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RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Spiderweb Games - Why you can't have every game for a dollar

Default Spiderweb Games - Why you can't have every game for a dollar

October 16th, 2011, 11:37
Michael Anderson writes they have a guest post at Gear Diary from Jeff Vogel on pricing games:
Games like this have to charge an actual price. They just have to, if the developer wants to stay in business. Why? Because if I charge a dollar for one of my old school role-playing games, even if everyone who could possibly be interested buys one, I would go out of business. So I have to charge more. Games in this category will be five dollars minimum, possibly more, and if you complain that the price is too high, that is like saying, “I want you to go out of business to please me.”
But then there are niche titles. Games for gamers, or games aimed at a smaller audience. Adventure games. Strategy games. Games like what I write: old school, low budget role-playing games. Games like this will never have a huge audience, and they aren’t trying for one. They are aimed to serve a small, dedicated audience.
More information.
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October 16th, 2011, 11:37
If I was making games (someday I will) I would put it out for the price I decide it's worth for about a year or two, then discount it for another year or 2, and after that put it out for free. I think within a year or 2 you should have your main audience, then after about 3 to 4 years you would have the people that were interested but were not sure, and then after that since it would be free you might get people that are curious that will download it and then maybe get new customers.

PS. I know making demos can cover the last part but demos are never enough and if they are you can lose business to it. I have been burned by demos being better then the actual game so I don't really trust them too much anyways.
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October 16th, 2011, 11:56
if you complain that the price is too high, that is like saying, “I want you to go out of business to please me.”
As far as I'm concerned that's nonsense… I wouldn't say that because, frankly, I don't care if some guy I don't know from Adam goes out of business or not, I have enough problems around me to deal with. If I say that the price of a game is too high I'm simply saying that it costs more than I'm willing to pay for it. If you think that my money doesn't worth the risk of a lower price then that's your call… no point in trying to make me feel guilty about it.



(EDIT: just to clarify: I'm commenting on the quoted part alone, which is generalizing to begin with, each specific case has its particularities - I do not think Spiderweb's games are overpriced.)

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October 16th, 2011, 12:43
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
If I was making games (someday I will) I would put it out for the price I decide it's worth for about a year or two, then discount it for another year or 2, and after that put it out for free. I think within a year or 2 you should have your main audience, then after about 3 to 4 years you would have the people that were interested but were not sure, and then after that since it would be free you might get people that are curious that will download it and then maybe get new customers.
You might want to adjust that plan if you plan on going indie. Their strength is in having a long tail. Even more than 4 years long or at least that's what I've read. No idea if it's true or not.

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October 16th, 2011, 14:31
Actually that is just an estimate and actuality the time frame would be based on the amount of sales.
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October 16th, 2011, 14:36
Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
Actually that is just an estimate and actuality the time frame would be based on the amount of sales.
The point is still valid, a lot of times you make significant money later on. Maybe a media blitz occurs for some reason, or a forum post hypes the game. If you read a lot of indie blogs (which I do) you see it mentioned pretty consistently that games many years old are still paying the monthly rent.
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October 16th, 2011, 15:01
Jeff's articles are always interesting.
The article page seems to have a few issues, though. It's not loading properly on the lastest Opera. I had to disable JavaScript to get past this annoying Facebook overlay.

What does the following sentence mean?
"The purpose of this article is to explain why some games have to have actual ###remove one actual?###prices that are actual money."
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October 16th, 2011, 15:41
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
What does the following sentence mean?
"The purpose of this article is to explain why some games have to have actual ###remove one actual?###prices that are actual money."
He's just using slang English there basically. He's saying $1 is not "actual" money in that it is too cheap to really count.
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October 16th, 2011, 16:45
This is frequently the business model for Iphone games on the appstore. They keep lowering the price and then many will will give their games away for free at some point in order to drum support for their newly released games. I think the idea is that a big boost of income to your new game is better then a small trickle of income from your old one.

Originally Posted by guenthar View Post
If I was making games (someday I will) I would put it out for the price I decide it's worth for about a year or two, then discount it for another year or 2, and after that put it out for free. I think within a year or 2 you should have your main audience, then after about 3 to 4 years you would have the people that were interested but were not sure, and then after that since it would be free you might get people that are curious that will download it and then maybe get new customers.

PS. I know making demos can cover the last part but demos are never enough and if they are you can lose business to it. I have been burned by demos being better then the actual game so I don't really trust them too much anyways.
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October 16th, 2011, 17:11
Originally Posted by Gorath View Post
Jeff's articles are always interesting.
The article page seems to have a few issues, though. It's not loading properly on the lastest Opera. I had to disable JavaScript to get past this annoying Facebook overlay.

What does the following sentence mean?
"The purpose of this article is to explain why some games have to have actual ###remove one actual?###prices that are actual money."
It means the person editing his text for the article (i.e. 'me') saw the double actual, made a note, but failed to correct it in the final text

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October 16th, 2011, 18:13
I think everyone has a set price in mind for any given game. For instance, BioWare's Dragon Age II, at $60, was a rip-off. However, the Witcher 2 at $40, I felt, was about right.

To me, anything more than $40-50 for an A-level game is too much.

Part of it has to do with how 'polished' a game is, how fun it was to play, and length.
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October 16th, 2011, 19:12
Aside from occasional classics ported as mobile phone 'apps' (such as Secret of Monkey Island)… smartphone games are shallow and boring - 99% of them I wouldn't even download if they were free.

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October 16th, 2011, 23:37
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
Aside from occasional classics ported as mobile phone 'apps' (such as Secret of Monkey Island)… smartphone games are shallow and boring - 99% of them I wouldn't even download if they were free.
That statement is equally true as 'PC gaming is dead'.

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October 17th, 2011, 00:02
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
That statement is equally true as 'PC gaming is dead'.
I was speaking for myself… not the entire consumer-base.

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October 17th, 2011, 03:17
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I was speaking for myself… not the entire consumer-base.
Fair enough, but as someone who enjoys smart phone games, I can tell you that it's probably true that 90-95% of smart phone games are shallow and boring. Maybe even more then that. But so many games get produced that even if only 1% were worth playing that would still be a lot of games.
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October 17th, 2011, 03:58
Undercroft and 100 Rogues for iOs are pretty good. They aren't exactly something I'd play on the computer, but they're an ok alternative for when I'm out and about.

There are more and more being released that look interesting. Some in the indie forum look really good for being on the iphone.

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October 17th, 2011, 04:32
Originally Posted by fadedc View Post
Fair enough, but as someone who enjoys smart phone games, I can tell you that it's probably true that 90-95% of smart phone games are shallow and boring. Maybe even more then that. But so many games get produced that even if only 1% were worth playing that would still be a lot of games.
I have nothing against phone gaming. If the day comes that there are games I enjoy playing on a phone I'll be the first to admit it. But right now, if I'm on a train or subway I'd rather just sit and stare than play a game on my phone. Just my personal opinion about phone games at this point.

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October 17th, 2011, 05:23
Originally Posted by TheMadGamer View Post
I have nothing against phone gaming. If the day comes that there are games I enjoy playing on a phone I'll be the first to admit it. But right now, if I'm on a train or subway I'd rather just sit and stare than play a game on my phone. Just my personal opinion about phone games at this point.
That is fine, and you are certainly entitled to your opinions about what you like and how you choose to do your gaming - but that doesn't mean there aren't as many good or bad games for iPhone - and particularly iPad - as on PC.

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October 17th, 2011, 05:59
Mike, you know this forum and the people here. Most of us are part of the PC only club. You know this. You've had a bunch of arguments with the other people here about Apple products.

I don't agree with you at all in that there are as many good games on the iPhone or iPad, but that's my opinion on this matter. I'm sure the people on the App forums have the exact opposite opinion. Put some perspective in where you are and what kind of people enjoy this forum.

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October 17th, 2011, 06:28
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
but that doesn't mean there aren't as many good or bad games for iPhone - and particularly iPad - as on PC.
Let's at least try to stay realistic here.
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