Crikey is reporting that the longstanding concerns regarding high Australian prices in the IT sector will come under scrutiny.
Labor MP Ed Husic (pictured) raised his concerns about price differentials in March, and is seeking a parliamentary inquiry (which Crikey says it understands is going ahead) into the matter to see what legal safeguards may be possible.
While higher prices have only been an issue in Australia since the GFC left us relatively insulated from the major crashes in Europe and the US, it is far from a problem exclusive to the IT sector, let alone videogames.
Overseas sub-distributors piggy-backing off the marketing and publicity campaigns run at the cost of local publishers and their subsidiaries are of genuine concern to the local industry, and are causing some consternation between retail and publishing at a local level, but it remains to be seen whether there are legal roadblocks which could be used to defuse the problem.
While the offerings from retailers such as Harvey Norman Direct Import, OzGameShop and MyGames to undercut local RRPs through offering direct imports is appealing to consumers, MCV understands that at this stage the sales of import sites are still relatively negligible compared to the total market.
In the mean time, publishers are continuing to look to special editions, strong pre-order incentives and online / multiplayer passes to encourage legitimate purchases of their products at retail.
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