Interesting article about the casual price point

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by anpd, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. anpd

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  2. GaiaDreamCreation

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    It's a good article. I think Joel Brodie is right his article about the trends. The paragraph below drew my attention. Do you think that Facebook games earn that much? It’s more in a month than the average salary of my people in a year!

     
  3. Wrote A Game or Two

    Wrote A Game or Two New Member

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    Sure, if you're Zynga or Playfirst. ;) Us small fry, meh... not so much. But still decent potential (500K-1M annual) if your game is good enough. Hell, that would suit me just fine!

    We're looking into it, but need to learn the technology behind it better before we can branch out into this. I'm hoping our next release will do well enough to pay a developer to build facebook versions and pay for a mobile developer to create mobile versions of our games - I'm getting too old to be the lone coder on the team. It would be nice to build the downloadables and then hand them off to the mobile and facebook guys and say "make this." :D
     
  4. Allen Varney

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    Some of the early casual hits on the portals were making that kind of money too, in the early days of the portals. You know, back when the portals only took 20% of the revenue. Before they aggregated most of the audience. Before they secured their slow chokehold on indie developers and started cutting off their oxygen.

    My point? Why, I have no point. Obviously something like that could never happen again. Write your Facebook game! Just look, it can make a million dollars a year!
     
  5. Jack Norton

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    LOL
    Anyone could have made 1M with an iPhone game 1-2 years ago, and now another 1M with FB games. Here's the Secret to Success and Money in two easy steps!
     
  6. PoV

    PoV
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    Hey, I'm "Anyone" and I didn't make 1M on iPhone! What's the big idea! No fair!
     
  7. berserker

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    I would have been excited with facebook and social games if only I haven't seen the very save picture 5 years ago with casual games. It all looked great and promising but ended up with gloom and doom.
     
  8. Jack Norton

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    Yep, niche MMO are surely a wayyyy safer bet than social games ;)
    (a bit like niche games were at times of casual explosion)
     
  9. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    You always have to stay ahead of the curve I guess... unfortunately for me I only spend 5 or so hours a week, so by the time I finish anything I'm already way behind the rest of the industry. :(
     
  10. berserker

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    Safer bet would be not "ahead" but "aside".
     
  11. berserker

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    Actually next time I would try something more mainsteam and casual, cause I feel like GUNROX was too niche (which brings both positive and negative issues)
     
  12. bantamcitygames

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    Point taken
     
  13. desmasic

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    Wow, people some posting there are so generous that they are willing to spend WHOLE 10 USD for a good game instead what they are getting right now.

    Maybe instead of trying to buy 5 four dollar average games a month they should save up for one or two $20 games per month, the good games. But that's just crazy thinking.
     
  14. Jack Norton

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    Ah ok. But I think the "casual MMO" (farming, match3, anything like that) is going to be literally FLOODED (if isn't already with FB/social games) in next months. I'm not an expert of online games, of course :eek:
     
  15. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It is really. That's say 30% of the cost of a AAA game you can buy from a store. You think the better indie games are a third the quality of a AAA ? Don't think so. Sorry, but they're just not, regardless of which sort you prefer.

    That's my biggest problem with buying indie games. All I see around here are questions about shipping games with shit art, or only 10 levels, etc. Unless you're doing something that doesn't actually need lots of content (match-3, etc) then you'd better jolly well put plenty in. It's not rocket science.
     
  16. mwtb

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    I don't know. You could argue all day about what "quality" means (and I don't have a problem with that, it's why this topic has legs for discussion). Is there really a direct comparison between AAA titles and the casual download space? Do the markets overlap much at all?

    Out of curiosity, I joined BFG a few months back and spent around 50 dollars on two months of membership and a bunch of games (from a $20 CE HOG to a number of $2.99 daily deals). There were certainly variations in my own perception of quality between games of a similar ilk but I'm at a loss to give any value to how much better or worse one of the HOGs was to, let's say, Crysis. The fact is that people who devour HOGs aren't likely to look at a AAA title and vice versa. It's rather like comparing a Mills and Boon title to a graphic novel, the readers of each wouldn't even glance at the other and so the market positioning in terms of pricing isn't really comparable.
     
  17. berserker

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    1. Not that casual :)
    2. There are still plenty of room for interesting, original, and not yet implemented ideas to be made as MMO.

    I said "more mainstream and casual" which means "more mainstream and casual than GUNROX". Actually you can MMO anything, so why not?
     
  18. Jack Norton

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    Yes true, there are surely many ideas to be made still... Something like my tribe for facebook, there could be already lots of variants of that kind of game ("populous style").
     
  19. papillon

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    If your particular tastes are not catered to by AAA games then they're a lot more than a third the quality of an AAA. Not to mention that I'm sure we've all bought AAA games which turned out to be utter shit. And then there are the retail games which wouldn't really fall into the category of hardcore-AAA but cost the same price anyway... or more!

    And not all indie is casual.

    Dropping the casual price point to $10 for actually casual games wasn't really a stupid idea. $20 for a good casual game was an easier spend to make when the financial climate was less gloomy; now a lot of people feel bad about spending that. But I still very much wish that BFG hadn't dropped its pricing tier scheme. It always seemed to work well to me - those who HAD more money to drop could buy just the one game at full price, those who had less could get deals and feel like they were getting something special.
     
  20. Applewood

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    I didn't even mean quality really. Personally I hate the fact that AAA games have lots of additional bullshit. For example, Tiger Woods has all the post hole commentary that must've taken a small team of guys months to lip-synch. Yet I would spend that entire episode mashing the escape key.

    But, the word I should've used was content, not quality. People spend 60 bucks for 28 squigs of models and environments and the entire game is modelled right down to the commentaries by a 500 strong team. If you want to do a golf game and sell if for a third of that, I'd expect there to be no commentary crap, only one course, only a few player models etc. But that course and those player models better look like EA's ones, otherwise you'll be selling by the handful.

    I did acknowledge that some games don't need much content. If you can play in that pool then fine.

    Hell yes, I've pretty much stopped buying them myself. But I never once moaned about the price, because whether I liked it or not, you can't argue with how much time was spent on it.

    My mission here is not to pronounce that indie games are shite. It is to remind you that 20 bucks really isn't a reflection of what you get when compared to the larger stuff. We know that's not that relevant - you get what you can - but you must try to see it how th epunters do. I've seen very few indie games that I would consider worth a third the price of a AAA.
     
    #20 Applewood, Jun 5, 2010
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2010

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