Spiderweb permanently lowering prices

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Jack Norton, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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  2. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Yeah, been thinking about this for quite awhile. For one thing, how do you release the same title on iPad for $4.99 and on PC for $19.99? Hard to do, selling a handful of copies a day at $19.99 makes my budget go round but you've got to be competitive.
     
  3. Jack Norton

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    Well, I release my games on iPad (through other companies) at same price as downloadable :)
     
  4. mwtb

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    Then I'd guess that he would raise them again.

    It seems a fairly unlikely scenario though. Part of the reason for the price drop is that he's managed to get a presence on high volume market-places that have lower price expectations. I strongly suspect that the numbers of people wandering from Steam to check out what other stuff he has (and with the $10 price point in mind) is considerably greater than the numbers of his long-time fans who would pay $25+.
     
  5. terin

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    My impact is immense :D

    Part of the story behind this, since I am Jeff's PR guy at the moment, is Steam and iOS success has given him some leeway to play with pricing models that he was otherwise too risk adverse to attempt before.

    I've almost never seen a 5-10 dollar price drop actually radically alter revenue figures. Sales tend to increase, profit tends to remain the same. However, what this does do is brings his own prices more in line with the "competitor" prices, which could help prevent long term bleedoff. As he says, this is about maximizing profit pure and simple.

    Plus I intend to leverage it to gain some more exposure to continue riding the current wave of enthusiasm on his games since they suddenly came back into vogue. ;)

    -Joe
     
  6. Simon Tomlin

    Simon Tomlin New Member

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    I cannot help thinking that his policy of charging twice as much for people who visit his web site will just make his regular customers angry. It would me since people who visit the site and want to support an indie developer do not expect to be treated like "idiots who pay more for the same thing".

    These are the people I would want to look after.

    However, he has been running the company for a long time so maybe he knows best.
     
  7. Jack Norton

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    Lol, they could simply be "true fans who wants to support your work". Yes, those people do exists! Just yesterday one of my best customers insisted to give me an extra donation of money to support my efforts :D
     
  8. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    All those thoughts have gone through my head as well. I can't see the business sense in making it more appealing to go to Steam than my own website.
     
  9. Simon Tomlin

    Simon Tomlin New Member

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    Yes, but that is different. If your in a bar you might leave a dollar as a tip but it would be annoying if the bartender said that will be $3 for the beer and an extra $3 because you asked me and not the person three feet away.

    Maybe its just me.
     
  10. Indinera

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    He would lose money if he wasn't on Steam. But now he is, he won't. On the PC for big volumes everything is down to Steam, especially for indie games that are not plain casual stuff (like RPGs).
    I'll lower my prices too when I get on Steam lol
     
    #10 Indinera, Oct 5, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  11. Davaris

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    He will be giving most of his customers to Steam. Spiderweb will become just another indie, entirely dependent on the whim of portal owners.

    Also I don't like his idea of giving games away free and thinking of paying people to play them. I know some people are doing this and making a lot of money. However, surely games will have to be entirely designed around this idea, and eventually they will come to resemble money extraction machines, rather than games.

    Jeff has been around a long time, surviving a lot of big companies going bust. I sure hope we aren't talking about this as, the beginning of the end of Spiderweb in 4 or 5 years.
     
  12. CasualInsider

    CasualInsider New Member

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    Steam is a great portal/platform. It's not like the casual or console portals at all. People like Steam and want more games on their accounts, but unlike other portals it is possible to directly convert Steam customers to direct customers and true fans. I'm hesitant to put more games on other portals, but I would absolutely put every game I can on Steam.

    With Steam you only lose customers if you choose to... really if you use Steam right you should gain customers and be able to build your base of true fans.

    What is really great about Steam is the number of users it has... and the sales. Lots of people will buy your game when it's on sale if it even vaguely interests them, and then never play it.

    IAP models are just the evolution of demo models. They allow more people to get into the game, and a game to expand more as people who play the IAP game show their friends and so even more people play. Probably in the future for example on Steam there will be more games which are "free to play" and have IAP to buy DLC instead of buying the game outright, because doing it this way more people will try the game and get hooked on it.

    Jeff is not going anywhere. I hope he keeps experimenting. :p

    The devs who have games on Steam... they can still sell more expensive versions on their site is they label them correctly and have extras people like (DLC, expansions, free direct only content), and have a simple and inexpensive way of converting portal customers to direct customers. Anyone who is not lazy can do this right (but I'm lazy d'oh).
     
  13. terin

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    Eh, I think you guys are making mountains out of mole hills. All of these changes are for the long term gain of Spiderweb and if you can't see why... well, you're probably too far in the trees to see the forest.

    If Spiderweb ceased to exist in 5 years it would more likely be because Jeff retires. :D Though jeff said something about putting his kids through college and not retiring anytime soon so... I digress

    -Joe
     
  14. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    All of these changes are for the long term gain of Spiderweb and if you can't see why... well, you're probably too far in the trees to see the forest.

    Boy, it would be nice to be as smart as you are Joe.
     
  15. terin

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    Bah that post made me angry. I've deleted my reply, no reason for me to be mean. That post wasn't targeted at anyone.
     
    #15 terin, Oct 5, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  16. Indinera

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    Saw that post before it got deleted lol anyway - I personally understand Jeff's strategy given his new situation. To each situation a different strategy, I guess.
     
  17. terin

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    We'll keep that a secret between you and I then, haha. All I was saying is if you DON'T see it step back and look at more variables here. If you want me to spell it out I can, but I didn't think it was really worth going over in super detail. It's all been talked about above me anyway.
     
  18. Indinera

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    Ah, a secret, I like that! ^__^
     
  19. Jack Norton

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    Yes I suppose if you plan in advance, you should design your game with DLC/expansions already in mind, that's what I'm doing with my next RPGs titles even if for sure they'll never be on Steam, but seems like the general trend is "instead of a game 10h long for $20, make two games 5h long for $10 each" :D
     
  20. Indinera

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    I'm not too fond of this personally lol but it does work if you aim at portals, since most of them have fixed prices. so in that case indeed you're better off having two games at $6.99 than just one. or you can just sell direct instead.
     

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