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Op Ed

Cliffski's Blog - Indie Game pricing pressures.
There seems to be an unwritten rule developing that indie games must be under £10, preferably under $10. This is MAD. Harry Potter was written by ONE person. just ONE. It’s production costs were tiny. Does that mean you saw the harry potter books on sale for a third the price of other books? Of course not. Nobody slots books or plays into an ‘indie’ category and tries to get them cheap, ditto music. Do you pay less for an Adele album than a Queen album, because Queen had more members? That would be silly.

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10. Re: Op Ed May 8, 2011, 23:22 spindoctor
 
I'll pay 20 or 30$ for an indie game if I really feel it will be worth it. However my purchase history says that I am far more likely to buy one at 10$. Like someone mentioned earlier... volume sales at 10$ should hopefully overcome the reduced cost.

One thing Cliffski mentions is that the lower price is expected because the games are indie. I'd say another factor applying downward pressure on the price is Steam weekend deals and all other digital distribution sales these days. Because of their frequency (which basically amounts to multiple games being on sale at any given point of time), I feel that the acceptable price point for PC games in general has gone down, and this isn't just for indie games. I know many people who can and do enjoy all the latest games but only pay about half it's price (25$-30$) a mere 6 weeks after release. Steam has changed the mentality of gamers to buy games only on sale, and even the indies will get caught up in this. People will wait for a 20$ game to be discounted to 10$ before buying, thereby giving the impression that 10$ is the acceptable price point for the game.

One last point I'd like to make is that indie game development seems to have become very prominent in the last couple of years. I remember even 2-3 years ago... there were a lot of good indie games being made I'm sure, but only a few really came to prominence. This was around the time Steam and other sites started pushing indie games on a somewhat equal footing to the 'bigger' ones. Now there seem to be a lot more indie games that look interesting coming out all the time and eventually people can't or won't buy as many. As an example, I can name 3 or 4 really good indie games from 4 years ago (actually, Aquaria is the only name that comes to mind) but I can name at least 3 good indie games that came out last month. As much as I'd love to, I can't buy them all. There's this neat looking game on Xbox Live Arcade called Outland that released a few days ago... it costs 10$ and I'd like to buy it, but I just bought Limbo, Shadow Complex and Costume Quest on sale a few weeks ago and I haven't finished them, so I keep telling myself that I should at least complete 1 or 2 of them before getting any more. That means Outland and potentially any other game that releases until I finish these ones go into the 'to get later, probably on sale' queue.
 
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