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Op Ed

Thanks nin.

The PA Report - How Valve “devalued” video games, and why that’s great news for developers and players.
Those seem to be wise words, and gamers are increasingly sensitive to the price of the games they play, but when you look at the data you see that Valve has done something magical: The company has found a way to charge less, and earn more. This isn’t a purely selfish move, as developers also praise the pricing structure of these sales. The issue of game pricing is much more complex, and mysterious, than most are willing to admit. - We Don't Need Game Publishers, Hardware Makers or Retailers.
But something critical has changed. While publishers, retailers and hardware makers might still be adding value, they are no longer required. Using the miracle of the internet, game creators can make videogames — good ones! — and sell them to game players without any involvement from traditional publishers, retailers or hardware makers. And when creators don’t have to put their work through the gauntlet of middlemen, with everybody down the line taking their cut of the profits, they can sell those games much more cheaply.

The PA Report - The ugly side of Kickstarter- the risks in backing game dev campaigns are greater than you think.
Of those projects that do manage to ship, some will be good games and some will be awful, with most winding up somewhere in the middle. This is the reality of game development in the real world, and projects funded by Kickstarter are no different. The unfortunate truth is that many backers of game projects are buying the ability to wait 18 months to play a mediocre game.

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23. Re: The risk of failure IS greater than you think. Apr 19, 2012, 11:11 Beamer
You're risking $15 per project. Let's say you back 5 projects one month and 3 don't come out, or come out poorly. That's $45 you wasted. Had you simply waited you could have judged the product at completion, rather than at pitch, and saved yourself that money.

People will realize quickly that the risk of a product not coming out if they don't fund it isn't always worth the reward of what they get for their money, and they'll get stingy.

Here's a good article on it all:
This deals more with products than games. Products are much harder to get out than games (games you just need to design, products you need to manufacture) and products cost more (paying $150 for a watch that either never comes out or doesn't live up to the pitch hurts much, much more than $15 for a game.) Still, while I think games are safer, people are going to spend less on it than they do now. Maybe, though, more people will be spending something.

As for that Valve lowering prices piece - it is great for everyone. Look at, say, Rayman Origins. Great game, but not worth $60. Many of my friends played it at my place and then purchased it, but did it for $20-$30. The game hit that point quickly and stayed there. For some games being at $60 for a few weeks is huge, but for others it just pushes them away.
I've argued that people see cheap titles as budget titles, but seeing my friends' reactions to RO I realize that the days of $20 budget titles have long since disappeared and that stigma isn't there as much, if at all.
Music for the discerning:
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