But seriously, even forgetting the whole 10$/€ discount done by Epic, some regional prices are cheaper than I thought. I thought in some regions the same game costed $30 instead of $60, half the ‘normal’ price, but it seems there are places where they cost $15-20.
It’s interesting that people are reading a $10 discount across the site, covered entirely by Epic, as anti-consumer. This seems exactly like the kind of thing that a storefront would do to pull customers into the store. My local REI competitor (Adventure 16) is having a 25%-off-on-any-single-item sale this weekend. And they’re doing it without the manufacturers’ buy-ins.
It sure seems like Epic can’t win and that people are really looking for any excuse to pounce on them. I picked up Subnautica: Below Zero for $10.
I’m a supporter of Epic and their entrance into the market. I don’t think their sale is anti-consumer. Only that launching a sale, then changing the pricing on your products to increase the price or remove them from the sale isn’t going to help them win over consumers.
The idea of the sale is just fine, the execution was handled poorly. I’m sure they’ll learn for next time though.
An average indie title these days is priced $8.72 on Steam. During the last Summer Sale the price went down to the mind-boggling $4.63 and yet the average sales are at their lowest at 21,000 copies.
I applaud Jonathan Blow’s decision to sell The Witness for $39.99. The game is sitting at 460 thousand owners on Steam Spy right now with discounts, sales and everything — and it never went below $19.99 on Steam! Do you really think it would’ve sold 4 times more if he charged $9.99 from the start? Somehow, I doubt it.
Instead of discounting your title from the start, maybe invest some time into explaining why it’s worth the price you are charging for it. It’s obviously harder than just slapping $9.99 tag on it like everyone else does.
And then he architects a sale that pushes indie prices way down on the EGS–such as having Hades’ price down to $7 for an unreleased early access title–it is bizarre. The dynamics of this sale are a contradiction of his writings during the Steam Spy days. Consumer friendly, sure, but a contradiction.
The reality is, I would simply buy fewer games if prices were increased. I’m not sure that really helps game developers.
I will take a shot at your indie game for $10-15. I won’t if it is $30-40.
People talk about game prices like there is no issue with charging more “for the developer.” I guarantee I bought far fewer games back in the good old days where things cost $40-60 and then had price drops never. It wasn’t just because I had less money now.
One of the questions we need to ask is, do we want consumers paying $40 once and supporting one developer, or buying three games at $10-15 and supporting three?
Fair point, the devs are still seeing the money in this case. You are right.
Though, despite that some were bothered enough by the downward pressure on their prices that they pulled games or adjusted prices upward (either due to partner agreements or concerns of price perception).
My experience is closer to SlyFrogs. They were always full price until they disappeared. I paid 80$ for Pagan. The first bargain bin I ever saw was at a Blockbuster and it was shareware. When gaming started taking off sales became more common, but in the 90’s I don’t recall seeing any sales. You paid a ton, and I don’t regret any penny of it, even Pagan. I did buy a lot fewer games though, but still had plenty to play.
This is definitely a pro-consumer move. I think it just comes out of having a ton of money and not knowing exactly what to do with it to get the most traction for the store. “Oh! Let’s just throw $10 at the buyers!” Great for consumers, but now developers are getting a ridiculously low anchor point for some titles.
The way it should have been handled is with a percentage, similar to the way greenman does their coupons. Get between 5 and 25% off per purchase. Or the way Steam did it last sale, with $(5) off a purchase of $30 or whatever it was.
If anything, the entire sale has served to confirm how unpolished and beta is the store.
-No cart, as finally they had a time where people wanted to buy several products in one go
-Games being removed totally from the store (instead of just excluding them from the sale) because there is no way to opt-in/opt-out from specific offers
-Chaos ensuing because they didn’t communicate properly with the devs for their sale plans
-Adjustments being done by Epic instead by the devs themselves, because they still don’t have a proper backend interface open to developers.
I find the store to be a pretty shitty shopping experience in multiple ways but the sale is finally a consumer-facing move, so it’s a good step in the right direction even if they bungled the implementation. Hopefully they learn from it and A) their next sale doesn’t have this kind of confusion and B) the store is in better shape.