It’s always interesting to get a little perspective on things, and XisTG certainly provides that. As a gamer from Portugal he has a slightly different view of the costs associated with gaming.
As the TheSixthAxis community keeps growing, word of this wonderful corner on the Internet reaches more and more countries. Just like the economic crisis does. But, as different countries have different problems, I started wondering how the economic climate might influence our gaming in different countries.
I’ll start by introducing myself: I’m a 27 year old gamer from Portugal. I’m currently unemployed (on the dole), living with my girlfriend, and playing games every time I can. In Portugal, the Prime Minister has just tendered his resignation, the minimum salary is 475Ä/£418/$667 per month, diesel is the most expensive in all of Europe and the VAT has reached 23% on almost everything. Before Summer it will probably rise to 25%.
As for gaming, Portugal is quite an interesting country too. It all starts with the prices. Fancy the new Killzone 3? You can buy it in any store for just 70Ä/£62/$98! These were the kind of prices that made me (probably) one of Portugal’s best Amazon UK clients. In my collection, only 3 games were bought in my country, and 2 of them came with the console. On top of that, there are no rentals whatsoever in Portugal.
With that being said, buying my games from Amazon UK is not all flowers. The problem isn’t with Amazon; they’ve always been good to me. The problem is that I have to choose the game carefully because I won’t be able to sell it in any nearby GAME or GameStop. Why? Because this is Portugal, and every single game has to carry a “seal” that proves it is recognized by the IGAC, Inspection of Cultural Activities. Without that, no store will buy your games, even if you did in fact buy them in Portugal.
In conclusion, I can only afford to be a gamer thanks to international online retail stores. Those stores save me some gas by not driving to a physical one, save me on VAT because ours is higher, and save me on prices that are not hugely inflated like the ones in Portugal. How, it’s still a nice country to buy a PS3 with 320GB and Killzone 3; it only costs 355Ä/£312/$499.
What about you? How does your country influence your gaming?