Malaysian gamers on Steam received email that their purchases would now be billed in ringgit. All prices listed in the store as well as in the community markets would be refreshed to reflect the change.
Now, what's the big deal? There are some benefits to the change. Rather than the prices merely being the original prices in USD converted to ringgit, it seems the games are priced much lower than they would be if gamers had just purchased them in USD. It's estimated that games are now 36 per cent cheaper in ringgit than they would have been in USD. For instance, the new Civilisation:Beyond Earth is S$49, where previously it was US$49.99 (RM160)
UPDATE 30/09/14: It seems that after complaints from game publishers, Steam prices have been revised back to prices nearing the US pricing. Civilization: Beyond Earth for instance is now RM119 instead of RM95 (the price set during the currency revision).
It's like the Steam sale is every day
Where previously Malaysians would have to think twice about buying even US$9.99 games since they would roughly cost more than RM30, the new prices mean the games are now priced at RM23.
Only one thing though. PayPal is no longer an accepted form of payment, being instead replaced by its e-Club payment mode. What is good about e-Club is that gamers can now buy credit for their Steam Wallet, presumably as a way to prevent fraud.
A cursory look at the e-Club website will reveal that the following countries will be using the e-Club facility, namely Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Middle East: United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
For Malaysians, this means gamers without credit cards will be able to just buy Steam Wallet via online banking or through MolPay. This would be an acceptable tradeoff for most people except those who have gotten used to using PayPal as a convenient means of purchase.
The best news is that since the games are already cheaper thanks to the currency change, the next Steam sale will likely be a little less painful on our wallets.
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