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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Dungeons of Dredmor - Pricing

Default Dungeons of Dredmor - Pricing

June 10th, 2011, 06:30
This popped up on our forums yesterday but Gaslamp has now posted their price for Dredmor on their blog. It's seriously underpriced at $4.99 in my opinion, but hey - who doesn't like a bargain?
We can now announce that the price for Dungeons of Dredmor is $4.99. There will be more on this later, including the hows and whys of this decision, but we think it’s the right one.
More fun announcements coming soon! Watch this channel!
More information.
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June 10th, 2011, 06:30
Wow.

It looks like a steal at 5 bucks !
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June 10th, 2011, 06:51
Will be interesting to see if this works for them. Jeff Vogel has preached against the low price approach relentlessly, and with good arguments. They need to get a lot of extra sales to make up for the low price.
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June 10th, 2011, 08:35
Damn, thats very nice and cheap ~ I was expecting between $24.99 and $34.99. I have some extra money now!
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June 10th, 2011, 11:01
5 bucks !
Niceee !
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June 10th, 2011, 13:28
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Will be interesting to see if this works for them. Jeff Vogel has preached against the low price approach relentlessly, and with good arguments. They need to get a lot of extra sales to make up for the low price.
I kind of agree. Maybe they should go up into 10 at least.

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June 10th, 2011, 14:04
Wichever the cost, I'll buy it instantly. I understand they've debated long and hard over this descision. I truly hope it works out for them and that they are - at the very least - compensated for all their effort.
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June 10th, 2011, 14:23
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Will be interesting to see if this works for them. Jeff Vogel has preached against the low price approach relentlessly, and with good arguments. They need to get a lot of extra sales to make up for the low price.
I have to disagree. I've read Vogel's arguments and I think he misses completely. It's probably just the businessman in me, but setting your price point because of pride is one of the worst things you can do. The appropriate price is simply the one that maximizes revenue, especially give that the marginal cost of an extra sale is functionally zero.

For games that are 'classical', to use a polite term, you are severely limiting your customer base when you are pricing them near the same amounts as new AAA titles. If I go to GOG and have a choice to buy Arcanum (which I haven't played yet) for $9.99 or Avadon for $25, Arcanum is going to win every time. Even if I've played Arcanum, I'm going to question the value of paying 2.5x as much for a title that is even more out of date (speaking of everything outside of content of course).

Indi titles need to be impulse buys, IMO, to maximize revenue. It sort of reminds me of DVD/Blu-Ray sales. I am a movie collector. I have an HTPC with close to 400 ripped movies. However, I'd probably have a collection rivaling Netflix if movies didn't cost $20+ when they come out on disc. Make new movies $5, and I'd easily buy 10x as many. It goes from being a cost decision to an impulse buy. They make more profit off me at a lower price. You'd also turn a lot of people that don't buy movies into movie buyers because, again, its an impulse buy.

I have yet to buy a spiderweb game. I may buy Avadon (I downloaded the demo to check it out), but I'm not sure yet. If it had been $9.99, I would have bought it already (like when I grabbed a bunch of titles from GOG that were $9.99 just to have them for later). I'm likely to buy DoD, because at $5, I'm sure I can get enough enjoyment out of it to justify the cost, even though it's not my typical type of game.

Now, Vogel certainly could be correct. He's obviously been doing this a long time. However, in all that he has written against lowering the price, I've never seen any hard evidence that his approach nets more profit. He speaks a lot about devaluing, pride, etc., but that is irrelevant unless it directly affects the bottom line.

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June 10th, 2011, 14:35
Of course I don't know either, thats why I said it will be interesting. However, Vogel is the only CRPG indie that's been around for over a decade, successful enough to feed himself and a family. That counts for something, in my book. Also, in my memory at least the core of his argument has nothing to do with pride. He says that his games are very niche, e.g. have a very small customer base. That niche is large enough to feed him if he asks the prices he does. He says he can simply not make the game attractive to that many more people just by lowering the price that it would compensate. If the argument is correct, it would probably hold true for a graphical roguelike like Dungeons of Dredmor.
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June 10th, 2011, 14:44
Only five bucks, eh. Sweet! I was expecting $9.99, which I consider to be a price "sweet spot" for indies (as a consumer, that is).

C'mon, release it already!

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June 10th, 2011, 14:52
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Of course I don't know either, thats why I said it will be interesting. However, Vogel is the only CRPG indie that's been around for over a decade, successful enough to feed himself and a family. That counts for something, in my book. Also, in my memory at least the core of his argument has nothing to do with pride. He says that his games are very niche, e.g. have a very small customer base. That niche is large enough to feed him if he asks the prices he does. He says he can simply not make the game attractive to that many more people just by lowering the price that it would compensate. If the argument is correct, it would probably hold true for a graphical roguelike like Dungeons of Dredmor.
In one of his posts, he did specifically make the point about pride (it was the one where he was detailing how much it cost to make a game, I think Avernum 6).

He may be right, but also, I think one of his issues has been marketing. He's right that he has a very small niche, but I think it is significantly smaller than it could be because, like many indi devs, his marketing has been very lax. If not for this site, I honestly don't think I ever would have heard of his games. Hopefully the iPad version of Avadon will help get the word out.

If his universe of potential buyers is really only say 20,000 (I'm just doubling what I believe he said were the expected lifetime sales of Avernum 6 at 10,000), then keeping the price high might be the only way to go. But how much larger would that universe be at a lower price? Or why aren't his games (outside of price) on GOG (or even Steam)? Seems like he could significantly increase his potential base through those mediums, but he'd have to lower the price of course.

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June 10th, 2011, 15:34
The latest Spiderweb Games (Avernum 5 and 6, Geneforge 5, and Avadon) are available at Gamersgate. Avernum 6 is $25 and the rest are $20, and they had A5 and G5 on sale for $12.50 several months ago. Also, Avernum 4 is available at casual games site BigFish Games for $7.
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June 10th, 2011, 15:49
That's good to hear. I actually have never been to Gamersgate or BigFish games.

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June 10th, 2011, 17:01
I hope spiderweb games move to another distribution site. I'm using 4 and while i have nothing against gamersgate; I thnk 4 is already three too many. I'm using gog, steam, direct2drive and impulse (though I will probably drop impulse). gog would be a great fit for Jeff's game
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June 10th, 2011, 17:50
That's a buy for sure.

Also, well, considering how most Roguelikes in PC-land are free/iDevice priced…rather than the Fushigi Dungeon assortment on consoles and handhelds—-$5 should be a handier barrier-breaker for folks whom this might be the first one they've ever paid for.

Kind of, but only just kind of and to a point, Unreal World has a roughly similar price point.
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June 10th, 2011, 17:54
Originally Posted by blatantninja View Post
For games that are 'classical', to use a polite term, you are severely limiting your customer base when you are pricing them near the same amounts as new AAA titles. If I go to GOG and have a choice to buy Arcanum (which I haven't played yet) for $9.99 or Avadon for $25, Arcanum is going to win every time. Even if I've played Arcanum, I'm going to question the value of paying 2.5x as much for a title that is even more out of date (speaking of everything outside of content of course).
Maybe this man's customer base is mostly people who already bought Arcanum and can not move on, looking for games nearing the Arcanum feel. They might be left with this man's games only to suit their narrow tastes.
Now for players buying Arcanum or others, among them, some might take the same path, wishing for getting a similar feel and again, will come to this man's games as there is not much offer aside.
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June 10th, 2011, 18:01
Cliff Harris also preaches against the low price point, and he isn't just doing it from pride, he's run experiments where he's changed price points to see if it makes a difference. And he's yet to see anything to justify the idea that if you cut prices in half you'd receive twice as many sales.

Which I agree with intuitively. Game purchasing tends to be an emotional choice. I am not twice as likely to buy a game I have little interest in in the price halves, I'm still at zero interest. And if I'm really excited about a game and it's priced higher than normal, I might grumble but I'll generally still buy it.

Price will affect purchasing, don't get me wrong. But I think the change doesn't correlate linearly. In fact, for a game $10 or under my choice is more about whether I like the game enough to bother going through checkout process than price.

I'll be interested to see how it works out for them. I think it's a mistake, but I'd love to be proved wrong.

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Last edited by Naked Ninja; June 10th, 2011 at 18:12.
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June 10th, 2011, 18:02
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Of course I don't know either, thats why I said it will be interesting. However, Vogel is the only CRPG indie that's been around for over a decade, successful enough to feed himself and a family. That counts for something, in my book. Also, in my memory at least the core of his argument has nothing to do with pride. He says that his games are very niche, e.g. have a very small customer base. That niche is large enough to feed him if he asks the prices he does. He says he can simply not make the game attractive to that many more people just by lowering the price that it would compensate. If the argument is correct, it would probably hold true for a graphical roguelike like Dungeons of Dredmor.
He is probably right. If he cuts the price in half he needs a bit more than double the sales to reach the same result, say 2.2 * n. Higher sales numbers leads to higher transaction costs and more support requests, which needs to be factored in.
For such niche products, especially if they have an established customer base, it's probably a good idea to give everybody who wants to buy it for full price the chance to do it. Then he can get budget sales later.
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June 10th, 2011, 18:13
That's a good point Gorath. I certainly see no issue with a full price then price drop, but (excluding what Zborno posted), when you go to his site, his old games are almost as expensive as the new ones.

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June 10th, 2011, 18:14
A factor against a low price strategy in this case is probably also that you don't get many impulse buys, especially if you market your game yourself, via your own website. I do impulse buys on steam sales (which are heavily advertised in steam itself) and on the App-store, but that's it.
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