Nathan Fouts, creator of XNA Community game Weapon of Choice, has come out stating that he feels most downloadable games are underpriced.
“I want to go on the record and say I feel like most downloadable games are under-priced. As a collector, I can relate to people who enjoy buying a game and having the game box, and manual. However, paying only 800 points (only ten US dollars) for a game as nice as ‘Bionic Commando: Rearmed’ or 1200 points ($15US) for a game as big as ‘Castle Crashers’ seems ridiculous to me.”
He mentions two of the highest profile downloadable games and says that's "most of" the landscape. What about paying 800 points for garbage like Beat'n Groovy or Double D Dodgeball?
There is no cost for shipping, no packaging, platform advertising is built into the console.
There is no physical media. What happens at the end of this products lifecycle? My purchase is sitting on a harddrive on an obsolete system without being able to copy it to a cd for transport or preservation.
No, your prices are more than enough, perhaps even too expensive, given that a copy sits on a server and you collect for each copy uploaded to a client.
Your marketing to a younger audience and expect business practices to be widely accepted, however, there is a large contingent of mature gamers that are not so easily swayed and will as easily give voice to your complaints of inadequete revenues.
To that I have to say...Go Pack Sand...till it hurts. This model has shown its outpreforming the motion picture industry as a leading form of entertainment.
I'm generally happy with the prices. I sure do love some of those XBLA games: Particularly Braid and Still Alive. Maybe instead of raising prices, they should allow more capitol to actually reach the developers. But I suppose that would defeat the purpose of having a cartel.
Sometimes our differences must be settled with violins.
Cheap and underpriced are two different things. Cheap means a low price from a low production cost. All part of a better standard of living. Underpriced means they're set below their worth, but worth is relative. Like the OP said here, when comparing the good games to the garbage games at the same price, you could come up with the conclusion that good games-being worth more than garbage games-are underpriced. I'd look at it the other way and say the garbage games are overpriced and shouldn't cost as much as the good ones.
Downloadable games are doing so strong because they're so cheap. They're cheap because most of them, when compared to our standard fare, have significantly less content. The standard download game is a sub-standard game otherwise. They're cheap to make people want to buy sub-standard games. It's worth it too, Bomberman Blast was one of my best game investments this year. Raising prices would just slow the market, unless companies aren't meeting costs.
I don't have a 360 so I don't know much about Community Arcade, but the examples he mentioned weren't Community games. I guess he's thinking if the good download games get raised, then it gives room for the weaker ones to grow?
I think _some_ XBLA games are underpriced. But a lot are really _overpriced_.
If anything the issue is that the underpriced games would make good retail games at the 29 dollar price point -- but that price point does not exist, and publishers are not interested in doing games that sell for less than 59.
So the developer is forced to ship to the same price bracket as shovelware, and due to being in the same price bracket must match up somewhat in price, hoping that the quality will translate to a monster sales increase. Which generally happens.
At least digital distribution is allowing developers of midlevel games to have a platform to ship to.
Let me get this straight...someone who produces a product feels it should be priced, and thereby bought, at a higher value?
Pricing is subjective. Your "bargain" is my "rip-off" and vice versa. Having played many of the community games on Live, most of them are garbage and should be paying you to play them. There are a few gems, however. His isn't one of them, IMO.
Actually, the price of downloaded games (both XBLA style AND full sized games) has to come down.
XBLA success so far is based on a user base that's made up of hard core gamers. If they want to grow much beyond the current market, they'll need to make it more accessible, not less.
This will be more of a problem with future generation's of consoles when all games are downloaded and the disk doesn't exist.....where there is NO after market resale (used video games). This has an effect even if you don't buy used games, cause it forces the new games to go down in price too.
If every game I bought had to be at the MSRP that Microsoft set ($59)......I'd probably find a different way to play games.
This is just BS. You look at a game like Alien Hominoid. It costs those guys $80,000 to make the game (same guys that made castle crashers). How many people downloaded the game for $10 a pop. Did anyone tell this dumbass you don't go into the video game industry to make money.
First, you have to release a game that is a hit. Then maybe you can pay back your $5 million your publisher lent you so you could make your game. Assuming your pitch and prototype was accepted by that publisher.
Second, assuming your first game was a hit, and you recouped the costs to pay back your publisher, and maybe you were lucky enough to make enough money to finance your next game yourself. You can start creating your next game.
Third, you need to treat the majority of your developers and testers like crap. Trust me this is neccessary. Because you want to make them unhappy enough to think that no other game company will hire them and they might work for slave wages (EA).
Forth, after your second game is a flop, you F***ed because you lost any money you've earned from your first game, or you can't afford to pay back the publisher after they leant you more money.
Fifth, you get bought out and hopefully you get to keep your job.
"I am willing to allow that gamers are more prone to violence so long as we agree that this violence is largely directed against peripherals." ~Tycho (Penny Arcade)
Arcade titles to me are impulse buys. At $20, my impulse is crushed. I don't care how much people say Braid is awesome, I'm not biting until it's $10. Same for World of Goo.
Underpriced? Well, I'm not here to make any statement related to that. All I know is the cheaper is, the more people will buy it. Sell it for $10 instead of $20 and you might find 5x more people buying it. This means more money in your pocket.
Of course, there's a breaking point. I.e. making it 1 cent won't mean 1 million times more people will buy it. If they figure that sweat spot is $20 then fine. I'm just waiting for it to come down personally.
Bionic Commando is an NES game and $10 is a more than fair price. There are a thousand PS1 games I never played and that can be bought for less than that. For $20 I can get a year-old current gen game, so if you want to charge that for a downloadable game you better be providing a lot more than any of the titles mentioned in the article.