Since Valve’s online storefront launched, Australian gamers have had to buy games on Steam with US dollar prices. This has led to every purchase being accompanied by the annoying mental arithmetic or trip to a currency converter app to figure out how much things will cost in the local currency. After 15 years, Australian gamers will finally have the ability to view games on the Steam storefront with prices in Australian dollars. Now everyone will exactly how much they’re paying for their games.
Developers placing their games on the storefront have already had the ability to enter region-specific pricing in the local currency. However the final price tag always gets converted back into US dollars. The announcement was made at this year’s Game Connect Asia Pacific conference for developers during Melbourne International Games Week. Starting from mid-November 2018, support for selling games on Steam in Australian dollars will be fully supported. Furthermore, it won’t impact the ability for developers to discount their games.
We don’t know exactly how many Australians use the Steam storefront. However, it was revealed there was about 2.2 million Australian Steam accounts active as of 2016. This figure came up when Valve was sued by the ACCC for its breach of the Australian Consumer Law. Now, at least Valve is giving this segment of its user base the ability to view prices in the currency that they are familiar with.
To compare, many rival online PC gaming distributors, such as GoG Galaxy and EA’s Origin platform, have offered prices in Australian dollars since their beginnings. This move represents Valve catching up to the competition in catering to local audiences. Sure, it isn’t a very big step, but it’s still an effort.
Showing the actual price that Aussie gamers are paying, rather than the price that American gamers are paying that is altered after converting to the local currency. It makes the process of using Steam a lot less complicated, which is better for everyone.