Guest Writer: Crisis and Gaming

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%.

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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.

Showing the Seal

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?

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40 Comments

  1. No foreign moaner can bring a tear to my eye because i know whatever he says, here we have less services and it costs more.

    • Wow. How miserable an answer? If you’re talking about the UK then we have it very easy here. You sound so hard done by.

      XisTG – Short but sweet article. It’s good to see some perspective on things. Do you have a Portuguese eBay to shift your old games through?

      • No, that’s Russia here and i’ve heard all that a hundred times over. Sorry, but – not impressed.

      • I could tell you a tale where a game (which costs as much) with forced localisation (as in you can’t select English, the original game is not distributed as well) somehow ended up with raw voice files, and i mean non-edited ones. An actor has a cough in the middle of a phrase, then starts over and it’s all there. Not to mention different voices for the same characters. It gets worse, though. The DLC then comes to the local store completely in English, so if you play it, you see the unique type of mess where some parts are localised and some left like they should’ve been. The other DLC has a feature that lets you (and strongly suggests you to) import your character, and guess what – it won’t recognize yours. The stats servers also don’t accept such a copy. It’s a funny world we live in, huh?

      • “Not impressed?” I have no idea what you’re on about. We’re discussing the subtle and no-so-subtle differences between gaming in different countries (and those respective costs). Your reply came across as disrespectful to the writer and made you out to look stroppy and miserable.

      • There is no Portuguese eBay, although I can try to sell them at eBay.co.uk, but with postage and all there will always be a UK user selling it cheaper ;)

    • moaning? i thought he was just providing a bit of perspective.

    • I dont think this is supposed to be a “Whos got it worse” article but more of a “Some places have it tough”.
      You are supposed to understand not spit the dummy out.

    • I don’t moan. My article aims only at showing how gaming is different from country to country, not at getting me any form of pity or tears. I even end the article with a question meant to make other community members to share what is it like to be a gamer in their own country.
      Maybe you should take the opportunity, no?

    • You should flag them up in the Forum,sure we would help a brother out.

    • why dont you show some initiative like the article writer and import your games if the localised ones are so bad? sounds like you’re the biggest foreign moaner in here….

  2. Woah! 62 quid for a game?! Does Portugal have it’s own ebay or something like that? Couldn’t you sell your games there and/or buy other games cheaper?

    • Yes, I belive we do… It’s called miau.pt, but I never used it though, but a cousin of mine uses it all the time.
      XisTG- I have no idea for how much you buy games from amazon.co.uk, but I used to buy them from there but found it was much cheaper if I bought them from dvd.co.uk, since shipping to portugal from there costs only 1£ (cerca de um euro e meio), or shopto.net: While the shipping is about 5£, the games are quite cheap.

      • Olá :)

        miau.pt, olx.pt and some other websites exist, but they’re not as professional as eBay. And in the end all games bought from the UK, without that damn seal, will always be worth much less here in Portugal :/

        As for buying, I’ve checked all those store before, but have been loyal to Amazon UK and Axel Music for overseas products. Plus, if you shop over £25 Amazon will ship everything free, a pretty sweet deal imho :)

      • Really? I always have to pay for shipping from the UK to Germany on Amazon.

      • @KeRaSh
        This Super Saver Delivery option (free from 25£) for Portugal is very recent, as well as clothing and toys. Maybe it’ll be available soon to Germany, although it would directly compete with Amazon.de :/

    • I do buy all my games cheaper, from Amazon UK and sometimes eBay UK ;)

    • seems like its the same in Australia. all our games are 100-110 AUD… but with some shopping around you can usually find them on special for about $90 AUD, about 57 pounds..

      • Hey Joe, good to see fellow aussie gamers reading TSA. Have you checked out ozgameshop.com. All new releases around $60 including shipping – very reliable.

  3. Well I live in China and as such all gaming is technically illegal here because first a game must be approved by the communist government which basically deems all games too violent. However, this doesn’t stop there being many games shops around that still sell imported games without any trouble. Most of the cheaper games are imported from Hong Kong and cost from 25-50 quid depending on the game and region they’re from.

    As a result China is not supported well in regards to having a ps Store and really laggy online gaming but you can’t blame the gaming companies but instead the government is the one to blame. Another huge problem is piracy here, it’s impossible to buy a legit 360 over here, ps3 is still faring a lot better but with the recent hacks it’s becoming harder to find legit games in stores and I have to rely on the internet to buy my games.

    • How does the region define the price of games? Do you have to import the PS3 console from Hong Kong too?
      It’s a shame that there is no PSN Store there :/ But the online gaming must be as good as your ISP, no?

      • All ps3 consoles are imported from HK yes. Also HK games are the cheapest followed by European with Japanese and American being the most expensive normally between £60 and £90 so I steer clear of those haha.

        There is a HK psn store but it isn’t the best, however the layout is still better than the UK one ;-)

  4. I am always baffled by game prices when I visit other European countries (From UK btw). Both supermarket and dedicated gaming stores in France and Italy were selling PS3 games both new and old for €60-€70 which at the times was between 55 and 65 pounds.

    We are privileged in the UK, as much as we like to moan.

  5. Can you not sell on Ebay or via other internet means? Still, puts things in perspective for my country (UK). We have it good here. Games depreciate very quickly too so not only do we get it cheaper from the off it can be cut to 50% within a month on most.
    Lets hope Portugal and other similar countries start to support gaming like we do.

    • I know, that’s why I buy all my games from your country :] Even if I buy a game on day one, it will always be cheaper for me ;)

  6. Seems a lot like Holland. No rentals, no pre-owned and hyped-for games cost 70 euros.

    • I think this might be like this in pretty much all of mainland Europe :/

  7. compared with the rest of europe, we have it pretty good here in the uk, as far as gaming goes, usually anyway.

    but europe is still treated like the smelly cousin nobody in the family likes by most games companies.
    far too much content still never makes it to europe, not as much as in the ps1 and ps2 days, but still, it’s sad how some companies neglect the largest market for gaming.

    sony for example put on a very poor showing this generation, the only console that didn’t launch in europe within a month or two of the rest of the world?
    even nintendo managed that this gen.
    with the online nature of consoles like the ps3 it’s so much easier to see what kind of content we’re missing out on.
    sometimes it seems like a simultaneous us/eu launch is the exception rather than the rule with sony.

    gobalisation seems to be the norm with most big businesses, yet some companies in this industry seem to be blissfully unaware of that, along with the existence of the european continent.

    • I agree, and the odd part is that Europe is a strong territory for Sony.

  8. whats up with this russian guy? I think he’s completely misunderstood the article. Bit of advice… read the last line of the article again…

    “What about you? How does your country influence your gaming?”

    It’s not meant to be a competition on whose got it worse and not an excuse to be bitter towards someone who is simply describing the objective realities of gaming in Portugal. Where’s the respect?

    Anyway, I rent most of my games as it’s cheaper (thanks LoveFilm). I agree with most above comments that in the UK we have it really good. Hope things get better for our european (and russian) neighbours.

    • I think he must have misunderstood the article.
      Btw, just bought AC Brotherhood from Amazon UK and with it came a voucher or something for LoveFilm. A pity we don’t have that here.

  9. Thanks for the article, it’s quite an eye-opener for me. Its very easy to complain about things in your country until you hear about someone elses. Its what I was doing with the recent 3DS release, where the difference between physical and virtual markets in terms of price is about £10 per game and £25 per console, but the difference is obviously not close to the extent of the prices your country charges.

    You know, there seems to be a market gap for international video game retail here with different people talking about their experiences. Would be nice to see someome to fill that void.

    • What I don’t get is why the consoles are pretty much the same price as the UK, and then the game’s price soar!

  10. I’m in the same boat as this guy. Its hard times to say the least but i managed to get a good deal on Killzone 3 when it came out whilst i was on holiday. When i was coming back from france i stopped off in Stansed and found good old Killzone 3 for 33 pounds a week after realise brand new. so yeah, my advice is shop in airports. . .

    • I learnt that exact same thing on my visit to London with Final Fantasy XIII. I bought mine on Oxford Street’s HMW on launch day, and then saw it on Heathrow’s HMV for a couple of quid less. I cursed :p

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