While it may have been long on the cards over at Valve and with rumours surfacing sometime last year, it has now become official. As of 10th November 2015, Valve will soon be pricing games from its inventory in South African Rand. Yes, you read correctly. There are many variables at play here, but a quick look at other countries for which Valve also includes their currencies shows that it often falls below the Dollar pricing threshold. That is, if you currency is weaker than the Dollar, in terms of the exchange rate, it is often the case that the cost for games would be less in said country.
But do not take my word for it. Here’s an example for Portal cost breakdown across the world. It is also worth noting that not all games follow this trend, and some gaming companies set the benchmark for flagship titles per country and may, at times, end up costing more in South Africa. Be that as it may, there’s nothing really to be done about the imminent change, as games now purchased using the Rand may be region-locked, with the edition that games purchased outside of our region may not work on Steam any longer. Let’s just hope for the best of both worlds in this situation.
And that’s not even discussing the possibilities that the government may enforce the digital tax, it has also put into practice, directly through Steam.
Here’s the official email notice:
Dear Steam User,
Steam will soon be priced in South African Rand!
If your Steam wallet has any money in it on November 10th, 2015, your U.S. Dollar balance will be converted to Rand, at a conversion rate dictated by market value at the time of conversion.
To view your account balance, simply log into your Steam client or the Steam website at http://www.steampowered.com. Once you have logged in, you will see your balance in the upper-right corner next to your account name.
The Steam Support Team