"casual games drop prices"... but what about non-casual?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Game Producer, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Game Producer

    Moderator Original Member

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    A quick look on Steam indie game (top seller) category reveals that most games fall under 10 eur, and so do "new games" as well.

    Only a handful of indie games go above the 10 eur mark.

    Is there a conspiracy going on? :D I see devs (including myself :p) bitching about "casual game price drops" but same seems to be happening (has happened already?) in the non-casual game space. Or in the indie category.

    Machinarium, Yet it Moves, Ziro (okay, that's somewhat casual as well) and so on fall under 10 eur mark. One could argue that some of those games in the "indie category" are "casual indie" games (and sometimes it's bit difficult to draw the line) but just look at the steam category and draw your own conclusions... not many indie games have price around $20.

    To me it looks like prices have dropped & are dropping.

    (Or at least so that games are splitted to episodes or sold as bundles with higher prices to cover up the price drop)

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    All my games are $20. But the difference is that I sell directly only :eek:
    Most spiderweb games are $25. Basilisk games are $20-25. Soldak's games too.
    Also those steam are time-limited sales perhaps, so a bit different from permanent low pricing ?
     
  3. Indinera

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Last year I priced a game $28.99
    I price my game based on their quantity of gameplay and overall magnitude, so there is no real rule.
    The only downside is that when I make a big game, it cannot go on portals since the price difference would make no sense.
     
  4. schizoslayer

    schizoslayer New Member

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    Part of it is actually because alot of Indie games that appear on Steam are also on one of the consoles and on the consoles $10-$15 is the upper limit for download titles (depends on the console in question).

    As such when it comes time to release the PC version it's hard to justify charging more for it than the console owners are being charged.

    This creates a market where people entering into it start to think that $10 is the most profitable point because why else would all these other indies be $10? The other theory is that nobody wants to be the outlier who says their game costs $20 because when you have lots of side-by-side comparisons of price like on Steam there is a fear that people won't buy your game and get something cheaper.

    The reality is that if people were going to buy your game then seeing a completely different game that's $10 cheaper isn't going to change their mind unless it offers the exact same experience.

    If I want an an RTS game and see a Tetris game $10 cheaper I'm not going to buy the Tetris game just because it's cheaper.
     
  5. Bad Sector

    Original Member

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    Note that Steam has a sales thing these days (summer sales) and many indie games are included there.
     
  6. lightassassin

    lightassassin New Member

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    schizoslayer got it!

    I don't go on steam looking for a game at a certain price point, I go there looking for games I want to play. Although a sale sometimes means I pickup a game I usually wouldn't because it's something new to play (yes... it's research) but I wouldn't go "OMG Space shooter extreme is not $10 like Big Kittens Big Yarn Adventure".

    Console game markets don't help either with their very unusual price points especially after the console companies take their cut.

    All I have is research from links over the net on marketing of games (their sales data) which I turned into a spread sheet for business development purposes and I find that a lower price point isn't the best idea, even sales that come premature are bad.

    You have to price your game to it's value. Unluckily that's the hardest part as it's difficult to judge your own worth at the best of times due to bias (it being your work).
     
  7. DFG

    DFG
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    Economy is still very sluggish, unemployment still high, buyers are much more discerning about where they spend their cash compared to a few years back.

    Lower prices than $20 for casual titles are the new norm. However, I do predict that Big Fish's price raise in the Euro zone is a test that will eventually hit the U.S. market (no insider knowledge, just a guess :) )
     

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