCCAT Kone EMP
Keyboard WASD CODE 104-Key w/ Cherry MX Green Keyswitches, Doubleshot Vortex PBT White Transluscent Keycaps
Software Windows 10 x64
You are allowed to ignore steams region pricing suggestions and set your own per region prices, is my understanding from my brief time working as a game dev.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
780 (0.59/day)
Location
Buenos Aires, Argentina
System Name Ryzen Monster
Processor Ryzen 5 2600X
Motherboard Asus ROG Crosshair Hero VII WiFi
Cooling Corsair H100i RGB Platinum
Memory Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4x8GB) 2400Mhz
Video Card(s) Asus ROG Strix RX580 OC 8Gb
Storage 250Gb Samsung EVO SSD, OCZ 500Gb SSD WD M.2 500Gb, plus three spinners up to 1.5Tb
Display(s) Samsung C27F591 curved monitor 27" with FreeSync
Case Cooler Master Storm Trooper
Audio Device(s) Supreme FX on board
Power Supply Corsair RM850X full modular
Mouse AFX LMO216
Keyboard Corsair Strafe RGB Silent
Software Windows 10 x64 Start 10
Benchmark Scores 3DMark Time Spy 4532
This doesn't make sense if regional pricing is supposed to be geared so that regions with less purchasing power receive lower prices:
Gears 5 Ultimate Edition - US price $80, Argentina price $96.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2019
Messages
574 (2.73/day)
Location
Poland
Processor Ryzen 7 3700X
Motherboard Gigabyte X570 Aorus Elite
Cooling BeQuiet Dark Rock 4
Memory 2x8 GB Crucial Ballistix Sport LT 3200 CL16 @ 3466 CL 14
Video Card(s) EVGA 1060 6GB SSC
Storage SX8200 Pro 1 TB, Plextor M6Pro 256 GB, WD Blue 2TB
Display(s) BenQ BL2411PT
Case SilverStone Primera PM01 RGB
Power Supply SeaSonic Focus Plus Gold 750W
Mouse SteelSeries Rival 300
Keyboard Generic Dell
This doesn't make sense if regional pricing is supposed to be geared so that regions with less purchasing power receive lower prices:
Gears 5 Ultimate Edition - US price $80, Argentina price $96.
Like @R-T-B this can be set on game dev basis, maybe MS decided it will increase the regional pricing for Argentina due to current state of affairs with the economy. Or they're intentionally driving users toward their own store, xbox game pass specifically.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2019
Messages
87 (5.80/day)
System Name juat ordinary potato system, but dont understimate potato..
Processor ryzen raven ridge with vega 8
Motherboard msi b350 pc mate
Cooling x2 cheap china handmade
Memory klevv dual channel 3000mhz (upto 3800 bcox it is abt hynix)
Video Card(s) vega 8 (will switch to rx580 soon)
Storage wd green ssd 240gb
Display(s) LG tv 768p with suported dsub/vga, dell vat 1080p, acer vgo 2k
Case cheap segotep
Audio Device(s) genius retro wood style
Power Supply be quite system power9
Mouse rexus
Keyboard rexus
Software talking abt best software, autodesk/unity3d/notepad yes notepad!!
Benchmark Scores theres nothing to brag abt potato, but it can run decent 30fps with good setting:)
price can be variant, depending whih country you might got cheapest or pricey becouse reguon regulation aint same include tax
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
1,721 (1.79/day)
Processor i5-8400
Motherboard ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-I GAMING
Cooling Alpenföhn Black Ridge
Memory 2*16GB DDR4-3200 CL16
Video Card(s) Gainward GeForce RTX 2080 Phoenix
Storage 1TB Samsung 970 Pro, 2TB Intel 660p
Display(s) ASUS PG279Q, Eizo EV2736W
Case Dan Cases A4-SFX
Power Supply Corsair SF600
Mouse Logitech G700
Keyboard Corsair K60
Pricing decisions are generally not even developer question but a publisher one. Valve may have their guidelines but publishers seem to generally override this. Often enough they have preexisting agreements in terms of what the prices and regions are. Regions often enough do not overlap with Steam's regions either.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
676 (0.44/day)
Regional pricing for anything is usually needed since done goods would be unaffordable in even certain G7 countries. It's mostly an arbitrary educated guess to extract maximum money per region mind you.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2019
Messages
123 (2.16/day)
Processor R7 1700 non-X @ 4.0 GHz
Motherboard Gigabyte AORUS Gaming 5
Cooling Noctua
Memory 32 GB 3200 MT/s CL16
Video Card(s) Sapphire Vega 64
Storage 2x 500 GB SSD, 2x 3 TB HDD
Case Silverstone FT02
Software Manjaro Linux, W10 if I have to
Regional pricing for anything is usually needed since done goods would be unaffordable in even certain G7 countries. It's mostly an arbitrary educated guess to extract maximum money per region mind you.
Exactly. The question they are asking is "how can we maximise profit", not what is fair or reasonable.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2015
Messages
676 (0.44/day)
Exactly. The question they are asking is "how can we maximise profit", not what is fair or reasonable.
Yup, companies like EA, Ubisoft & Activision dedicate *A LOT* of resources to determine the maximum price a given local market will tolerate.

On the opposite end of the spectrum a company like Riot (League of Legends) makes sure to underprice their products relative to local markets to keep the player base consistently high which makes up for lower individual profit on a sale.

Both approaches can work as seen by AAA developers, and absolutely massive player base of Riot.
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,038 (0.74/day)
Location
Formosa
System Name Overlord Mk MX
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 3800X
Motherboard X570 Aorus Master
Cooling Corsair H115i Pro
Memory Viper Steel DDR4 3800MHz 16-19-16-19-36
Video Card(s) Gigabyte RTX 2080 Gaming OC 8G
Storage 1TB WD Black NVMe (2018), 2TB Viper VPN100, 1TB WD Blue 3D NAND
Display(s) Asus PG27AQ
Case Corsair Carbide 275Q
Power Supply Corsair RM750
Mouse Logitech G500s
Keyboard Wooting Two
Software Windows 10
Benchmark Scores https://valid.x86.fr/ztiub6
Not just Steam, all the gaming services seem to be the same. I've picked up several games for way cheaper here than they go for in other countries.
I paid less for BF V in the recent sale than the price someone posted here in the forums (sadly not that fun) and I picked up Control for $30.99 on pre-order, now it's $54.99...
Steam actually tends to be nothing special in terms of prices here.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
780 (0.59/day)
Location
Buenos Aires, Argentina
System Name Ryzen Monster
Processor Ryzen 5 2600X
Motherboard Asus ROG Crosshair Hero VII WiFi
Cooling Corsair H100i RGB Platinum
Memory Corsair Vengeance 32GB (4x8GB) 2400Mhz
Video Card(s) Asus ROG Strix RX580 OC 8Gb
Storage 250Gb Samsung EVO SSD, OCZ 500Gb SSD WD M.2 500Gb, plus three spinners up to 1.5Tb
Display(s) Samsung C27F591 curved monitor 27" with FreeSync
Case Cooler Master Storm Trooper
Audio Device(s) Supreme FX on board
Power Supply Corsair RM850X full modular
Mouse AFX LMO216
Keyboard Corsair Strafe RGB Silent
Software Windows 10 x64 Start 10
Benchmark Scores 3DMark Time Spy 4532
There is a definite price advantage on Steam if you live in Argentina and many games are way cheaper. The Gears 5 example is odd, since it bucks that trend.
Having said that, it's one of the very first games that Microsoft has put with Steam and clearly MS are dictating the price. No question about that at all.
It's the same price on MS Store Arg as Steam anyway.
 
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
474 (0.74/day)
Location
Argentina
System Name Desktop5
Processor AMD Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard Asus Prime X570-P
Cooling AMD Wraith Stealth
Memory 2x8GB Ballistix Sport LT 3200 MHz (CL16-18-18-36)
Video Card(s) Gigabyte AORUS Radeon RX 580 8 GB
Storage Kingston HyperX Fury 240 GB // Toshiba 2 TB HDD // WD 2 TB HDD // Mushkin Triactor 3DL 256 GB
Display(s) LG 22MP55 IPS Display
Case Corsair Carbide 100R
Audio Device(s) Logitech G430 Headset
Power Supply Corsair CX650M
Mouse Logitech Wireless Mouse M280 // Microsoft Trackball Optical 1.0
Keyboard HP Vectra VE keyboard (Part # D4950-63004)
Software Windows 10
The Xbox Lead for Latin America confirmed that the price advantage for MS games and Xbox services (at least, on their own platform) is intentional, when asked about it in a recent interview during Gears 5 launch event.
 
Joined
Aug 9, 2019
Messages
98 (2.28/day)
Feel like it has a little to do with how much pirating the country has also, i remember when windows was pirated by 99% of the people in certain Asian countries and so they dropped the price of windows to 7$. (really i dont remember what year that was but it was in relation to pirating)

damn i just checked cyberpunk 2077 i was hoping for a shadowrun type of game (sega or snes) Sega version was my favorite game of all time. but just looks like regular shoot everybody game ;( oh well no time to play games anyway.
 
Top