Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Indie RPG pricing

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Charles-cgr, Oct 18, 2012.

?

Indie "niche" RPGs should be priced

  1. High. There's little demand but the demand is motivated. >$20

    16.2%
  2. Above average. Don't be too elitist, you'll miss out on reasonably interested folks. $15-20

    41.5%
  3. Just below average. Compete with price, but not too hard. $10-15.

    40.8%
  4. Low. Indie RPGs aren't worth more than $10.

    8.5%
  5. Aggressive. Go for the impulse buy. People will buy anything for <$5.

    6.3%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Charles-cgr OlderBytes Developer

    Charles-cgr
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    961
    Project: Eternity
    Following up on a digression that was hogging the grimoire thread. Let's lay it all out in the open and show off our mastery of the science of economics. Or make fools of ourselves. It'll be fun either way.

    Current participants were commie, Jaesun, felipepepe, Metro, Coyote (by Contumace), ...
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  2. Humanity has risen! Arcane Patron Repressed Homosexual

    Humanity has risen!
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    13,775
    Location:
    Ottawa, Can.
    Put it at $40 just to piss all the cheapasses off.

    No matter how you put it, I don't like the race to the bottom model, and don't see how it's sustainable.
     
    ^ Top  
  3. 7hm Scholar

    7hm
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    644
    The most you can. For your game that's probably 25$. Just make sure there is a long demo. If you get on steam, that's where you drop your pants. Or on high quality indie bundles. You have a niche product that is pretty good. No point devaluing it.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. 7hm Scholar

    7hm
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    644
    Also you should consider using indiegogo or kickstarter (if USA based) to sell additional copies. My favorite thing from a marketers perspective about kickstarter is all the different pricing tiers. People want to pay you more than they should for the game and a signed piece of paper or something. Let them.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Charles-cgr OlderBytes Developer

    Charles-cgr
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    961
    Project: Eternity
    Oh wait this is a theoretical discussion. Not specifically about me. Not to say I won't have a particular interest in the debate. If it all revolves around me no one will participate :neveraskedforthis:
     
    ^ Top  
  6. DarKPenguiN Arcane

    DarKPenguiN
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Inside the Hollow Earth
    Okay, I picked "Just below average" but I do NOT consider $15 to $20 to be "just below average".

    That aside its entirely dependent on the title, overhead and time invested in the venture (along with how desired the product is)- An indie, especially niche is probably going to have a certain base who would pay anything, a larger base which would pay above average, and an even larger base of people who could be potential customers but would never pay above $25 for an indie title.

    -A ton of low profit sales quickly trump a few high dollar ones. Look at some of the titles on Steam, Xbox live and PSN which sell for $5.99 or less but sell a ton.

    The "worth" will be in the eye of the beholder, but staying a bit below average will most likely lead to greater sales and profit.
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Brayko Self-Ejected

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    5,540
    Location:
    United States of America
    That's up for the developer to decide. You have to estimate how much it cost you to develop the game and how much you need to make back in order to provide funds for a sequel and pay your bills. If it didn't strain you too much go for a low price but if you put sweat and blood into it go a bit higher. Never ever try to compete with AAA prices though as an indie.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. Charles-cgr OlderBytes Developer

    Charles-cgr
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    961
    Project: Eternity
    You misread ;)
     
    ^ Top  
  9. DarKPenguiN Arcane

    DarKPenguiN
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Inside the Hollow Earth
    I have that tendency from time to time. :)
     
    ^ Top  
  10. mediocrepoet Arcane Patron

    mediocrepoet
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Returning to civilization
    Codex 2012 MCA Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
    I figure you should price it high and maybe come down over time. If the games look good enough, I'd consider paying $20-30 for an Indie... it's half the price or less of a normal commercial release and I'll usually enjoy them more even if they don't look cutting edge. Granted, I suspect most impulse buyers wouldn't buy the sorts of things I'm into at $5 either, so they might as well try and earn a living off those who are interested in supporting them.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. eric__s ass hater Developer

    eric__s
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,156
    Yesterday I noticed a music DLC for Crusader Kings was only 49 cents so I picked it up. It's DLC I would have never otherwise bought, the music only plays under very particular circumstances that I almost never play in, but it was an absurdly low price and it didn't matter much. People are much more inclined to impulsively buy things at low price points, which is a big part of the success of games like Cthulu Saves the World, an RPG that has sold tens or hundreds of thousands of copies because it was only a few dollars. I think a price of $7-8 would be ideal for Swords and Sorcery, not because it's only worth that much, but because you're going to sell in much greater volume that way.

    Supply and demand doesn't work the same way with digital goods as it does with physical goods. You want to sell at a low price and in high volume because you've got an unlimited number of copies; the more accessible you make the price, the more people will play it which will cause those people to talk about it, which in turn will cause more people to buy it.
     
    ^ Top  
  12. mediocrepoet Arcane Patron

    mediocrepoet
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Returning to civilization
    Codex 2012 MCA Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Actually I should add that I'll buy most things I'm generally interested in for around $10 and more or less rationalize $5 as free when it comes to game prices - so that's a counter point to my original post. It's just a matter of whether or not the game is visible or flashy enough to attract the wider variety of impulse buyers.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. Jaesun Fabulous Moderator Patron

    Jaesun
    Joined:
    May 14, 2004
    Messages:
    36,922
    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech
    Keep that Animal Hide spell up for a while Charles-cgr. :salute:
     
    ^ Top  
  14. eric__s ass hater Developer

    eric__s
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,156
    If you sell Swords and Sorcery for $5, everyone on the Codex will buy it. If you sell it for $20, 1/100th of the Codex will buy it.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  15. Charles-cgr OlderBytes Developer

    Charles-cgr
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    961
    Project: Eternity
    So when I lie and say this isn't about me no one even PRETENDS to believe me?

    :x
     
    ^ Top  
  16. mediocrepoet Arcane Patron

    mediocrepoet
    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2009
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Returning to civilization
    Codex 2012 MCA Project: Eternity Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Well when I say "you" I meant a general you, not you specifically Charles. ;)
     
    ^ Top  
  17. Charles-cgr OlderBytes Developer

    Charles-cgr
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    961
    Project: Eternity
    On a slightly more serious note... Arguments on both sides. Few in favor of average. Go one way or the other. So $20 is actually too cheap if following one logic or way too expensive according to the other.
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Charles-cgr OlderBytes Developer

    Charles-cgr
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    Messages:
    961
    Project: Eternity
    Thank you for pretending, good sir. a very convincing attempt, at that. :)
     
    ^ Top  
  19. Excidium P. banal

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    13,693
    Location:
    Third World
    Depends on the game. The original S&S Underworld with stock art didn't seem worth a dollar. The spiderweb stuff was also horribly overpriced before going on Steam.

    $5-20 is a good range.
     
    ^ Top  
  20. DarKPenguiN Arcane

    DarKPenguiN
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    Inside the Hollow Earth
    -It really depends on the game.

    But...Yeah. I know that I personally have bought alot of indie RPGs but generally in the $5.99- $15.00 range. If its an indie I am hyped about (Grimoire and possibly AOD) I would pay much higher but thats only because I have been following those (recently learned of AOD) and I wold pay MUCH higher in those cases.

    So its kind of a case by case thing to me.

    An example is that if its turn based/party based/first person like Grimoire or M and M- I automatically will pay alot more since these are my favorite type game. Those same features would turn others off...
     
    ^ Top  
  21. felipepepe Prestigious Gentleman Codex's Heretic Patron

    felipepepe
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    16,318
    Location:
    Terra da Garoa
    As I was talking on the Grimoire thread, it should go through all of those. Allow me to rant a bit:

    "Early adopters" are the consumers that want it hot and fast, and are willing to pay to dollar for it. Think on those guys on Apple store lines, just waiting to buy the new iWhatever (or MHC on Steam), they know they are paying more than most will pay in a few months, but they wanna own/play it now, while it's new, the hype is flowing or he just was looking foward to it for a long time. IMHO, 15$ is a good price for most of the good indies.

    After 1-2 months, start the promotions. People willing to pay full price already did so, now you have to target those who were waiting for a discount, lower prices or more info/reviews/Konsensus on the game. $9.99 should work well, it's a good price, still single-digit and "feels" small. If you did a Kickstarter, to avoid backers getting pissed at you selling your game so quickly at "backers price", you should still make it a bit higher, like $9,99 if you asked for $8 on KS.

    After 6-8 months, talk about your game has probably disapeared, so you should do a nice price drop and perhaps add a little free content to roll the ball again and even get some newspost on some forums/websites "Game A releases big patch/free DLC & lowers price". Here you should go 7-5$, depending on how sales are and what you intend to do next.

    Few indie developers seem to understand this (KotC and Frayed Knight guys included), but if you're making a sequel/DLC/expansion, expanding your community is crucial. Is what Valve does masterfully, they give free heads for people to buy hats for them! You don't have to give them, but selling the game for 4,99 or even lower will ensure that WAY more people will know who you are/what you're selling when you appear with a new, full-priced product. And again, you can sneak in some nice newposts, something like "Game 2 release date announced, Game 1 now for 4,99!" that will help both your products.

    Anyway, that's a quick view of what I think on the subject, one must never underestimate the power of low prices, ESPECIALLY with digital goods. You don't have any cost for each copy, profits for selling 10 games at $20 or 100 at $2 are the same, and you'll find the later way easier to achieve after a while. ;)

    And yes, I think that >15$ is too much for a indie game...
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 5
    ^ Top  
  22. Excidium P. banal

    Self-Ejected
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    13,693
    Location:
    Third World
    Though "indie" varies a lot. Could be a random joe making a text-based RPG or Obsidian/InXile with their millionaire projects. So I assume like the poll says we're restricted to those really small projects.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. sea inXile Entertainment Developer

    sea
    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Messages:
    5,698
    Depends. How big is the game? How many hours of gameplay does it offer? Is it replayable? What are the production values like? How much money did you spend making the game? What is your closest competitor and what price is it going for?

    There are way too many things to factor in when determining price, and "what players want" is not necessarily chief among them. While charging a bit more money might turn away some potentially curious people for instance, the extra money made might make up for it, or maybe the people the game is targeted at are so starved for content that they will pay even full triple-A price for the experience you offer.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. 7hm Scholar

    7hm
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    644
    No offense, but if you think that 15$ is too much for an indie game, an indie developer would be stupid to target you. You're the lowest common denominator that gets picked up once the target market is tapped out. Also the idea that there is no distribution cost is a common one and its fucking ridiculous. The distribution cost is he removal of a customer for less than the max you could have got out of that customer. If you are selling for 5$ to someone who would otherwise be willing to pay 15$, you are losing 10$. Its hard to know when that happens, but if you drop your pants on price right away I guarantee its happening. Vogel was right. Games have value and customers are willing to pay for that. At the same time he did bend on his pricing when he got on steam and went after a completely different market. You have to know who you're targeting. Selling on iTunes is not the same as selling in a retail environment obviously.

    There is literally no reason not to overprice your game though. If no one buys, you lower your price. You can't raise your price. People are pussies about setting prices though. If you don't ask, you won't get. Start high, always.
     
    ^ Top  
  25. Overboard Arcane

    Overboard
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2009
    Messages:
    712
    $5-10 is the optimum range. I'd say 'just below average' would be that range, rather than $10-15.

    Slippery slope alert!

    This. Also what cboyardee posted, as well as mediocrepoet about purchasing sentiment at $10 and $5 price points.

    This is retarded. You price according to the market, and according to what price point gives you the maximum profit, not according to how you feel. Otherwise you'll be feeling an empty wallet soon enough.

    The first part of your post was semi-correct though. You estimate what you need to make back, and then you determine price dependent on how many units you think you can sell. Setting a high price isn't going to make you more profit, in most cases the opposite is true.

    Charles-cgr This is your thread, my view on your pricing methods is still the same, as is my view on your game, in that it is interesting, but not $20 interesting. You tried only one promotion ever, and that being a post on another less prestigious forum, and held the promotion for 1 hour. 1 HOUR! That's barely enough time for people to read about it, let alone for word to spread. cboyardee's post is right on the money:

     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)