Steam’s Adding Eleven More Local Currencies

Valve now want even more money for Steam! Types of money, I mean. Types. Their online store is planning to add a further eleven currencies, with five already popped in overnight. You can now pay for your Steam games with local currencies from Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. With more to come. Including, rather surprisingly, Canada.

Surprising because it wasn’t a store already. With the Canadian section of North America being an awful lot bigger than its southerly neighbour, you’d think Canadians would exert their top-bunk powers more often. But in fact the overwhelming presence of maple syrup makes moving around far more difficult, wading through pools of the gloop, let alone being able to exert financial authority. So it is that soon Canadians will be able to pay in their very own dollars, carved from maple trees, and each individually kissed by a moose.

Also on the soon-to-be list are Mexico, Korea, Turkey and Norway, and very recently they added Japanese Yen. And yes, you’re right – I have only made pathetic nonsense stereotypical comments about the Canadians, and not all the other nations. And why? Because I’m a coward.

That will bring the tally of Steam shop alternatives to 16, and they add that “new payment methods” will be added too – it’s not clear what those might be.

Is this good news? I suppose it very much depends if you’re about to get whoppingly screwed by exchange rates, or publishers’ opting to charge far more on your local store. Or perhaps the exact reverse.

56 Comments

  1. iniudan says:

    Canada banknotes are made of plastic now, so the maple analogy doesn’t really work anymore. =p

    • EnglishV00doo says:

      True, but our high denomination bills are scented with a maple syrup aroma as an anti-forgery measure. :)

      • LionsPhil says:

        The economic implications of hungry citizens eating their currency are terrifying.

      • RedViv says:

        I just can’t wait for the introduction of Irish-minted Euro coins with an odour of wet sheep and muddy grass. TRUE IRISH SPRING SMELLS.

        • Antonius says:

          I’m always amused by people who think Ireland has more than 2 seasons.
          We don’t!

          We’ve the Wet Season, and the Wetter Season.

  2. death_au says:

    No Australia?
    Also “Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand”, “Canada”, “Mexico, Korea, Turkey and Norway” I count ten. What’s missing?

    • programmdude says:

      People from australia get screwed over from the games costing more, even though they pay in USD. I imagine they would get the same amount of screwed-over-ness if they started paying in AUD, so the final price of the games wouldn’t change much.

      • melnificent says:

        It’s because the interconnects cost more to Australia than anywhere else. This is due to having a local incumbent that accounts for 80% of the market and charges way, way more than anyone else.

        Data really is more expensive. You want it cheaper, get people to switch to the alternative providers and the status quo will change as the costs fall.

        • Premium User Badge

          alphager says:

          Data is more expensive, but not 20 USD/5 GB.

        • toejam316 says:

          Not entirely true – I’m in New Zealand, where our ONLY interconnect is the Southern Cross Cable, which only lands in the North Island of N.Z., and then goes either to Australia, or to Hawaii then L.A.. I’m paying $129 NZ for a 100Mbit/50Mbit fiber optic connection, or I could opt instead to pay $89 NZ for a 100Mbit/20Mbit connection. That’s about $105 or $73 US respectively. For that I have no data cap or data management, with a real world speed of approx. 80Mbit to L.A.. The issues isn’t with the interconnect, it’s with the Telco’s in Australia, when it comes to data.

          BUT! The game prices themselves are completely unrelated to the data, itself, but rather related to the fact that originally, because of our standard adoption and English variant (British English), our games and equipment are PAL/EU and come from Europe prints, and were at one point transported from Europe. Digitally this isn’t a case, and physically this isn’t necessarily the case anymore. Unfortunately though, due to distributor contract negotiations (companies had a tendency to sub-license to local companies rather than manage the distribution themselves), the local publishers would pump up the price to cover the purchase of the software from the point of origin, the cost of bringing the software into country, and to cover their profit margins. Digitally, they keep price parity to prevent digital adoption, and to ensure their profits are high because that’s the usual price.

          It’s really just a whole bunch of bullshit, sadly. Also, we’ve got the Hawaiki cable project which should (if funding happens and no issues crop up) drop in another NZ/AU – West Coast (Pacific City in this case) cable by 2016 Q1.

          • waltC says:

            Good points, and I agree. Moving to support more currencies direct is just an exercise in rip-off-ology…;) With one currency covered–say, dollars or pounds, the price individual people pay in their home countries is predicated upon the going exchange rate. That could actually save people a lot of money as opposed to having to spend their own currencies, some of which are prone to erratic, rocket-propelled inflation, wherein on a given day the product might actually cost them a bundle more. By supporting native currencies these publishers can drag their feet when it comes currency becoming worth more per unit, and accelerate things when a given currency devalues. Tying purchases to a more stable currencies makes that sort of speculation more difficult, imo.

            In the US I’m getting ~50Mbs/s up & down, unlimited data, for ~$20 a month (not Comcast–I’m on Cogent) but being fair about it…I sit 75-feet away from my fiber connection and I connect to that via an EWAN. It’s a package–I get unlimited digital land-line long distance & 720P television (includes SuperHD 10280P Netflix streaming) for $50 a month. For 17 years I paid Comcast almost that much just for very crappy 6Mbs/s d & 512k u Internet access! Things have definitely changed for the better! Comcast would have to pay me–a lot–to go back to the over-priced, underpowered service they used to give me. Ugh.

        • e9000es says:

          Australian games cost more because data is more expensive? Er no.
          You do realise that publishers set the price of their games not Steam/Valve and that Steam does not charge publishers for bandwidth.

        • 123kings says:

          Data may be expensive in Australia and wouldn’t paying a premium for an internet service in Australia be for covering the data expenses? Why add it to the final price of digital download products? And what about the games that are selling for the same price?

          Pay more for games because of the data? This sounds rubbish.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          Prices are a result of:
          1. Publisher/developer setting a base price.
          2. Store fees.
          3. Taxes.

          1 (and possibly 2) is adjusted for regional income levels (as much as they can get away with before hitting the average consumer’s economic pain threshold).

          Taxes can add a lot when stacked on top. Especially in countries with backward tax laws regarding digital goods.
          A country may have low VAT on physical “culture products” but e-books, music, movies and games are bunched up with software (or services) at luxury goods tax levels.

    • Premium User Badge

      John Walker says:

      Oops – forgot to say they’d already added Yen last month!

  3. Fanbuoy says:

    Kinda weird that they added Norwegian, but not Swedish currency. Not that I mind, since the Swedish Krona is pretty much perfectly valued for a nice rounding upwards. Go valve! Squeeze them Norwegians! They can afford it.

    • DragonOfTime says:

      This is purely speculation, but maybe it’s got something to do with the fact that Norway isn’t a member of the EU? I don’t know about the Swedish krona, but the value of our Danish currency is locked to the value of the Euro, which is what we pay in on Steam. I can only imagine that the Norwegians are going to get screwed over by this.

      • olemars says:

        Yeah :- This is probably not good news for Norwegians. Hello 25% VAT on digital goods.

      • Fanbuoy says:

        DKK are kept at a fixed rate to the Euro? I had no idea. But no, that’s not how it works here. The SEK isn’t tied to anything anymore. We do pay in Euro on Steam, though. Pounds on GMG, SEK on Origin, Dollars in other places. Value wise, it tends to go USD<GBP<EUR<SEK.

    • Cyrus says:

      This is heresy!

  4. darkhog says:

    What about Polish Zloty? We don’t have euro, we have strong currency yet we are supposed to pay in this stupid € shit, far more than other people do?

    • Cinek says:

      € > PLN.

      • darkhog says:

        Exactly. That’s why games will be cheaper if Steam would allow for PLN as most studios suck on conversion rate and usually give same amount but in different currency. So game for say €5 would be 5PLN which is little more than €1.

    • Tobev says:

      Same thing with Czech crowns

    • JFS says:

      Use GOG. Also, the stupid Euro shit is one of the strongest currencies in the world, and I guess Poland is just to small to play a premier role in online market currency options.

      By the way, I try to use key resellers and non-Steam outlets as much as possible, since Steam just fucks the Euro zone.

  5. Niko says:

    What’s a Canada?

  6. BlueTemplar says:

    “With the Canadian section of North America being an awful lot bigger than its southerly neighbour”
    You know that the Mercator projection makes countries near the poles look bigger than they are, right? (Hint : Groenland is not as big as Africa)
    canada : 9,093,507 km^2
    USA : 9,161,966 km^2 (including Alaska I suppose…)

    • jalf says:

      Where did you get those numbers from? Last I checked, Canada was the world’s second largest country (after Russia).

      Wikipedia claims Canada to be 9,984,670 km2, and the USA 9,629,091 km2.

      But yeah, “an awful lot bigger” might be an exaggeration, I’ll give you that. :)

      • Premium User Badge

        basilisk says:

        More importantly, people tend to forget just how small Canada is in terms of population. 35 million people, which is less than Poland (with 38 million).

        Also, Canadian dollar is still roughly equal to American dollar (1 CAD = 0.91 USD at the moment), so I’m not quite sure what is the purpose of this exercise. But if it helps some people avoid conversion fees, then I’m sure it’s good news for them.

        • Mokinokaro says:

          The AAA publishers on consoles recently raised their game prices by 5$ on last gen (360/PS3) and 10$ on current gen for most titles in Canada. I bet this is a move for them to do the same on pc.

          On the plus side if they do straight conversion for indie games we will save a bit on those.

      • Tssha says:

        Didn’t the break-up of the Soviet Union result in Canada becoming the largest country in the world? I distinctly remember a taped-over word on signs in my elementary school classroom proclaiming Canada to be the [] Largest Country in the World, among other facts.

        Yes, when I first went to school, it was shortly before the break-up of the Soviet Union. I know I’m old, shut up.

        …30 is old, right?

        • Premium User Badge

          basilisk says:

          Unlikely. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the Soviet Union had an area of 22.4 million km2 and today’s Russian Federation has 17 million, still more than 1.5 times the size of Canada.

        • Llewyn says:

          Thanks for that. It caused me to realise that for kids starting school this year the fall of the Berlin Wall is as chronologically distant as the death of Stalin was when I started school. Thanks a lot.

      • Great Cthulhu says:

        Those are the numbers for land surface. Source. The US does have more dry land than Canada. That still doesn’t make it the bigger of the two though.

      • BlueTemplar says:

        From Wikipedia too :
        link to en.wikipedia.org
        It’s land area :
        1 – Russia – 16,377,742 km²
        (2 – Antarctica – 14,000,000 km²) (not a country) (approximate?)
        3 – China – 9,326,410 km²
        4 – United States – 9,161,966 km²
        5 – Canada – 9,093,507 km²
        (heh, haven’t noticed that by this metric USA is larger than Canada)

        Though I made my message too fast, should have noticed that “Total” excludes coastal and territorial waters and “Land” excludes inland water bodies.

        Total :
        1 – Russia – 17,125,187 km²
        (2 – Antarctica – 14,000,000 km²)
        3 – Canada – 9,984,670 km²
        4/5 – China/USA – about 9,500,000 km² – disputed due to taking into account or not coastal and territorial waters

    • P.Funk says:

      Ironic given what makes Canada most valuable is in fact contained largely in our water bodies, be it oil or clean drinking water, the latter making us last I checked the owners of the largest reserve of drinking water on the planet. In the not too distant future when the drinking water wars begin I have no doubt that Canada will be properly annexed by the US who can put Russia fully to shame via Geography trivia.

  7. kwyjibo says:

    But what about the Scottish Salmond?

  8. Zanchito says:

    Call me when they also add exchange rates to their currency system. Specially $ / €.

  9. Sian says:

    Should they ever add my currency, I’m going to step as far away from Steam as possible. That’ll raise prices by about 25 % for me – unless they use the same exchange rate shenanigans they use for $ -> €.

  10. nopol10 says:

    I have no complaints about this although I was sceptical at first.
    For example, Civilization: Beyond Earth costs USD 49.99.
    The price for the Singaporean store is now SGD 49.00 which equates to roughly USD 39.19.
    Judging from how my Steam Wallet amount changed the conversion rate seems to be the same as the one which Google listed at the time.
    Hehehe :)

    • Fontan says:

      The same thing happened when they started selling in BRL here in Brazil. Most of the prices now are actually lower than they were in dollars.

  11. gadalia says:

    This is old news, so have they actually added them yet or did RPS never find out?

    • Leb says:

      They are not added yet – I am a Cannuck who has been paying in USD for years.

  12. espenhw says:

    What is the source for this? I see lots of gaming sites saying the same thing, but none of them report a source. Being among those affected by this move, I’d like to see if Valve provide any more details about how prices will be affected.

  13. Perjoss says:

    Seeing the Steam logo like that in 3D made me realise it would make an awesome toilet paper holder.

  14. SuicideKing says:

    Add Indian Rupees PLEASE!

    Oh well. But the dollar-rupee exchange rate really hits us here.

    • int says:

      What about Hylian Rupees? I want to be able to buy games with my huge hexagonal gemstones.

  15. bill says:

    I was rather worried when they added Japanese Yen – it wasn’t what I wanted, and the whole reason for using steam was to access things in non-yen.

    But actually, so far, except for basically Square-owned titles, the prices have been fair.
    I just hope that continues.

  16. BrianOConnell says:

    Any sign of them adding Euro? At the moment for some reason they still charge me dollars but with a € in front of it instead of a $.

  17. Bobka says:

    As a Canadian, I’m concerned this means we’ll be getting higher prices like those in the Eurozone and Australia apparently do. I guess we’ll find out.

    It’s great to see them expanding their reach beyond the world’s wealthiest, though. PC gaming deserves to grow in all markets. I’m still surprised they don’t have the Chinese RMB on the list, though – or do they have that already?

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Officially steam is banned in China but the government doesn’t appear to care much about VPN users when it comes to it.

      As I noted above we are probably going to get slightly higher prices from the AAA devs but this should be offset by slightly cheaper indies.

    • Grayman says:

      The store itself seems to still run in USD so I guess we don’t find out yet. I am also worried about paying the price hike on games plus a large tax increase.

  18. mpOzelot says:

    Bitcoins?