Steal a crayon
Kloonigames is inviting everyone to steal their game Crayon Physics Deluxe!
Well, ok they didn’t use those words but technically it’s not far from truth. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a good idea. Others have done it and just the press coverage it offers is good enough to justify doing it.
In fact you’re likely to receive more press coverage by telling people they can pay what they want for a limited time than releasing a free game… But to be fair, Crayon Physics Deluxe is an award winning game and to have gone through the demo myself they well deserve any attention.
BUT (of course there’s a but) what’s the side-effect of this? And what is the side-effect of all those crazy sales we see on a regular basis from Steam and D2D?
As much as we respect the work they are doing and appreciate the product they are delivering there’s so many sales or “pay what you want” that I can’t help but wonder if in the long run more and more people will just wait until the price drops to buy games. Compulsive buyers please help us!
I bought Braid for not even $3 in the holidays on Steam. World of Goo for $5 (I missed their pay what you want). Isn’t there a danger to bring the prices way down?
When I was a teenager I bought Phantasmagoria for $80 and while it was expensive I seem to remember that it wasn’t exceptional. Now people are complaining that a game like Zombie Driver isn’t worth $10 and that they will wait until the price drops during a sale! And of course they know (and are right) that we’ll see Zombie Driver for $5 or maybe even less someday.
So while it’s a nice way to get attention I’m really wondering if it’s not a double-edge sword. Maybe sales were a bit slow since the game was released a year ago (I don’t know here, can be wrong) so it’s a nice way to make the game live longer. But when the next game is released will people just wait for the “pay what you want” or the ridiculous price when it goes on sale on Steam?
Look, I’m part of the cheap bastards that waited so long to buy the game. I would have probably never bought the game just because it’s not quite my favorite genre and don’t have an awful lot of time to play but at that price it’s worth to put it somewhere until I feel like going for it.
So it’s possible I would have never bought the game at its regular price ($20) so technically they made more money with me by doing the “pay what you want” (I paid $5 because like I said I’m not even sure to finish the game in the next year).
But if the next game fits my taste better, will I pay the full price knowing it will drop in some months? (and it will) Maybe yes because honestly I admire indie developers able to reach such success but then again, my wallet ain’t growing money either (remember that I’m also building games completely financed by that same wallet) …
I’m mostly concerned about indie developers here as I kinda know a bit what it’s like to be one (duh…). However I had no problem to wait Mass Effect to get to $5 and will probably also wait for Mass Effect 2 to drop price in some months (or less as I’ve seen Dragon Age in sales around Xmas, 1 month after release …).