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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessIndie Game Prices Going Down
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Problem Machine
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2009, 04:48:04 PM »

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I also saw a study that females who have richer husbands orgasm more
With their husbands?
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Hajo
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2009, 01:37:01 AM »

There are studies indication that placebos help better if the patients are told they are expensive. I don't know any online references that back this claim, though.

I also saw a study that females who have richer husbands orgasm more -- seriously. I wonder if that's related to this.

This was in the news two weeks ago or so. I have no idea how serious the study was, it seems they just interviewed a group of people, and recorded the answers. So no one knows how many told the truth ...

But still, psychology seems to determine a lot of the way we experience things. Advertisers really try to take advantage of that.

I now found kind of a reference for the study that I had in mind. Only an indirect reference here, though:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/05/health/research/05placebo.html
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2009, 02:52:02 AM »

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I also saw a study that females who have richer husbands orgasm more
With their husbands?
This is a very relevant question
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2009, 11:52:33 AM »

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I also saw a study that females who have richer husbands orgasm more
With their husbands?

:D Nice.

Quote from: Derek
By the way, we did see an increase in sales when we lowered the price of Aquaria.  But that's not too surprising, I think!

The more relevant issue is, did the increase in sales offset the decrease in price? If I recall, you dropped the price of Aquaria by about 33%, from $30 a unit to $20. According to my calculations, you'd need to have an increase in sales of 50% or more to make up for that drop in price. Here is what I mean:

Assuming 100 units solds per month under the old price:
100 units sold at $30 apiece = $3,000
150 units sold at $20 apiece = $3,000

Assuming 500 units solds per month under the old price:
500 units sold at $30 apiece = $15,000
750 units sold at $20 apiece = $15,000

and so on. The results come out the same no matter what your actual unit sales were under the $30 price point: you would need to sell 50% more units to break even at a $20 price point. If your price drop accomplished that, that would certainly be interesting to know!
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Problem Machine
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2009, 12:15:19 PM »

Even then you'd have to take into account that having sold the game at $30 for a year or so they probably already saturated the market of people willing to pay $30 for the game.
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2009, 12:20:53 PM »

Maybe. This is why I'd want to know how big the increase in sales was as a direct result of the price drop. If the increase wasn't that significant, it suggests that there really isn't a very different market for the game at the new price.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2009, 02:32:29 PM »

Even then you'd have to take into account that having sold the game at $30 for a year or so they probably already saturated the market of people willing to pay $30 for the game.

I don't think it really works like that, because it's not like the same people visit the Aquaria site over and over and try out the demo over and over, if there are, say, 10k demo downloads per month, the vast majority of them are new to the game and never tried it before. It's not the same people playing it over and over and deciding whether they want to buy it over and over.
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Problem Machine
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« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2009, 02:45:34 PM »

I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. The sales of most games are front-loaded; they build their reputations and sell most of their volume in the first several months. Most of the people who are going to hear about the product have probably heard about it by the time a year has passed, and if they were willing to pay $30 for the product they already have. Thus, the market of people willing to pay $30 for the product has been saturated, and reducing the price to $20 may open access to a new market.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2009, 02:58:41 PM »

This is not true for indie games, though. Almost no indie game sells most of its sales in the first several months. Most indie game demo continue to be downloaded at a steady rate for several years, often 5 or 10 years. So the sales are more distributed.

Think of it this way. Traditional games have a large marketing presence relative to their audience: most people who buy Final Fantasy 12 heard of it in the first few months of its release, or even before its release. Whereas most people who buy Aquaria did not hear of it on its release, since its announcement wasn't spread that widely. So if only, say, 1% of the potential market of Aquaria knows about its existence, new people continuously discover its existence, give it a try, and then decide whether to buy it or not.

In general, marketing an indie shareware game is *very* different from marketing mainstream games, they are really quite uncomparable in most respects.
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« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2009, 03:56:59 PM »

It sounds plausible but I kind of get the feeling there aren't a lot of numbers to back that up, though if anyone has any I'd be interested in seeing them... well, regardless, neither of us are talking about people playing the demo over and over again.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2009, 04:06:33 PM »

Well, just ask any indie developer for their demo downloads numbers. I've been reading the business sections of indie game forums for about 10 years now, and people often post their sales statistics, download numbers, and all that, I've not once that I remember encountered a shareware game that had a ton of sales on its launch and very little after that. If you want hard numbers, go look at the indie game sales stats over at game producer: http://www.gameproducer.net/category/sales-statistics/ -- there's a lot of data there, and you'll see that it generally fits what I described.

It doesn't work like mainstream games work for a reason: in shareware, the demo is your main marketing tool, and traffic is mainly about building up links to your site, each of which provides a few visits per day for years on end, not advertisement or previews or hype or magazine reviews, which all tend to be highest when a game is released. You do expect slightly higher sales the first month due to some announcement effect, but it's usually not significant.

I think the reason mainstream games get a lot of sales on launch is their sales are directly tied to how the media works: new game releases get tons of coverage, but old games get no coverage and are almost invisible.
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« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2009, 04:09:59 PM »

I don't know if there's much point in selling indie games that you care about.

I mean you look at gameproducer.net, you see that mystery case files might have sold 2.5 million units, then you put a bullet in your head and go to sleep.
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ஒழுக்கின்மை (Paul Eres)
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« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2009, 04:12:03 PM »

Hahha, I was just looking at that. Although to be fair, it's a series of 4 games that sold that collectively, so that's only about 750k copies each. Still!
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Craig Stern
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« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2009, 10:14:38 PM »

Well shucks, what is that I see at #9 there?

http://www.gameproducer.net/2009/01/31/top-selling-indie-games-on-steam-january-2009/
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« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2009, 12:56:06 AM »

I don't know if there's much point in selling indie games that you care about.

I mean you look at gameproducer.net, you see that mystery case files might have sold 2.5 million units, then you put a bullet in your head and go to sleep.
And GTA4 sold 11+ millions. And Force Unleashed sold 5.7 mln. So what?

These aren't indie games, it's hard to compare them. And I wouldn't say that their developers didn't care about these games or that they were really bad. It's just these games have mass market appeal. Which usually means they sell massively.
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Tom Grochowiak
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« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2009, 03:30:59 AM »

I don't know if there's much point in selling indie games that you care about.

I mean you look at gameproducer.net, you see that mystery case files might have sold 2.5 million units, then you put a bullet in your head and go to sleep.

Who says the makers of case file didn't care about what they made? :-)

Also, there are plenty of examples of lovingly crafted indie games that have done/are doing really well financially as well as artistically, especially if you take a wider approach to the subject and go back in time to the heyday of shareware games. It is a bit redundant to look at other game sales and let that influence you if you make games because you love making games and want to earn a living out of it. Who cares if some other game sold 3.7 million copies if your own wonderful game sells 20k and gives you enough to live on and allows you to keep making games? :-D

I say measure success and happiness against your own needs, not against those of others!

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Alec
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« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2009, 06:55:35 AM »

Who says the makers of case file didn't care about what they made? :-)

Me.
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TeeGee
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« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2009, 07:35:17 AM »

Have you seen the latest MCF - Return to Ravenhearst? It's quite pretty and fun (except the lame actors).

I've recently read an interview with Jeff Haynie, the artists behind the MCF series, and for me it seems like he's doing what he likes and is pretty good at it too.

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Tom Grochowiak
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« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2009, 01:32:02 PM »

There is this principle in marketing: a price tag under 20$ is considered as a "petite indulgence" by the consumer. It means that the consumer is generally more prone to buy a 20$ item just for fun, without really thinking about the price.

But like Rinku mentionned: "I also saw a study that females who have richer husbands orgasm more". The price tag has an impact on how the product is perceived by the consumer. If the price tag of a game is too low, it could make the consumer think that the game doesn't have much value and isn't worth buying.

In my opinion, a good price tag for an indie game would be somewhere between 10$ and 20$ (like other entertainment products: CDs, DVDs, mangas, etc.)

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« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2009, 05:57:20 PM »

Recently, Reflexive reduced the prices of most of its games to $7-$10, details here: http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthread.php?t=15697

That combined with the low prices of games on xbla, wiiware, iphone, etc. may mean that we are seeing the end of the days of $20-$30 downloadable games.

Anyone have any thoughts on this, and if it's a good thing for developers and consumers?

My opinion is that the market is enormously complex and it's impossible to predict whether this will work or fail, but that the market is also self-adjusting and that if it doesn't work out the prices will eventually go up again.
Huh? I thought doing above 10 bucks was an insult. But then again I just assumed that after seeing Noitu Love 2's price a few weeks ago. lol
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