Cheap / bundle pricing: does it help or does it hurt?

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Adrian Lopez, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. Adrian Lopez

    Original Member

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    SpaceDrake of Carpe Fulgur (a company that localizes foreign games) says:

    So... does bottom-of-the-barrel pricing lead to greater long-term income, or does it generally only lead to greater sales but a lower income?
     
  2. zoombapup

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    I think receteer was getting good press on its own. So maybe they were a bit silly to let them do it as a package with other games. I'm sure the other indies were pretty happy with the added sales though.

    Note he doesnt actually say he wouldnt have sold the game itself for $5, he was more saying that selling it alongside other games as a pack for $5 was probably a bad move because the game itself would have carried that price point pretty well.

    Its one of those business decisions you need to make. I suppose it comes down to the value of added sales over just their initial payment. If there is a way to monetize them beyond the sale then added reach (I think they call this aquisition) is good, because aquisition costs a lot. So if you can increase your retention and monetization the added aquisition is a good thing, even at a lower price point.

    Check out nick lovells posts over on gamesbrief.com, although I dont always agree with him, he does have some useful ideas (if a bit preachy and one-size-fits-all in his discussions).
     
  3. PoV

    PoV
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    Yeah, I saw the Steam sale as Recettear for $5 and almost immediately jumped on it ... and then I noticed 4 other games were included. I think Super Meat Boy was something just under $4 after one of its sales... that would have certainly been a more profitable price point, if they were able to get the same numbers.

    Live and learn... and I'm learning from it. :D
     
  4. Jack Norton

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    I think is crazy to sell your game for so cheap! BUT if you can sell it time-limited for under $10, then is a good move.
    A Steam staff member herself told that under $10 there's a psychologic barrier. What I believe is, if a regular game price is $20+ and you sell it for $9.99 for a weekend = BIG DEAL.
    Instead if the same game is bundled with 5 others for $1 each for TWO WEEKS... ehm... <cough> :D
    This because the barrier is at $10. I noticed it myself. I wouldn't buy many games for $15-20, but if is under $10, doesn't matter if is $1 or $9.99. But of course, for the developer means a difference from x1 to x9 more income.
     
  5. Indinera

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    I personally have 2 games priced at $29 and $30 respectively (they are both very big) that I sell directly, and they generate/have generated a nifty income, so I'd be curious to try "the other way" and compare.... my attempts with a $14 game weren't so successful (sold less copies than the expensive ones) but then again it wasn't under that psychological barrier so who knows lol
     
  6. Jack Norton

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    You make retro-style RPGs that are a niche and I think you'll never get good result with cheap pricing. If Spidweb never has games under $10 and he's in business since 1999, there must be a reason :D
    Low pricing work well with arcade/action/shooter type of game IMHO (super meat boy, everyday shooter, etc)
     
  7. Bad Sector

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    I think that should be 1994 :p

    I agree though. When you're on a niche market, you provide something that can't be found easily elsewhere so you can price your game higher. On a more "common" market though, things tend to get cheap. On the other hand there are much more people there.
     
  8. DaveGilbert

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    THANK you. I have to admit, I've been feeling the pressure to lower my prices from $14.99 to $9.99 for my newer point-and-click adventure games. I'm still debating it. Once a game is a year old I drop the price, but when it's brand new I usually sell it for $14.99. It's worked for me so far, but the complaints can be heard loud and clear.
     
  9. papillon

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    I believe there will ALWAYS be some complaints no matter WHAT the price is :)
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    Yes but when you run a business you don't have always to listen to price complaint, especially for such low difference ($5 lol). As papillon said some people will complain even if the game is $2 instead of $1 (see totally ridiculous iPhone forums discussion on prices).
    Just do time limited discounts (I know you just did one, I'm just saying) it works better.
     
  11. oNyx

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    FWIW I bought 3 games on Steam recently. One on the xmas special sale, one on the second xmal special sale, and one on the new year's special sale. I wasn't really that interested in these games, but it was a limited offer and at that price point (5, 7.5, and 10) it was sorta meaningless to resist.

    Seeing that counter ticking away sorta pushed me a bit. In the first two cases there were less than 2 minutes remaining... so yea, there wasn't time for second thoughts.

    So, if you do something like that, put a counter there. It creates some urgency.
     
  12. galent

    galent New Member

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    Sales, loss leaders, and bundles are all tools to drive higher volume sales than you might otherwise see. There are a number of things to think about before using one of these (or any of the alternatives), like:

    1) are sales down? or consistent?
    2) timing. (timing is very important, have sales in "off seasons", or "pre-peak" seasons, not during a peak).
    3) can this be part of a cross-sell/up-sell marketing plan?
    4) does this devalue my game? (especially bundles... it only makes sense if you make more money on something that's not currently selling, and if your game is "past it's prime" - which admittedly can be 15 mins after release for some products... but I'll leave EA out of this for now :D )

    Games aren't gold... but you can have the reverse effect on your sales if you underprice, even for a short time. Bundles tend to last longer than intended (people will often wait for the next bundle or sale rather than pay full price).

    Think of it from the consumer point of view. Is your game a fun, "value" at your current price? What would you do if you saw your game in a bundle of 5 games? Your game is automatically worth 1/5 the bundle price (or less).

    Bundles can be great, but they take planning. And unless your game is just doesn't have any life left in it (business wise), I would never bundle it unless the bundle is offered on a time based sale only.

    Just my thoughts,

    Galen
     

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