Steam Prices Increasing in Several Countries Due to Sales Tax

In this story from 2017, our writer looks at Steam prices going up in a number of countries owing to sales tax.

Published: February 22, 2017 12:30 PM /


The Steam logo against a backdrop of several other stylized Steam logos

Steam will be increasing prices for its games, enforcing sales taxes in several countries across the world.

According to a statement by Valve, via GameSpot, tax amounts will be included in the pricing for games across Steam. Valve will be adding a VAT tax amount that will be included in the price of a given product, similar to how the EU utilizes its tax system.

VAT stands for "value added tax". It's essentially a consumption tax on goods and services, so games on Steam will see an increased price point, but the tax will technically be separate from the overall price of the game.

"This means the customer will pay the price displayed on the storefront, and the tax will be separated out afterwards," Valve said in its email (again, according to GameSpot).

As of right now, ten countries will see sale-appropriate tax increases, which will start rolling out in March of 2017. Most of the countries affected will see a sales tax of at least 10% or higher, with  the largest increase for Iceland at 24%. Countries heavily affected include Serbia at 20%, New Zealand at 15%, India at 15%, and Australia at 10%.

Other countries included are Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, and Taiwan. Only Taiwan will see a small increase at 5%.

We have contacted Valve for further information and will update this story if necessary.

Quick Take

Truth be told this does make sense. From a legal and financial standpoint, adding what amounts to sales tax is pretty much necessary for products.

Valve is likely just complying with the law of these countries after years of being relatively tax free, and is being careful to point out that the taxes are separated from the actual price of the games.

I don't know if that will be enough to stop accusations of price gouging in affected countries, especially New Zealand, Serbia, Iceland and Australia, where the increases already compounded with the price of games is going to jump substantially.

What are your thoughts? Please leave your comments below. 

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| Staff Writer

A longtime player of games, creator of worlds, and teacher of minds. Robert has worked many positions over the years, from college professor to education… More about Robert