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What's with the RoW / EU split recently?


#1

Granted I didn’t pay too close of an attention to deals on here before, but now that some pretty good games are on sale for a couple days I started to notice that there’s now consistently a RoW and an EU buying option. I’m wondering what’s the reason behind this, and if there’s a chance to set my country on Chrono somehow so I don’t accidentally purchase the wrong one in the future.


#2

publishers set region locks, not Chrono
(it’s a steam key thingy, which makes it possible for publishers/devs to assign different pricing in different regions, it then has the wonderful snag of carrying over to potentially make separate purchase options even for almost similarly valued currency prices and still suffer segregated activation, for whatever reason the publisher thought up at the time, even when the content is identical)


#3

I think it’s due to the fact some publishers make that differentiation so not all the keys work all over the world. But it’s a good thought to have a way of the system automatically choosing for you. Other third party retailers do automatically choose the key to dispense, though I am not sure how much work that would be.


Edit: who needs anyone else when @Gnuffi is around?


#4

Couldn’t it be for tax purposes? Since in the EU you pay taxes on digital products and US for instance you don’t.


#5

wouldn’t require region locking the keys, it’s just something (mostly) larger publishers do by default (since it’s sega these past days that’s why), to make sure people don’t buy russian/asian etc “cheaper” region keys while living in a more affluent region,
which ofc has never helped to make sense of why some publishers still feel like the necessity for US/EU split keys. Tho in a few games case it does (maybe) make it easier content wise like with germany, -even tho they still also often get separate locks “within” already EU locks, again making the whole concept a bit weird in 99% cases

and while it might make it an easier way to keep count of how many sold/might need be taxed where, even without it would still be up to chrono to pay X tax for the sale(in the appropriate region), not sega, -but it’s Sega that puts the region lock on their steam keys, not chrono


#6

ofc u do lol wtf, once u sell a certain amount of digital items on the Steam market within a year, u r even obligated to sign a digital document declaring u r not a US citizen specifically for US tax purposes, and if u r a US citizen u actually do have to declare those Steam market sales, lol


#7

I think @Rabob is talking about a sales tax

You are talking about taxable income… a totally different thing.


#8
  • There are 27 states that tax digital products.

  • There are 23 states that do not tax digital products. (didn’t know about this)

  • 5 states do not have a retail sales tax at all

source: https://quaderno.io/blog/sales-tax-digital-products-us/

conclusion: u can’t rly claim that there’s “no taxes on digital products in the US”


#9

Yes, but the digital products in question are typically not video games (I think California is the one with a sales tax on games, at least that is what valve’s checkout for games leads me to believe).

Honestly I am not entirely sure how it works, but I have always lived in places where there isn’t a sales tax.

Also, never said that wasn’t a tax on digital products… I just said he was talking about a sales tax. (Which I don’t pay on products here or elsewhere, ergo there doesn’t seem to be a tax)


#10

Of the states that have sales tax, most of them have less than 8% tax. And even then most of them do not seem to apply to games even, but more so to movies or audio. Because games generall fall under SAAS because they are licenses.
https://blog.taxjar.com/saas-sales-tax/
And the tax rate for this often seems to be below 3% for the states that have it (which might even be compensated in incurred sales taxes somewhere else). The majority of states do not have a SAAS sales tax however.

Compare this to a VAT minimum of 19% in Europe (Except for malta and lux). I would still argue that USA is hardly taxed at all.


#11

Game sales are absolutely subject to sales tax in the US, and after the Wayfair decision earlier this year, it won’t be long until all states (aside from those with no sales tax, and even probably them) will have digital sales taxes. Additionally, the bar for having to pay digital sales tax to a state is having an “economic nexus” there, which in most cases is quite low. The only reason you don’t see sales tax on Chrono is that we pay it without passing it onto our consumers.


#12

Well, that gesture is greatly appreciated!! Thanks for enlightening us! I had no idea.


#13

All software is governed by licenses. SaaS software is licensed. But not all licensed software is SaaS (in fact, the vast majority of it is not).

SaaS can mean two things–either something like Office 365, where the software is downloaded to and runs on your computer but can only be used with a valid subscription; or something like Wordpress.com, where the software is remotely hosted and accessed through a web browser or other local remote-access client where the software is not downloaded but remotely accessed. And akin to Office 365, some games could be considered SaaS, such as World of Warcraft. But the majority of games, even those with online modes, are not SaaS. And in some states, the distinction between an application running locally or on a remote server matters as to whether it’s considered a software purchase or a service, and therefore whether it’s taxable or not.

I feel like you’re using one term (“digital sales taxes”) to refer to two different things. Sales tax on physical items purchased digitally (i.e. online) and sales tax on digital items purchased digitally are different things. I don’t believe there was much if any dispute as to whether the latter could be taxed, but for a long time in a lot of states, it was not taxed because the tax code had not kept up with technology. The former is what the Wayfair decision was about, and eliminates the “nexus” doctrine that was a holdover from the mail order days, where a company without significant physical presence in a state selling goods to a consumer located in that state was not required to collect sales tax for those transactions.

Just because a company is required to collect sales taxes for purchase of physical goods does not automatically mean that purchases of digital items are taxable. You will see sales tax collection on online physical goods purchases ramp up heavily soon, but sales tax on online purchases of digital items will not change unless states that don’t already tax them decide to start taxing them, and I don’t see how you can say the Wayfair decision encourages states to implement additional taxes for digital items where they didn’t already exist.

And it really, really doesn’t make sense to think that states without any sales tax would suddenly implement sales taxes just because they can now collect them on online purchases, too.