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#1 Re: News » Why Rampant Sales are Bad for Players » 2014-01-19 13:42:42

So I followed the link to your blog from a joystiq story, after reading your full post I had every intention of creating an account on the forum just to chime in that I very much disagree with your opinion towards sales....

Then I watched a trailer and bought the game. sooooo yeah...kodus for that...

There are a lot of reasons why I think steam sales are great for both developers and for users, but one that I wanted to focus on is that I just bought the game. Not because I really wanted it. Not because I was sure it was good. Ordinarily I would prefer to wait for a game to fully release, and if the review are great, but it at full retail, and if the reviews are good, wait for a sale. However, I had no option with this. My only choices were buy now, or pay more later. Either way I was taking a risk.

My point is that its no different than the normal sale structure. Either way, consumers have to take risks. However, I believe that the normal way sales work provides far less risk though. When a game first comes out, and reviews start popping up, as a consumer I have a choice. Pay extra to get a now, or wait for a sale. Paying extra to not wait to get a game makes sense to me. Paying extra because I wasn't sure and decided to wait seems wrong....

also, I get the feeling that you're really not doing this for the money. Am I right in this? I don't think you're selling your game this way to maximize your profits. In fact I'm quite confident that...

1) You know that you will make less money this way.

"All that said, the economic argument against rampant sales is stronger than many people claim for one simple reason:  near the bottom, there IS a crossover point where you stop making more money if you keep increasing the discounts.  The existence proof of that point is simple:  if you put your game on sale for a 100% discount, you will make $0.  What about a 99% discount?  Or 95%?  Where is the crossover point?  It lies somewhere between a 0% discount and a 100% discount.
The only way to know for sure is to A/B test prices simultaneously, without your audience being aware that you're doing that.  And as far as I'm aware, no one has done that (and I don't want to do it).  So, we have no idea where the crossover point is, though we are clearly locked into a race to the bottom, as discounts get bigger and bigger, and sales become more frequent.
We may already be beneath the crossover point without realizing it."

Yes, there is a crossover point, and we can't be 100% sure where it is, but we can be pretty confident that it is not at 100%.

2) You know that by not going with the standard sale structure less people will play your game. Surely this matters you right? I understand that you don't want people to buy your game and then never play it, but what if thats just a side effect to 1,000 more people playing your game? Isn't that worth it?

Seriously though, I would love to hear your response. I really would like to know what your real motivation is in this. Its not to make more money and its not sell more copies. I guess that only thing remaining is that you want to change the industry, but do you really believe you can do that?

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