Steam will soon be selling games in South African Rands

3 min read


We knew it was coming, but like me, most of you completely forgot about it. Yes sir, Steam will soon be showing off prices in the humble Rand as it ditches the US dollar in this territory for a more localised currency.

Here’s the mail that most of you probably received yesterday, detailing this:

Dear Steam User,
Steam will soon be priced in South African Rand!

If your Steam wallet has any money in it on November 10th, 2015, your U.S. Dollar balance will be converted to Rand, at a conversion rate dictated by market value at the time of conversion.

To view your account balance, simply log into your Steam client or the Steam website at Once you have logged in, you will see your balance in the upper-right corner next to your account name.

The Steam Support Team

And that most likely means that your games are going to cost a few bucks extra. Because it’s not just a change in currency that’ll be seen on Steam, but the inclusion of the Value Added Tax as well which will result in you paying 14% more for games. And don’t count our ratings board out either. We’ve been lucky so far with the kind of games that are allowed into our borders, but you can also expect the FPB to take a more active role in seeing just which games are allowed across our digital borders, with a suitable age-gating attached to them as well.

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So, is it all doom and gloom then? Maybe, maybe not. We could end up with some decent regional pricing that is on the ball and similar to what we’re currently paying on other localised store fronts like Origin. Or the worst case scenario, could be that our pricing is based on UK markets, much like our local PSN is – which means very, very expensive games.

It’s the apocalypse scenario that is more worrying: Region-locking. Right now, a great many of you make use of websites such as Green Man Gaming to get your hands on cheaper Steam codes, websites which usually offer some damn good deals on games. It’s a grey area of consumerism, as there’s often no extra tax involved in these deals, but it’s hardly illegal stuff.

But if region-locking is implemented, you can pretty much say goodbye to cheap deals for now. Of course, enterprising users will always find a way around such restrictions. So, how do you feel about a more local Steam marketplace then?

Last Updated: November 5, 2015

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Jonah Cash

    Origin works pretty well in Rand’s, lets just hope that Steam follows their example!

    • Juan

      your origin works in rands? mine is in euros, uplay as well

      thus i own almost no games on it

      • b1nd3r

        Mines in rands and i still own no games on it….:P

        • CaptainSensible

          I have games from the humble bundles as well as the free ones they give in the ‘On the house’ promos. :p

      • Mighty Meh

        Make sure you are not on a VPN, that’s probably the reason.

        • Juan

          mebbe i just havent found the convert store to Rand dlc

  • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

    Ugh look at that generic screenshot, sies Darryn, I thought the readers could have a glimpse into YOUR Steam account (which I KNOW you have)

    • It’s mostly just IDOL-Master games right now.

  • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

    If I’m paying 14% more on something that I want on 75% off, 61% discount is too damn low!


    • Captain JJ the Goo

      Humble Store, GreenManGaming and Bundle Stars will see me more often if they’re going to tax Steam purchases. I’d rather pay in dollars than give this blowhole government more money

      • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja

        Aye, this

      • Alessandro Barbosa

        Might be an issue with Steam’s new region-locking though 🙁 Especially GMG

        • Captain JJ the Goo

          Great. :/

        • Captain JJ the Goo

          I see GMG has a tab under the games that says if they are region locked and they give the countries to which it applies. Maybe it’s safe after all.

      • Viva JJ Viva

    • Semotd

      But the 75% applies to the VAT as well so about 3.5% difference there. If the game is going to be less that R50 after the discount then the VAT will only be a few rands. Its the region-locking that could cause much issues.

      As well will PayPal still work with the new setup?

    • Juan

      its probably gonna be 14% on the original price

      • Kevin Brunsdon

        I’m pretty sure it’s on the discounted price, and if not then my exam yesterday probably went really badly

  • WitWolfy

    That would be an awesome day! I might actually play PC again the day they implement it.

  • Captain JJ the Goo

    If this means the Government is planning digital tax then the prices better be in range of Origin, because Origin is damn cheap.

    • They implemented digital tax a long time back didn’t they… I just don’t think everyone pays

      • WitWolfy
      • Captain JJ the Goo

        On Steam under your purchases it says Tax = 0
        So it’s not on Steam yet. And they even ask you to tick a box if you’re a South African citizen. So it’s probably coming.

        • SargonTheRebornBatpanda

          I have never had to do any of these things. O.O
          And received no emails!



          • Captain JJ the Goo

            I use a US PayPal account, but right before you make a purchase on Steam it used to have an “South African Citizen” tick box. Though I haven’t seen it in a while. I think it’s disappeared……
            Okay, I just checked. If you pay from a specific medium it will ask if you live i n ZA. If it’s from your Steam Wallet then it doesn’t ask, and I assume if it’s from a specific credit card it also won’t need to.
            But it definitely still says $0 under tax amount.

          • We can probably use a tactic like that or a VPN maybe.

          • Captain JJ the Goo


          • SargonTheRebornBatpanda

            Ah daaaamn I used my card on Steam just a few days ago… >.<

            Okay. I have some very real concerns here. 1) will there be tax on community items? 2) will there be tax on putting funds into my steam wallet? Or will tax just be included in our new Randela prices?

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Putting funds into your wallet will probably have tax. Because it’ll count as a credit card, or debit card transaction. The PayPal thing might work. Maybe. Though they will still know where you’re operating from.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            I don’t know. I’m just guessing here. It’s difficult to say how the wallet thing will work wrt tax.

          • SargonTheRebornBatpanda

            Okay. Wire money to friend outside of RSA. Get them to buy game for you and donate to you. This works yes?

            *Edit: Or am I going to jail for digital fraud? 😛

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Haha. We really don’t want to give our government any more money if we’re willing to go this far.
            I’ll see how the PayPal thing works, but I guess we’ll only really see once it’s here. I say just stick to the humble store then, they have decent sales these days and thousands of games. Plus charity > SA government

          • SargonTheRebornBatpanda

            I’m not sure I honestly want to pay digital tax. It’s why I ask. It isn’t because I don’t want to give the government money. Well a little that. Obviously. But the driving force is just that it feels.. wrong. Somehow. Like.. they’re ganna start taxing eBook purchases next?

            And what about F2P games. Do you now tax item purchases? So we’re paying more than every other human being out there? Meh. I don’t like. It seems anti the spirit of what these digital markets represent.

            And you KNOW they’re ganna be taxing/regulating all the subscription services out there soon if this goes off.

          • Both ebooks and Subs are both going to be taxed under the new law yes.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            For me it’s pretty much 99% because of the government.
            If they’re going to tax eBooks and F2P games transactions then we’re talking about really going too far. Damn it.

  • MoonMadMan

    Steam already does region-locking, it’s happened a few times when browsing the big sales or that random queue thing – “this game is not available in your territory”. Hopefully that doesn’t expand & we just get some nice lower regional pricing – never made sense that physical versions WITH VAT are cheaper than digital without.

  • Looks like I’m ditching my main and going with a US based account… It’s like my Xbox account all over again :/

  • SargonTheRebornBatpanda

    I have a question.

    Is Digital Tax on Digital Goods (I assume this is how it’s done) a global phenomenon that has just taken a while to get to our little neck of the woods? Or.. is this pretty new to everyone everywhere?

    • It’s dependent on region as far as I’m aware

    • WitWolfy

      Now that I think about it…Why do we pay VAT on digital content?

  • R13.93 to the dollar right now… O MY GLOB

    • Captain JJ the Goo

      I have over $30 in my Steam account from quite a while back.
      That figure pleases me.

      • I have $1.63 left thx to the Halloween sale -_-

        • Captain JJ the Goo

          I bought ONE game at the Halloween sale. It’s the fewest I’ve ever bought on Halloween. And it was Shank, for $1.49.

          • There was a halloween sale??!!

            Boy I am being overworked if I missed that.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            It wasn’t like the ones from the old days. It was literally just a list of games at reduced prices. No cool daily sales or achievements or stuff. But GoG has a Fall Sale on right now though.

          • Yeah I noticed but I either have everything on sale or am not interested in whats left.

            Coincidentally if you liked the Fallout 2 you may enjoy Dead State ReAnimated currently on sale at GoG.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            I’m still not entirely convinced with the GOG Galaxy. It’s cool and DRM free and all that, but I think it was a mistake to release the retail copy of Witcher 3 on a beta client. I would’ve preferred to have it on Steam.
            It’s just that I always have Steam open, so my games on other clients I often forget about.

          • I agree but any game you buy on GoG you can play without that damn client.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Luckily. My Witcher 3 is linked to Steam as a “non-Steam” game. But it would’ve been nice to have it record my hours and have all the goodies of a real Steam game.

          • I am seriously considering buying W3 again on steam just because I am tired of my W3 not working most of the time.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            I am so glad I’m not the only person who is seriously considering this.

          • Hoping for the xmas sale to have W3. If so ill immediately buy it.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            It’s $26 on GmG, but will also check on the Christmas sale myself.

          • $26 right now for me is a but much considering I just did a major line upgrade and bought R10k worth of games.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            Same here.
            Though it’s interesting to note that Witcher 3 is cheaper already than the two-year-old GTA V. Says a lot about the devs.

          • Well Skyrim was quite pricey for many years after release. Then again it is Skyrim.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            This is true

          • Koko

            does it crash often? I have a problem with my W3 via gog. No other game has this issue.
            “device driver has stopped working and recovered” popup and then the game freezes and crashes.

          • No yours is a fairly unique issue. The main complaint about GoG is the client is not authenticating the game properly so trying to update the game or even install the DLC is a bloody nightmare.

          • Koko

            oh ok. Was hoping there was some solution for me out there 🙂
            if i hadn’t suffered through 60+hours already, I would probably buy a steam version and start over.

          • Captain JJ the Goo

            I’ll give them one thing about Galaxy that’s better than Steam: You can play a game while it’s updating.

  • Apparently we have a chance of going completely Russian.

    Cheap AAA titles for everyone!

  • ElFakio

    I usually sell off some of my dota cosmetic items to fund my steam sales . Does this change mean VAT will be on my items ? Since these items are usually quite the small sales they are not a lot individually. Now I have to pay with my actual money to get games 75% off .So not fair (sarcasm)

    • If we fall under the developing country system on steam it means we will be able to buy a $50 AAA title for R300-R400. If your thing is the only downside I can easily live with that.

      • ElFakio

        Cool I didn’t know that . That makes it worth it . I never buy games new on steam as its usually about R500-R600.

  • HairyEwok

    Soooooooo. Buy all your games now before we go to Rands and will never be able to afford it anymore?

    • Captain JJ the Goo

      It might be cheaper. If it’s anything like Origin’s pricing.

  • Labey-Kun

    Lol well that sucks I only have like $1 T_T CS:GO Keys sure breaks your wallet. 🙂

  • Brady miaau

    buy your steam points (coupons, vouchers) here…… or somesuch?

  • CaptainSensible

    I wonder if all other African countries will be pooled into the SA store like Origin does. If so, this might be significantly cheaper, especially with new AAA releases.

  • Bagel

    Damn this anonine VPN feels good. EZ

  • Uberutang

    Rest of the World keys will still work.

  • CodeDisQus

    GMG is my go to for awesome deals, if they screw that up……#RAGETIME

  • Peter Pan

    I fear Steam may be region blocking in a way. Several of my games on my wishlist I can no longer purchase as there is no price in Rands, and there is no way to add it to your cart.

  • Naeem

    games are not more xpensive. they are actually cheaper. steam has used a base conversion rate for R10 to the dollar.

  • I fucking hate it, don’t know what prices games are, I have to re-figure out the value of stuff because I’m used to everything being priced in the dollar

  • Yay, so we’re getting support for one of the weakest currencies in the world, and losing the support of one of the most valuable payment methods on steam, paypal.

    Thanks steam, for giving me even more of a reason to stop using this service. Bought most of my games with my paypal account before this crappy change came, and now, since my region is South Africa, I can’t use my US Paypal account anymore to buy games from a service that is in the same country as my Paypal account…

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