|
Your continuous donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Spiderweb Games - Indie Game Pricing

Default Spiderweb Games - Indie Game Pricing

June 23rd, 2009, 21:13
Not specifically RPG related but Jeff Vogel's blog is always a good read - even for those that don't agree. Jeff returns to the issue of indie game pricing through portals after noting even lower prices:
$6.95 is currently the magic price. Generally, to get that price, you need to buy a subscription. In other words, use the developer's game as a loss leader to win their private route into your credit card.

So let's run some numbers. A typical deal on these portals is that the portal keeps, say, 10% of a sale for expenses and then pays a 40% royalty. (This is pretty close to what I generally get.) Which means each sale of a game on Big Fish would earn you roughly $2.50. You better hope you're earning more per copy elsewhere because otherwise, if you want a pretty meager payout for your work (say, $100K before expenses), you have to sell forty thousand games. You know how hard it is to move that many copies? PRETTY DARN HARD.
This seems to be the indie theme of the day with the Rampant Coyote picking up Jeff's post and Gareth Fouche discussing the somewhat related issue of back-catalogues competing with indies at the Scars of War blog.
More information.
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#1

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964

Default 

June 23rd, 2009, 21:13
I certainly feel the pain of anyone trying to develop games these days. You either get the price strangulation of the indie life or the corporate play-it-safe boredom mill, unless you're extremely fortunate.

What I absolutely can't understand is how a person who makes games like Vogel's could possibly NEED a portal service. I'm not saying I disbelieve that he does, I'm just saying it boggles my mind that anyone with even a passing interest in RPGs and a frigging internet connection would ever need more than 5 minutes to find a quality bunch of games like those without ever having to resort to some kind of portal service or amazon dot com.

Or maybe I don't believe him after all. Maybe I just don't believe that there's anyone who would independently buy his games who doesn't do so already, and the bottom line is the only people who would purchase from a portal are ones who just wouldn't buy the game any other way. In that case, I don't know how to feel. Maybe the portals bring the dev an option that they wouldn't have without portals, and forgoing the portal puts the dev in the same spot he would have been in a world with no portals.

Does a casual gaming site like Big Fish Games actually deprive someone like Vogel, someone so thoroughly niche, of any sales? If not, can you really fault them for their business model? I don't know. Like I've said before, iTunes exploded in large part because EVERY SONG was 99 cents. People just like the model, and it would be dumb for portals to side with devs over paying customers, certainly if the portal marketplace itself is competitive enough that Vogel can find 3 similar services to use as examples.

Once again, I just don't know if I believe that a paying CRPG fan in the internet age could possibly fail to find Spiderweb games. But I guess portals could hold the key to fool some unwary waifs into starting a life of CRPG addiction. Though if that happens, won't such newly created fans find their way to Spiderweb on their own, looking for that unique old school fix?

I don't really like his games myself, but I'm happy to know they're out there just the same.
Yeesh is offline

Yeesh

Yeesh's Avatar
Hopeless Curmudgeon

#2

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: too poor for Manhattan
Posts: 374

Default 

June 23rd, 2009, 22:53
I'd pay up to 20 Euros, but I still want something physical in my hands, which is why I don't use download portals.

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR

#3

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 15,868

Default 

June 24th, 2009, 02:04
I agree with his point about price pressure, though the specifics of some of the pricing is incorrect (like the iTunes App Store in specific … and I spend enough there to know that folks are very willing to cough up $10 for a good app / game).

The interesting thing is how a game that was $25 for Windows Mobile suddenly becomes $5 - 10 for iPhone. That happened with Arvale, for example. Tough pill to swallow.

— Mike
txa1265 is offline

txa1265

txa1265's Avatar
SasqWatch

#4

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Corning, NY USA
Posts: 11,329

Default 

June 24th, 2009, 14:52
I think the dual approach works the best. It's a natural thing, compare it to the 'early adopters pay more' fact. You want the newest Iphone or gaming console as soon as it comes out? Fork out the big $$$. Wait a year, fork out much less $$$. Simple.
In the case of Indies, the developer could sell the games for a premium for the loyal fanbase (sad that they have to pay more than non-fans, tell that to cable companies, old customers pay more than new ones). After, say, 6 months when you know people that were interested already bought it, sell it in the portals for less $$$, but since you weren't really expecting more income from the game, anything however small is a plus. Besides, you are showing the game to people who otherwise wouldn't know about it, and might pay the premium price for the next release.
Last edited by wolfing; June 24th, 2009 at 18:57.
wolfing is online now

wolfing

wolfing's Avatar
Wonders what SasqWatch is

#5

Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 3,114

Default 

June 24th, 2009, 15:05
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
Does a casual gaming site like Big Fish Games actually deprive someone like Vogel, someone so thoroughly niche, of any sales?
I bought the first three Avernum games directly from Vogel, paying the full price. But if I understand the deal correctly, I can buy the 4th part for less than 7 bucks from Big Fish Games. If that's true, I'll certainly do that instead of paying more via Vogel's site - but if I like the game, I'll return to the Spiderweb shop for the 5th part.
Elwro is offline

Elwro

Elwro's Avatar
Filthy Codex Spy

#6

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 482

Default 

June 24th, 2009, 23:48
Originally Posted by Yeesh View Post
Does a casual gaming site like Big Fish Games actually deprive someone like Vogel, someone so thoroughly niche, of any sales? If not, can you really fault them for their business model? I don't know. Like I've said before, iTunes exploded in large part because EVERY SONG was 99 cents. People just like the model, and it would be dumb for portals to side with devs over paying customers, certainly if the portal marketplace itself is competitive enough that Vogel can find 3 similar services to use as examples.
No, it doesn't necessarily deprive Vogel but is does de-value the entire market. Players will get used to the idea that indie = $6.99, which makes it much harder for developers to price across the range. It also discourages quality games - why build a complex RPG when all the portals only charge six bucks? - better to make a Bewjeweled clone in 10 minutes and attempt to cash in.

-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
Watcher
Super Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#7

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,964
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » Spiderweb Games - Indie Game Pricing
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 00:17.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright by RPGWatch