Valve’s new regional pricing compels gamers to spend extra bucks

Published on:

Last year, in October, popular esports developer Valve announced an increase in the regional pricing of the games. The effect of regional pricing now very visible on steam’s storefront. Although the majority of the games affected are either indie titles.

Valve listed that the changes are impacting the majority of regions except a few. These include, the U.S. Dollar, Costa Rican Colon, Israeli New Shekel, Kuwaiti Dinar, Singapore Dollar, South Asia – USD and U.A.E. Dirham.

India is one of the regions included in the regional pricing update. Being the biggest video games distributor on PC, a lot of people buy games from steam. Let’s have a look at how it will affect both AAA gaming and Indie titles and price hikes.

Price increase

The change in prices came after a long time and the announcement made it pretty clear that the prices were increasing but how much? To answer that in simple words, it depends on how much the game costed before the increase.

But is the change that significant that we need to worry about it? Or is there nothing much to worry about? The answer to this question depends on what type of games one plays on steam. The games are usually divided into Indie and AAA titles.

As per PC Gamer, the increase in some cases amount to only 8%. However, some countries that follow the Steam’s regional pricing saw an increase of over 400%.

For India, games priced at $4.99 saw an increase of 24%-26% in price, but do note that this is not an increase on the top of $4.99 but rather the previous Steam regional price for a game costing $4.99. For example, the regional pricing for a game costing $4.99 (roughly Rs 420) in the U.S. was earlier priced at Rs 199. The price now has increased to Rs 250.

Similarly, many games are priced differently in the US and are often cheaper in India. The highest percentage of increase for games in India was 93% on the previous regional pricing.

Indie titles and AAA games

Earlier we said that the effect was mostly seen on the Indie titles or the games that follow regional pricing. This is due to the fact that most AAA gaming studios do not follow the steam regional pricing.

Here’s a quick look on how indie and AAA games differ in price –

Indie games

Indie games are usually developed and published by a small studio. The term ‘Indie’ comes from the word ‘independent’. Although, the term has changed quite a lot with time in video gaming scene, the gist still remains the same.

Usually, small developers create these games, who then publish either themselves or through an established publisher. These companies frequently follow Steam’s regional pricing to generate more sales. This is done as such small firms do not have a backing of mega corps, and even their games are sensibly priced in the U.S.

A perfect example is Hades developed by Supergiant games, a popular indie single-player title that was released at $24.99 and was priced at Rs 569 before the updated regional pricing.

With the updated price, the game now costs Rs 1,100 which is still much lower than the original price of $24.99 which amounts to roughly Rs 2,079. This clearly shows how beneficial regional pricing can be.

AAA games

Unlike indie games, AAA games are backed by some of the biggest corporations and have hundreds if not thousands of people developing the game. However, the regional pricing does not affect these games as much as they do not normally follow the policy.

Instead, Valve’s AAA games are usually priced higher than the steam recommended prices. So the players who are planning to purchase AAA game or waiting for a sale most likely won’t see any price change.

Older AAA games like Call of Duty series were priced at $59.99. The older steam regional pricing suggested their price at Rs 1,299 and the updated price suggest Rs 2,400.

However, these older AAA games for $59.99 are price at Rs 3,999 with their latest “Next Generation” games priced at $69.99 reaching all the way up to Rs 4,999. Since they are already higher than the updated regional price suggestion, they do not change their price.

There are however some instances where companies do not follow regional pricing but also does not follow as much for AAA games. These games on Valve’s store also tend to increase their prices. A good example is FromSoftware’s Elden Ring, and its upcoming game Armored Core 6.

Both of the games were priced at $59.99 for the US and Rs 2,499 in India. However, the game prices are now updated at Rs 3,599 after the recent summer sale on steam. Now everyone wishes that they had purchased the games at their older prices, respectively.