At least, that’s the case when it comes to importing games from countries outside the EU. A charge of £18.92 was ‘incurred’ when I imported a copy of J-Stars Victory Vs. from Japan for the PS3, adding to the 10,057 yen I’d already spent on it. This is a pretty hefty amount of money regardless of the customs charge, coming in at about £58, mostly because Japanese game software prices suck and I also decided to go for the anisong version of the game.
Yes, one way or another, I’ve spent about £77 on a game that is due to arrive over two weeks after release. My game has spent over a week of this sat in the customs office. It’s 7,980 yen on the Japanese PSN store, so buying it there would have given me a saving of over 2,000 yen on the software alone, let alone the fees from customs. Sure, this wouldn’t be the anisong version of the game, but considering there’s the option to import custom music (in other words, import all those anime openings because why wouldn’t you?) this isn’t such a huge deal.
So why did I bother to buy a physical copy in the first place? This is mostly just me not wanting to leave physical media behind, when I can help it. I love owning boxed games, even if they do clutter the place up. I loved Jump Ultimate Stars on the DS, so I pre-ordered this as soon as it appeared on my store of choice. Had I known what the total cost was going to look like at the end of all this, I’d have stumped up the money for a Japanese PSN voucher and bought a digital copy of J-Stars on release, two weeks ago.
There’s also plenty to say about getting slaughtered on the import fees, but that’s for another time. Oddly enough, £19 worth of fees for a £58 game isn’t the worst customs fee I’ve had to pay in proportion to the item’s worth. There have been cases where games I’ve imported have had fees even larger than the price I paid for the game itself. I digress.
As it stands, this’ll arrive tomorrow, and probably won’t get touched for a few weeks. Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright arrived in the meantime, and that’s what I’ll be playing next.