Just looking at the last 10 new indie releases on steam:
- Fortix2 £5.39
- Beeo £5.39
- Dwarfs £7.19
- Universe Sandbox £6.99
- Capsized £5.99
- Your doodles are bugged £6.99
- The Tiny Bang Story £11.99
- Sanctum £9.99
- Anomaly £8.99
- Hoard £6.99
Thats scary there is only ONE game there over £10, and these are new release, presumably full price games. What will they be in a sale? £2? £1? £0.01? How on earth are these games expected to make a profit at these prices? In direct sales, 20% of it is probably payment costs. It’s insane. Plus, my next game is unsustainable at £10. I can’t make my money back at that price. It has to be more expensive. People who hate DLC will have to accept that it’s the only way devs can make money if the core game is sold at these prices. If you can sell portal 2 exclusively from your site with no discount, at £29.99, and have an item store on top, then things probably seem much better.
Artists, programmers, software are not getting cheaper each year.
There seems to be an unwritten rule developing that indie games must be under £10, preferably under $10. This is MAD. Harry Potter was written by ONE person. just ONE. It’s production costs were tiny. Does that mean you saw the harry potter books on sale for a third the price of other books? Of course not. Nobody slots books or plays into an ‘indie’ category and tries to get them cheap, ditto music. Do you pay less for an Adele album than a Queen album, because Queen had more members? That would be silly.
I speak to a lot of indie developers privately. They are overwhelmingly worried about the pressure being put on them to sell cheaper, cheaper cheaper. In the end, you get what you pay for. I know quite a few devs who are cutting back the ambition of their games, making them shorters, cheaper to make and mroe casual, because they fear that nobody will ‘allow’ them to sell for >$10.
Is there not a market for a $26 indie game? Should I stop saying I’m indie now?
More next-game clues soon…