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February 06, 2023, 03:36:00 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessIs this a viable pricing strategy for a Steam game?
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opyate
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« on: January 20, 2023, 02:10:33 AM »

Howdy all,

Question for folks who have a game on Steam: does the below pricing strategy sound viable? Or perhaps needs tweaking? Or perhaps someone has already done it and had success (or got burned!?)

I’m launching a game one day, and it will have a public schedule of N number of future DLCs, spaced out to 2-3 months each.

  • The game launches at price $X.
  • A week before the next DLC is due, the marketing engine will send out a communiqué: “The nth DLC coming in one week. It will be free to existing players, but the base price of the game will increase from $X to $X1 on DLC day”.
  • Repeat this for future DLCs, but with base game price increasing from $Xm to $Xn each time, and the DLC being free for players who already own the game.

My thinking:
  • Reward the players who supported you early (early supporters who bought the game at the low low price of $X gets N free DLCs - great deal!)
  • Give future players an impetus to buy your game NOW before the price hike in one week’s time
  • Future players will be aware of the planned DLC schedule, so anyone who sees the marketing message will know that if they buy NOW, they get N-M future DLCs for free.
  • At any future point, a late buyer (either they waited, or they only just heard about the game) will know there are still N-M DLCs coming their way, so it’s still a good-ish deal to buy “now”
  • As a new/unknown dev, starting with a low price for the base game is a must, perhaps also paired with a free beta testing phase.

Secondary thoughts:
  • Perhaps also make it known that while the DLCs are in development, the game will not be discounted. (This could mean no discounts over a 1-2 year period.)


I look forward to your responses  Grin Toast Right
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opyate
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2023, 05:31:48 AM »

This is what Betadwarf is doing with their free game Minion Masters: DLC launches at $X but is 100% off for the first week.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/489520/Minion_Masters/
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Ramos
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2023, 08:37:14 AM »

Changing the base price of the game to a higher amount after the release has a very high risk of seriously backfiring on your brand.

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opyate
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2023, 03:53:27 AM »

Changing the base price of the game to a higher amount after the release has a very high risk of seriously backfiring on your brand.

Which examples are you thinking of?

Factorio and Rain World are bumping prices, so I'll keep an eye on them:

https://twitter.com/factoriogame/status/1616388275169628162

https://twitter.com/RainWorldGame/status/1612903152809811992
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Ramos
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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2023, 03:56:17 PM »

Changing the base price of the game to a higher amount after the release has a very high risk of seriously backfiring on your brand.

Which examples are you thinking of?

Factorio and Rain World are bumping prices, so I'll keep an eye on them:

https://twitter.com/factoriogame/status/1616388275169628162

https://twitter.com/RainWorldGame/status/1612903152809811992

Those are the exception from the general rule, not the general rule, it is similar to when people have seen angry birds succeed and all try to clone that success.

But sure if the initial reception from the game release is good and provides a solid community foundation then sure you can risk it but it's still a risk.
So far the only way to increase the price with minimal risk of backfire is if you use early access aka increase the price after full release.


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michaelplzno
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2023, 10:41:15 AM »

Really the key to working with steam is to make sure your game makes a lot of money (for valve) in the first day, maybe even the first hour, this categorizes your game as "successful" according to steam's algorithm. Then once your game is categorized as a winner you get a lot more options for future features and so on. Sadly, the idea that some games are a slow burn and need time to change and grow isn't something steam likes or plans for.

Edit: Cheers was a very unpopular show in its first season, but it became a massive hit after it found its footing, the people at valve don't understand that this is possible.
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opyate
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2023, 01:22:58 AM »

Really the key to working with steam is to make sure your game makes a lot of money (for valve) in the first day, maybe even the first hour, this categorizes your game as "successful" according to steam's algorithm. Then once your game is categorized as a winner you get a lot more options for future features and so on. Sadly, the idea that some games are a slow burn and need time to change and grow isn't something steam likes or plans for.

Edit: Cheers was a very unpopular show in its first season, but it became a massive hit after it found its footing, the people at valve don't understand that this is possible.

Interesting insight, thanks! I've seen instances of games that are "late bloomers", so I guess if I just focus on making it the best it can be, at some point my future 1000 true fans will notice.

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