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Steam’s PC prices are cheaper in Rands

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Last week, we told you that Steam was officially changing over to using Rands in our local market. There were a host of concerns; we wondered if we’d get special prices or see local exchange rates lead to soaring prices, as well as issues about VAT and FPB influence. Oh, and let’s not even talk about the region locking. Well, the change has gone live and at least the prices are looking pretty good.

Here are the prices listed for some top sellers on the Steam store:

  • Fallout 4 = R799 (Conversion from USD would be R853)
  • Fallout 4 Season Pass = R399 (Conversion from USD would be R426)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 = R799 (Conversion from USD would be R853)
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (pre-order) = R599
  • Just Cause 3 (pre-order) = R449.10
  • XCOM 2 (pre-order) = R589
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (pre-order) = R499
  • Total War: Warhammer (pre-order) = R599
  • The Witcher 3 = R412.30

Those are all new releases though – and there are a great many older games available for close to nothing. The excellent Borderlands 2, for example, is available now for under R55. Of course, it’s worth noting that the Rand exchange rate is at an all-time low and these new price points will be fixed for the foreseeable future. That’s right PC gamers, if you buy on Steam, a new release will cost you up to R799 – these numbers feel almost like what console gamers pay; however, it appears that publishers will set their own price points and there will be some PC games that will release way under that amount, like Just Cause 3 and XCOM 2. Obviously, Steam Sales and other special deals will make things more affordable, although it’s worth pointing out that these games are region-locked, so if you’re hoping to buy games for friends (or alternate accounts) around the world as gifts, there might be some issues. Some games also appear to have no purchasing options, and it’s unclear if that’s an FPB issue or just a delay until the publishers set a regional price.

Then again, looking at local prices, you’re probably best off buying your new, AAA PC games through your favourite retail outlet. Across all local retail vendors, I was able to find cheaper prices for most of the new releases than I could find on Steam. So, while Steam is cheaper than expected, it seems that we might actually see PC gamers returning to physical copies thanks to even better bargains to be found via brick and mortar or e-commerce.

At least until the holiday sales come.

Last Updated: November 11, 2015

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