Why Regional Pricing Is Important
GameOn Magazine|Issue 146 - Dec 2021
Artura explains how some countries suffer from exchange rates.
Artura Dawn

I don't know how much people know about this topic. Quite frankly, I wasn't even aware that such a thing as regional pricing existed until Steam added it, and I was baffled. Being from Colombia, this meant that I could finally afford some games without having to think about it, rethink it, and then consider if skipping a meal would be worth a 10-hour game.

You see, being from a third-world country implies that my currency is way, way less valuable than the US dollar. After COVID-19 hit, there was a time where I had to pay $4,000 COP for $1 USD.

I often found myself looking at a game I might want and not being able to afford it. Heck, when I bought Fallout 4, I paid $200,000 COP for it. For reference, the minimum wage here in Colombia is $908,526 COPmonthly. That is 22% of our minimum wage for one game. Whenever it's a $20 USD game, I have to fork over $74,000, which should be the price of a AAA game.

Don't get me wrong, I will forever be eternally grateful to Steam for allowing regional pricing to begin with. Ever since then, I've been allowed to purchase and play games so much more commonly. For once, I didn't have to actually skip a meal because I really wanted to play a game before I got spoiled, or finally be there for a newly-released game. Something I wasn't able to do until this same year, with Kena: Bridge of Spirits - I've been a gamer for well over 10 years and this was the first time I could boot a game on launch day.

Game of the Year is coming up and it got me thinking. I've not once been able to know every single game on the list. Never have I been capable of watching the games revealed and know which one I would really choose, because for the most part I got to play one, maybe two of them that year.

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