Steam must pay the FPB to sell games in South Africa

The FPB will demand that Steam pay an annual licence fee to distribute its digital products in South Africa, it told MyBroadband.

Steam is an online game, software, and video entertainment marketplace operated by Valve – and the most popular online PC gaming platform in the world.

This comes after the FPB published a draft review of its tariffs. It has increased the price of classifying content and proposed the introduction of a per-title and per-season licensing scheme for online distributors.

The FPB said the tariffs apply to movies, series, games, and apps.

Its proposed pricing scheme is summarised in the table below.

Number of titles Films/Games Series
0-499 R259.31/title R1,037.24/season
500-999 R207.45/title R829.79/season
1,000+ R165.96/title R663.83/season

If a distributor offers over 1,000 titles, the fee for 0-499 titles is applied to the first 499, the 500-999 fee is applied to the next 500 titles, and the 1,000+ fee is applied to the rest.

How much Steam must pay

Steam reports that it has 18,720 titles on its platform. This includes games and software, but excludes mods and downloadable content.

It isn’t clear whether the FPB will apply its tariff for series to episodic games, so our calculation is based on the per-title tariff.

Steam also has 714 video titles in its catalogue, with several of these series which have multiple seasons, but they have been excluded from the calculation.

Using the cheapest tariff for all the games available in South Africa through Steam, we calculated that:

  • Valve must pay the FPB R3.17 million to distribute games in SA.
  • This is over triple the amount Netflix would have to pay – R1.02 million.

When an online distributor pays its annual licence fee, it buys the right to self-classify content and submit it for verification, the FPB told MyBroadband.

“We will also provide training for their classifiers on a quarterly basis, and when needed,” said the FPB.

Now read: Bestselling games on Steam in South Africa

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Steam must pay the FPB to sell games in South Africa