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Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by katok, Feb 15, 2005.
What strategy can be used to make price and does it have influence to customer's decision?
For reference, pricing has been discussed here before:
[thread=1203]Price Points for Indie Games?[/thread] (2004-11-25)
[thread=1940]Oh the Price of Games[/thread] (2005-02-04)
[thread=276]Product Pricing Primer[/thread] discusses an article by the same name by not a legend Eric Sink.
[thread=1289]19.95 vs 24.95[/thread] (2004-12-5)
Here's a list of older discussions from the Dexterity Archives:
Which sells better? 20.00 vs. 19.95 (2004-07-25)
Why $19.95? (2004-05-22)
Has anyone tried charging $34.99? (2004-07-25)
Game Pricing (2004-04-21) discusses an article named The Mysteries of Computer Game Pricing.
How do you decide your price point? (2002-04-10)
Need feedback: pricing model & customer community only? (2004-01-19)
Shareware pricing - thoughts? (2003-03-03)
Reasons not to buy a game for $1.99 (2004-06-28)
Pricing Differences (2003-12-21) Does anyone have hard evidence of an increase, decrease, or other change related to the change in the price of their product?
How do you decide on your games pricing? (2002-10-12)
To price or not to price (2004-01-16) What do people think about having the price in the game?
Advertising Prices (2003-02-18) Should put the price right next to the game description on the main page?
Let customer decide price? (2003-08-11) What do you think of allowing the customer to decide the price, along with a suggested retail price?
Price points in international currencies? (2004-06-13)
Pricing changes for different markets? (2003-09-15) I heard that when localizing software for different language markets, it is a good idea to change the price for that market.
Good job Wayward - I didn't even understand the question
Having travelled the budget games path I can tell you that the people who complain about prices aren't buying indie games anyways, so don't listen to any of it. Strangely, people who complain about paying $20 dollars for a game like Gish have no problem lining up to pay $70 dollars for the latest mainstream release.
Going less than $10 dollars (in my opinion, less than $15) cuts into your margin so much that you have to sell hundreds of copies a month just to break even. It also limits how much time and money you can invest in developing a game and in general it brings the overall quality down.
Better to charge more and improve the quality of your products and customer service than to scale back everything to meet a budget price. In my experience, budget pricing is the quickest way to cripple your business before it even gets running.
Although I haven't yet sold a PC game, I want to agree. Budget price gives me the impression of less quality or dated software, and I believe its better to put more into quality/value and demanding a higher price for that.
Mankind's Giant Bargain Bin
One of the strengths usually mentioned with making Indie games is the ability to satisfy a niche market too small for the big boys but still has room for one or two Indie players. I have no experience selling a game yet, but this makes me question why prices around $20 seems to be the norm.
My thinking goes if you are satisfying a market the big boys are ignoring then you are a rare and unique product. Rare and unique typically means luxury prices, not discount prices. Say you make a game for Cereal Box Collectors that they go nutz for, why shouldnâ€™t you charge $50 or $70? Higher prices keep the developer making the game they desire by giving the developer the security and incentive to continue to support the product and even make improvements instead of closing up shop and getting a full time job or making a mass-market product.
Actually it just dawned on me that Kai Backmanâ€™s ShortHike (used to be Space Station Manager) is probably an example of what Iâ€™m talking about. I believe he used to charge around $20 but now is selling $50 annual subscriptions. It makes sense to me that he has changed his business model this way because he is satisfying a unique game niche and his audience is probably happy to support his efforts with luxury prices, well maybe not luxury but definitely not discount. In return the gamers get a specialized game they enjoy, that continues to get support, and improved to boot. This would only be possible if the developer was given the security and incentive provided by a higher price. (I apologize if Iâ€™m putting words into your mouth Kai, feel free to correct and clarify my thoughts on your game.)
Granted some Indie games donâ€™t fit into niches that way and so I can understand the discount mentality, but is my thinking flawed when it comes to specialty games and niches? Does the typical consumer really think the internet is one giant bargain bin?