A recent update in Valve’s partnership documentation explains that regional pricing recommendations for foreign territories will be updated.
The new change in global pricing was made to reflect “metrics like purchasing-power parity and consumer price indexes”, and these changes will see an overall increase in costs for international buyers. The update to Valve’s regional pricing documentation (via SteamDB) was made earlier this month on October 18.
Many countries are seeing minor price hikes of approximately 5% to 25%, with some noteworthy outliers. Prices for Brazilian buyers are going up by about 50%, and most incredibly Turkish and Argentinian prices are going up by over 400%!
The company’s new policy can be found in its entirety below:
Valve’s new regional pricing recommendations
Developers on Steam have control over their own prices, in every currency. But researching and determining ideal prices for dozens of different currencies can be a challenge for some developers.
As a service for helping you manage pricing across all our different currencies, Steam offers a recommendation for all other currencies, based on whatever USD price you choose. When you are entering your pricing for your game, you will notice Steam fill in a set of recommendations based on your selected USD price. You can use our recommendations for some, all, or none of the other currencies, as you see fit!
So, how does Valve determine those recommendations?
It’s tempting to treat pricing as a simple problem of foreign exchange rates and tie each currency’s price equivalency to the exchange rate. But that kind of strategy vastly oversimplifies the disparate economic circumstances from one territory to another. And while exchange rates do have macroeconomic consequences, they generally don’t have short term impacts on an individual consumer’s purchasing.
Rather than just pegging prices to foreign exchange rates, our process for price suggestions goes deeper into the nuts and bolts of what players pay for the goods and services in their lives. This includes metrics like purchasing-power parity and consumer price indexes, which help compare prices and costs more broadly across a bunch of different economic sectors. But in the case of games on Steam, we also drill down more specifically to entertainment purchasing to better inform those decisions.
All of these factors have driven us towards the commitment to refresh these price suggestions on a much more regular cadence, so that we’re keeping pace with economic changes over time.
Many games choose to ignore our recommendations and determine their own pricing in each currency, and that’s just fine. But we hope the recommendations are a useful data point for developers who don’t have the time or interest to research pricing in each currency themselves.
Valve’s suggestions for foreign pricing are by no means mandatory. Many developers manually input prices by just converting currency, but Valve is now on record suggesting that this simple exchange rate doesn’t adequately reflect the true state of the market.