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Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha

Steam News announces that Planetary Annihilation is now available as an early access title. This is causing quite a stir thanks to the $89.99 price it carries, which is steep for a finished game, much less a pre-beta. They include a note somewhat addressing this, explaining that this is the price they told their Kickstarter backers that early access would command:

Our pricing for this stage of early access was determined by our Kickstarter. The stages of our early access for ALL users, which was determined during our Kickstarter, is:

June through August: $90 for early alpha access, during the time where we're still locking down features and making tweaks to the flow of the game. This access is permanent access - you will be able to play through alpha, beta and on through retail. (Galactic Edition Equivalent with all addons)

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80 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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60. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 13:01 Dev
 
NKD wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 12:37:
Cutter wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 12:34:
PHJF wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 09:19:
Unfinished projects which have not been greenlit should not be sold on Steam. Period.

That's a good point. Say for argument sake they don't get it done, or it's majorly delayed or something.

Yeah, people expect that risk from Kickstarter, but on Steam it's just called "Early Access", which implies that the game already has a release date and you're just getting in early.

Barely operational alphas don't belong on there, or need a big fat warning label.
There's also what I consider to be released games like Unepic that don't need to be in early acces.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2013, 13:09.
 
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59. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 12:37 NKD
 
Cutter wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 12:34:
PHJF wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 09:19:
Unfinished projects which have not been greenlit should not be sold on Steam. Period.

That's a good point. Say for argument sake they don't get it done, or it's majorly delayed or something.

Yeah, people expect that risk from Kickstarter, but on Steam it's just called "Early Access", which implies that the game already has a release date and you're just getting in early.

Barely operational alphas don't belong on there, or need a big fat warning label.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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58. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 12:34 Cutter
 
PHJF wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 09:19:
Unfinished projects which have not been greenlit should not be sold on Steam. Period.

That's a good point. Say for argument sake they don't get it done, or it's majorly delayed or something.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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57. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 12:28 Ventura
 
Cost issues aside, having watched some gameplay vids on Youtube, this is shaping up to be a rather good-looking game. The maps look a bit too open though, from what I've seen, there needs to be more choke-points, etc.

I could see me dropping $60 to play in beta from September and onwards, assuming it continues to improve, of course.
 
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56. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 11:04 Dev
 
OldTimber wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 02:02:
Pssst...they don't listen to alpha or beta feedback they, generic case not this specific dev, don't give a crap as they have everything mapped out for a release date. More to the point the marketing department has everything ready and they are the ones pushing it out. Do you think any title released in the past 5-10 years wouldn't have been better at launch without issues if they actually listened to the feedback?

A fool and his money are soon parted... be it 5 cents or 5k to a kickstarter. I'm just waiting for the other shoe to start dropping on projects where people pony up and the devs figure shit this game will be crap and stop development after extracting 10mil or so from some saps based on screen shots or early tech demos. Thanks for paying our salaries as we dragged it out.
No software projects on KS have hit $10m. Biggest one was torment with a bit over $4m and eternity with just under that, and a bit over $3m and wasteland 2 with a bit under that.

The $10m figure was hit by star citizen, but thats including a long paypal campaign, and it also doesn't include another something like an additional $10m private funding which is certainly going to have strings attached. Also, that game is a weird mix of F2P, P2W, MMO, and other things like subscriptions that are making me doubt it (and glad that I only got in on one of those limiter lower price tiers when a slot opened up). Which is sad, because privateer is one of my all time favorite games.

Anyway, aside from DF (which said nothing other than Adventure Game and documentary), most of the KS projects invest a significant amount of time into the game/campaign before it ever hits KS. In many cases, its a lifelong dream of a group or company. Why the heck would they screw up their company and dream like that and just abandon making the game? Like wasteland 2 with Brian Fargo, he's been BEGGING publishers for decades now to help him publish a game like that. He's not going to just give up on it. And lets say the game does end up crap, why would they not release it at all? The game development was already funded by the KS, if they make 0 additional sales, they are still ok. Every sale they do make is almost pure profit at that point.
You might have a point with the smaller KS projects, the ones that are only $50k and who've never been involved in any project, and mis-estimated everything. One KS I backed was like that "we ran out of money and if we're lucky the game might come out in 2 more years beyond the year we are already late since we can now only work on it in our limited spare time." But in that case I had only pledged like $5, and its not a massive multimillion project. Its a true indie project. KS projects have risks, they aren't a guarantee. And those risks are much higher when its someone who has never gone through game development.

Also, many KS have very active forums, and DO listen to feedback. You can see the evidence of that as they implement or fix things in each build.

Incidentally, here's the top funded KS video game category:
http://www.kickstarter.com/discover/categories/video%20games/most-funded
This game is the 10th most funded with over $2m. Its actually more than star citizen got for its KS campaign.

Now I wish I would have taken a closer look at it. I just skipped even looking into it when it was on KS, figuring it was yet another KS for yet another boring looking RTS.

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2013, 12:13.
 
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55. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 10:53 Dev
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 00:04:
ugh, people really are buying this 90 dollar version. Steam is for the SALES, people, not paying extra.

Its for whatever the companies want to use it for, and the people want to buy it for.

For instance, that train game. Its a niche product, rarely goes on sale, and the entire set of DLC will set you back $1000+ when its on 50% off sale.
But the target market (model train people) have no problem with their pricing. The company is mostly using steam as a distribution platform. Its almost a moot point for them that steam has a huge customer account base (although they've benefited from that no doubt, but that is NOT why they started using steam).

This comment was edited on Jun 15, 2013, 11:05.
 
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54. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 10:50 jacobvandy
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:33:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 23:54:
Dev wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 22:57:
And yet this is the 3rd best selling item on steam right now, ahead of skyrim.

Where are you getting that data?

This indicates otherwise?

Although maybe there is a more up to date list somewhere...

Actual stat is that about 150 people bought it on Steam...

Steam Charts

Lmao, that's not what that means at all. You can most certainly not look at "141 CONCURRENT peak players" and assume that to be the total number of sales. Biggest logical fallacy ever. That's like saying only 40k people bought Civ V because that was about the peak yesterday. However many millions of people play Dota 2, the peak was at 300k.
 
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53. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 10:49 Dev
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 23:54:
Dev wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 22:57:
And yet this is the 3rd best selling item on steam right now, ahead of skyrim.

Where are you getting that data?

This indicates otherwise?

Although maybe there is a more up to date list somewhere...
Thats for the whole week, and is the past week. I.e. every 7 or so days they release it, and its for previous days and is already outdated when they release it
For instant sales ranking (note that the weekly is also based on revenue, the instant one may be different) goto steam (web page or client) and click TOP SELLERS tab. Currently this game is in 3rd.
 
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52. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 10:00 yuastnav
 
007Bistromath wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 06:04:
These guys are doing it exactly right. More right than anyone else releasing in Steam's early access program, in fact.

When you release an unfinished product, people will inevitably judge the project as a whole by whatever they see right then, and will not look at it ever again if their opinion is negative. Which it will be, because it's not finished.

If you are crowdfunding your development, you need to restrict access to the part of your audience that is very committed to the idea of the product as they and you hope it will be when it is finished. If you don't, you get far more bad press than you ever would by asking a high price, because now a large portion of the people who would've bought your game at final release already have it and are complaining everywhere like a bunch of complete morons that they paid full normal price for a quarter-finished game.

tl; dr: A dev releasing an alpha does not want you to buy it unless you are so excited about the concept they're working on that you would definitely buy it when it's finished even if you knew it could be better. You have to want it that much, or else they are taking a stupid risk by selling it to you.

Yes, that is exactly how it is.
From what I understand Prison Architect, the lowest tier, is sold for 30 USD at the moment and the price will drop once the product is finished.
I just don't understand why that concept is so difficult to grasp for some people.
 
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51. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 09:36 edgar
 
NKD wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:39:
do the several thousand people who backed at the Alpha level or higher count as a "purchase" when they end up registering their Steam code?

Yes. I watched another game I kickstarted, Xenonauts, climb up the top of list as soon as codes were distributed.

From the kickstarter page, just look at the listings for 90 and above. That'd be over 7000 codes they passed out.
 
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50. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 09:19 PHJF
 
Unfinished projects which have not been greenlit should not be sold on Steam. Period.  
Avatar 17251
 
Steam + PSN: PHJF
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49. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 07:02 eRe4s3r
 
NKD wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:39:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:33:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 23:54:
Dev wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 22:57:
And yet this is the 3rd best selling item on steam right now, ahead of skyrim.

Where are you getting that data?

This indicates otherwise?

Although maybe there is a more up to date list somewhere...

Actual stat is that about 150 people bought it on Steam...

Steam Charts

How are the Kickstarter people being given their alpha access? Steam codes?

No, Alpha access is via email and ubers own downloader -> UberNet launcher. But you can convert to Steam (Although why you would do that, I don't know..)

Here is what it says on the key page (on uberent.com)

You can convert this key into a Steam key, which you can use to download and play the game on Steam. Once converted, you must activate it on Steam before you can play Planetary Annihilation again.

Once you activate the Steam key, you will be able to play Planetary Annihilation on both Steam and the UberNet launcher.
 
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48. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 06:04 007Bistromath
 
These guys are doing it exactly right. More right than anyone else releasing in Steam's early access program, in fact.

When you release an unfinished product, people will inevitably judge the project as a whole by whatever they see right then, and will not look at it ever again if their opinion is negative. Which it will be, because it's not finished.

If you are crowdfunding your development, you need to restrict access to the part of your audience that is very committed to the idea of the product as they and you hope it will be when it is finished. If you don't, you get far more bad press than you ever would by asking a high price, because now a large portion of the people who would've bought your game at final release already have it and are complaining everywhere like a bunch of complete morons that they paid full normal price for a quarter-finished game.

tl; dr: A dev releasing an alpha does not want you to buy it unless you are so excited about the concept they're working on that you would definitely buy it when it's finished even if you knew it could be better. You have to want it that much, or else they are taking a stupid risk by selling it to you.
 
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47. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 05:59 Fantaz
 
BadIronTree wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 05:06:
NKD wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:39:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:33:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 23:54:
Dev wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 22:57:
And yet this is the 3rd best selling item on steam right now, ahead of skyrim.

Where are you getting that data?

This indicates otherwise?

Although maybe there is a more up to date list somewhere...

Actual stat is that about 150 people bought it on Steam...

Steam Charts

How are the Kickstarter people being given their alpha access? Steam codes? If so, do the several thousand people who backed at the Alpha level or higher count as a "purchase" when they end up registering their Steam code?

Not sure how their "Top Seller" page actually works, but a rush of people registering codes would probably boost things for a short time if that's how it works.

I find it unlikely that more people are buying a $90 barely playable Alpha RTS than are buying Skyrim, unless it's just a temporary boost.

I am an alpha tester... Next week we will get the codes

So top 3 is actual in top 3 :D

you guys are cray
 
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46. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 05:06 BadIronTree
 
NKD wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:39:
eRe4s3r wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:33:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 23:54:
Dev wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 22:57:
And yet this is the 3rd best selling item on steam right now, ahead of skyrim.

Where are you getting that data?

This indicates otherwise?

Although maybe there is a more up to date list somewhere...

Actual stat is that about 150 people bought it on Steam...

Steam Charts

How are the Kickstarter people being given their alpha access? Steam codes? If so, do the several thousand people who backed at the Alpha level or higher count as a "purchase" when they end up registering their Steam code?

Not sure how their "Top Seller" page actually works, but a rush of people registering codes would probably boost things for a short time if that's how it works.

I find it unlikely that more people are buying a $90 barely playable Alpha RTS than are buying Skyrim, unless it's just a temporary boost.

I am an alpha tester... Next week we will get the codes

So top 3 is actual in top 3 :D
 
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45. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 05:05 netnerd85
 
Off the wishlist it went, I'll pick it up years down the road at 75% off  
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44. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 05:05 BadIronTree
 
Well its on top 3 in sales now  
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43. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 04:39 NKD
 
eRe4s3r wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:33:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 23:54:
Dev wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 22:57:
And yet this is the 3rd best selling item on steam right now, ahead of skyrim.

Where are you getting that data?

This indicates otherwise?

Although maybe there is a more up to date list somewhere...

Actual stat is that about 150 people bought it on Steam...

Steam Charts

How are the Kickstarter people being given their alpha access? Steam codes? If so, do the several thousand people who backed at the Alpha level or higher count as a "purchase" when they end up registering their Steam code?

Not sure how their "Top Seller" page actually works, but a rush of people registering codes would probably boost things for a short time if that's how it works.

I find it unlikely that more people are buying a $90 barely playable Alpha RTS than are buying Skyrim, unless it's just a temporary boost.
 
Avatar 43041
 
If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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42. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 04:33 eRe4s3r
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 23:54:
Dev wrote on Jun 14, 2013, 22:57:
And yet this is the 3rd best selling item on steam right now, ahead of skyrim.

Where are you getting that data?

This indicates otherwise?

Although maybe there is a more up to date list somewhere...

Actual stat is that about 150 people bought it on Steam...

Steam Charts
 
Avatar 54727
 
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41. Re: Planetary Annihilation's $90 Alpha Jun 15, 2013, 04:18 NKD
 
mag wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 04:10:
Jackplug wrote on Jun 15, 2013, 03:23:
68 for a game that has been kickstarted, some community spirit by trying to screw a very big amount for a early access..Fuck ooofff!!

Let's repeat it again. Early access was a reward to kickstarters for chipping in more than a minimum. Now they want to open early access up to more people, but it would be incredibly dickish of them to offer it for cheaper than what people already paid for it.

This obviously isn't winning them a lot of positive PR either. They shouldn't have put themselves in this position in the first place.
 
Avatar 43041
 
If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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80 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 2.
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