Valve has grown from a small online digital software store to the giant we all know today. With one of the most extensive digital libraries of games out there, Steam has become the go-to marketplace for anyone thinking of purchasing a new digital game. Now, it seems that the FPB (South Africa’s Film and Publications Board) wants in on the action.
This, according to MyBroadband, will be through a licensing fee that the FPB wants Steam to pay annually in order to distribute its digital products in South Africa. The news comes after the FPB published a draft review of its current tariffs. Not only has the FPB increased the price of classifying content (such as movies, series, games, and even apps), but it has also proposed per-title and per-season licensing. This new licensing scheme will be focusing on online distributors such as Steam and even Netflix who entered the South African market recently.
Below is a summary of the proposed pricing structure featured in the draft proposal.
|Number of titles||Films/Games||Series|
Thanks to some clever maths, MyBroadband has calculated that Valve, who operates the Steam marketplace, will need to cough up around R3.17 million to the FPB. They also calculated that Netflix would have to pay around R1.02 million. So, what does Steam and similar online distributors get for paying the proposed fee? Well, according to the FPB, when asked the question by MyBraodband, the fee includes the right to self-classify content and submit it for verification, and it also includes training on a quarterly basis or when the need occurs.
In effect, what could happen, should the draft be implemented, is that digital distributors, such as Netflix and Steam, could decide to exit from the South African market. This could have the opposite effect of what the FPB wants. Instead of seeing an inflow of new capital, we might see companies deciding not to invest in the country further.