Hey there, Gamers and Game Makers!
In this week's blog I want to talk about the problem the games industry is facing in terms of the cost of games. Specifically on the independent side of games. There is currently an unsustainable pricing trend in games where every developer is releasing there games cheaper and cheaper along with putting games on day one sales 50%. All this is being done in a race to the bottom in the hopes of increasing sales.
As a result gamers have now come to expect games for practically nothing. At this point when a new game gets released, gamers just watch and wait a few weeks until it's 50% or more off and then grab it. I've noticed it myself when I released a game for $5 only to have one of the first comments be that the game is too expensive. Forgive me but, $5 for an average of 4-5 hours of entertainment seems like a pretty fair deal. Consider the cost of going to the cinema. By that logic, I should only have to pay about $2 for 2 hours entertainment.
So, why do games suffer this pricing dilemma? Simply because gamers have become so used to games being discounted so heavily and so often that there's just no reason to pay full price for a game when you know you can get it for half nothing in a couple of weeks.
So who do we blame for this? The gamers who keep demanding games for 90% off? The marketplaces for continuously discounting and bundling games for half nothing in order to drive sales? No,the gamers and the marketplaces are not to blame. The only ones to blame are us, the games developers for allowing ourselves to undervalue our work and for taking part in a race to the bottom. It's a short sighted endeavour to drive sales which is ultimately unsustainable.
What do we do? We start by valuing our work and standing by it. Release at a fair price that is affordable and still returns enough to make the next game because believe it or not, it does cost money and a lot of time to actually make games. For me personally, I'm going to greatly reduce the number of times my games go on sale and while I will strive to maintain a fair price for my game, I will release at a price point that makes it worth my while. While games are fun and my passion is making them, at the end of the day it is still a product and something that needs to make a return so that I can keep making them.
For the gamers reading this, I don't ask you to stop buying games in sales or bundles. I simply ask that the next time you're looking at a game, consider the time and effort that went into making that game and maybe consider buying the game at full price to support the developer.
Until next time.