BFG lowering to $6.99 too!

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Jack Norton, May 14, 2009.

  1. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    The fact that this debate continues brings up the question, is it just a matter of time? Thousands of new games will be coming out in the next year, from free Flash games to $6.99-9.99 casual games. Eventually, I would think that something has to give in the $20+ Indie market. There's just going to be too much product out there, with a lot of overlap. So no matter how "great" or unique your game is, (and most everyone thinks that their own games are great and unique) ;), someone is more than likely going to do something similar for less money. (Or free.)
     
  2. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    World of Goo, IN THE BOX, is selling for $14.99 at Amazon. I expect it will go even lower in the coming months.

    http://www.amazon.com/World-Goo-Pc/dp/B001ENOVP2/
     
  3. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    So what?

    You can go to the bargain bin right now and buy Black & White for $9 or less.
    Thats less than I sell Democracy 2 for. B&W was a multi-million dollar cutting edge game that took dozens and dozens of peoples years to make.
    And yet... despite the bargain bins being chock full of hiuge budget older games, people still buy new ones from unknowns that cost twice as much.

    We are not selling commodities, but unique entertianment experiences. Do you think Tom Jones cares that you can see this years trendy punk band cheaper that seeing Tom Jones?
     
  4. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Amen! You're right, I suggest all developers retire now, and leave 100% of the market to me.
     
  5. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    Most people are selling commodities. (But of course, most people think they're special, and are offering something very special.) Few are selling anything really original. The same can be said for cartoonists, bands, whatever. There are thousands of cartoonists all hoping to get their comic syndicated. How many do? A tiny handful (if that) each year that try to get into the biz. And how many "Tom Jones's" are there out there? (One) And how many would aspire to be like him? (Thousands.)

    Anyway, as I said, the fact that this is open to debate means there's something to this discussion. Who knows exactly what will happen? But, it's not "getting better all the time," as the Beatles might suggest.

    I wish you continued success, cliffski, but change has already come, and there will be more of it in the future. That's one thing you can guarantee in life.
     
  6. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    Ha! Well, for every one that retires, there will be 2-10 newbies (or Hollywood titans like Spielberg) that come onto the scene... it might be difficult to ever achieve 100% of the market. ;)
     
  7. bbjones

    bbjones New Member

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    Isn't this really the "point" of indie? Like a boutique shop where customers will expect something either different/unique or at least "made with love and care" and will expect to pay more for it than what they can get at the local Walmart.
     
  8. BrutoMemo

    Original Member

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    Too bad cynicism doesn't make any money in this market :)
     
  9. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    Boutiques are great, you can buy a lot of nice things there. My mom pays $100+ for hand-made Santas to decorate her house for the holidays. Nice. But really, would you rather have the customer base of a boutique, or a Walmart? Just looking at the differences in size between the two, it's clear that more people don't care if something is "made with love and care." They just care about the price. (And even in the case of boutiques, it's a nice thought to think that everything is made with "love and care"... but the reality could very well be different.)
     
  10. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    It's not cynicism that makes you money, it's paying attention to reality and adapting as well as you can to it, that does. :)
     
  11. BrutoMemo

    Original Member

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    Yes, I was referring to some responses in this topic, not yours. You made some good points by the way. :D
     
  12. bbjones

    bbjones New Member

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    I was thinking of musician's gear actually, not Grandma's trinkets :)

    Items that are hand made/limited edition high quality equipment made by people/small teams with high levels of dedication and passion.

    While boutique musician gear likely won't outperform that of brand name mass production outfits, they can have more than enough market share/customer base to continue doing what they seem to love to do.

    Plus, the customer bases are generally made up of likeminded dedicated and passionate people.

    (edit) The customers also don't care so much about the price (which is 10-100% more than the mass production counterpart).
     
  13. Sybixsus

    Original Member

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    If no one made anything similar for the same money* all these years Cliff has been making his games, what's going to make them come along and do it now.. for less? Let's be generous to your opinion here and assume that the prices falling doesn't put them off. Why are they suddenly going to do it now when they haven't before? (Or on a greater scale than before.)



    * When I say similar for the same money, I mean similar enough/good enough to hurt Cliff's bottom line. I'm not arguing that no one's ever made a game like him.
     
  14. JGOware

    Indie Author

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    The bigger and more important battle is marketing, not price.
     
  15. Junkyard Sam

    Junkyard Sam New Member

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    When I first heard the "boutique" reference above, all I could think of was how every boutique store I see doesn't appear to be doing well or worse, is going out of business due to major-chain competition. Or is already gone.

    BUT this comment from BBJones really hit home:

    And they're able to do well by selling via the internet & worldwide, like we as developers try to do. And of course, it also helps that a game made by just a few people (or two or one) doesn't need to sell as many copies to be profitable.

    I guess I was thinking in terms of how the availability of cheap/free games affects people who are making indie games trying to replace the level of income they make or were making working at a major studio - like I wonder how many indie devs are taking home 6 digit salaries, for example.

    But I guess the first rule of this game is cutting back living expenses, and I assume that universal suggestion sort of hints at an answer to my previous paragraph.
     
  16. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    Why do you have to aim to be as big as wal-mart?
    A friend of mine runs a boat hire business (www.skiffhire.com). He specialises in renting out rowing boats with built-in-tents to people who aim to recreate the boating holiday portrayed in the novel 'three men in a boat', a typical victorian gentlemans summer holiday in the UK.
    You can't get more niche than 19th century boating holidays in antique wooden rowing boats on the Thames.
    He's been doing it for a living for at least ten years.

    If he had tried to compete against big companies that hired out canal boats, or renting out jet-skis, or something else mass-market, I'm sure he'd actually have some competition, but as it goes the only person on Earth who does what he does is him.
     
  17. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    Of course you don't have to aim to have a customer base as big as Walmart. But I think that many people wouldn't complain much if they somehow found themselves in that sort of position. ;)
     
  18. Deva

    Deva New Member

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    Of course, marketing and getting the word out about your game is important. But what it comes down to is that as customers grow more accustomed to downloadable games priced at $10 or less, many will be dissuaded from paying double for certain indie games. Why should they? Are indie games that much more special? If you can convince them that they are, either through the fantastic connection you have with your current customer base, or by the fact that your game is truly superior, that's great. But I have a feeling that it's going to become more and more difficult to do that, as time goes by... and it will surely be more difficult to pick up new customers with whom you don't have a relationship.
     
  19. princec

    Indie Author

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    ...but many people in here would. We don't write games for the mass market, though we could, if we wanted to.

    This whole discussion in this thread is just daft.

    The "indies" in here - that's independent - do what games they want, and sell them for whatever price they can get away with and choose that price themselves. The only thing us guys have to worry about is whether we can reach enough of our target audience (and if that target audience is big enough in the first place!) to make at least a living out of it, if not to get rich.

    The rest of you... aren't independent. If you can't choose what price your products are sold for - or even how you sell them - you might as well just be working as contract programmers, and earning 10x the lewt while you're at it.

    Cmon, let the thread die. There's nothing to really argue about in here.

    Cas :)
     
  20. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Most of the people that you call indie aren't then. If you can't make a living of it, your not indie but a hobist.

    PS: i find this little "definition" war completely dumb to be honest ;)


    JC
     

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