IGEA CEO Ron Curry has warned that parallel importing of the kind JB HiFI has just embraced can be harmful for local industry.
“Wholesale parallel importing does have a direct impact on local publishers, distributors, and the companies who support them,” Curry told Gamespot.
“The revenues generated locally support not only local employment, but fund marketing, in-store displays, advertising, classification obligations, etc. Without this local level of support, retailers in Australia will see a direct impact on their businesses, as will consumers and other local businesses who survive by supporting the Australian video game industry.”
Curry said the strong Australian dollar and European economic trouble has made parallel importing more viable than in the past, thanks to “a flood of excess stock” on the open market, but said it dates back to 16-bit era at least.
Australian consumers tend to get a bit grumpy at the high cost of games compared to other territories; a parliamentary inquiry has been launched into the “Australia tax”.
The Interactive Games and Entertainment Association is a trade organisation for Australian, New Zealand and oceanic industry members.