@bowlisimo @redswir1 I can really only speak soundly to the Australian experience, as I’ve no concrete idea outside of franchise appeal, relative cost of living etc in Japan – though it’s the same with CDs and DVDs, which is why a lot of international artists do bonus features for Japanese releases.

Anyway, with Australia, it’s a domino effect of parallel import restrictions – a strange protectionist hangover that prohibit wholesalers from importing and selling at internationally-competitive prices in the interests of local retail fairness – leading into publishers getting away with being able to set such ridiculous prices, recouping lower returns and distribution costs due to size of the place and relatively small market, vendors facing higher staff wage costs and higher business tax than in other countries…

…stuff that mattered maybe a decade ago, at least when there wasn’t a product on the market that technically didn’t actually require anything bar internet infrastructure to distribute. You might also say that the draconian, arse-backwards ratings regulation up until recently had a detrimental effect on sales due to age restrictions, but the only thing I can see is little Jimmy having to mow three thousand neighbour’s lawns before he can afford the next triple-A “murder simulator”.

I dunno, tough stuff. Still, digital has made gaming much more fiscally viable for the convicts down there. I just wish retailers and publishers would catch up. We were used to paying $160USD for SNES cartridges, but the ship of reason on that front has long since sailed.