The Interesting, Honest Reason Why Brawsome Are Raising Prices

I love honesty. Especially when it's less brutal and more hilarious. Brawsome, creator of Jolly Rover and the recently released MacGuffin's Curse, is honest. It's increasing the prices of its two games from $4.99 to $6.99. Its reasons for doing so are brilliant.

"I was going to title this "Brawsome's increased price sale!"," began the email from Brawsome's Andrew Goulding, "but this isn't a limited offer."

The main reason why Andrew is raising the price of his games is because he thinks both games are worth it.

"In this gaming landscape where many developers seem to be racing to the bottom, we thought we'd turn it around and raise our prices a little to reflect the value we see in the game," continued Andrew.

The other reason is psychological.

"When we first moved to $4.99 as a sale price, we thought that we were pricing the games at the price where a purchase would be a no-brainer, which was actually less than we felt the game was worth," explains Andrew. "But we found that even though the game is priced at what we perceive as good value, it seems many people are of the mindset that they simply cannot purchase a game unless it is on sale. Which looks better, paying full price for a game at $4.99, or getting 50% off a game at $9.99? Everyone loves a bargain, right?

"Being transparent about it, we find that the games always sell better when on sale (obviously?), so why not raise the price so that when it does go on sale we're still getting a fair price, and the people buying the game feel like they're getting a bargain, while still getting a lot of game for their money. Is this crazy? Is this necessary? Our answer is yes. But ultimately we want to make more games, and if we're producing something that people are enjoying, we'll be able to do that, and a big part of our freedom, and indeed motivation, to develop is how much we can get back from sales at the end of the day in order to put towards more original titles."

I completely agree with Andrew here. I think games, particularly indie games developed by small teams, should be more careful about how they price their games.

You can buy read more about Brawsome's games here.

Also, the psychology of why we buy certain video games, and when we buy them, is interesting. Steam sales are a perfect example -- I've bought so many games I haven't even bothered to install simply because they were on sale.

I think Brawsome is perfectly right to increase the price of its games. It might have made a little more sense, however, to have priced the game higher at the beginning!


    MacGuffins curse demo constantly crashes for me on my ipod, and the load times are insane. Sorry Andrew, no sale for me on that device, regardless of price.

    I was gifted Jolly Rover, which is brilliant, and looking at the game as an outsider, I can see how it would only be perceived as worthy of a "sale buy". I guess this is just the Indie Curse, but what ever. I'm here to say that Jolly Rover is a clever adventure game with some great writing and much needed design changes for the adventure genre. Buy it at full price, it's worth it.

    I'm one of those gamers who love a 'bargain' so I imagine I'd only buy it on sale.
    So I guess the price hike makes perfect sense to me, looking at it from their side of the fence.
    The success of the recent Humble Bundles would only reinforce this.

    Pricing is something people really should be thinking about more. The race to the bottom is really only sustainable for the most universally appealing games.

    Sometimes you've made a great game that only has a limited audience, regardless of the price. I know of one independant Aussie studio who have been around forever making excellent, highly-acclaimed wargames. They're sold for quite a high price, but it's the only way the business makes sense.

    There's a small pocket of fanatical wargamers who love these games and are willing to pay the price to see them made. Lowering the price may draw in a slightly larger crowd, but not enough to make it profitable. The road to success is almost always through building and engaging with a passionate community of fans, not just dropping the price and hoping people will buy it because it's cheap.

      Hey Badger, what is this studio called? For the life of me I can't remember

    Oh Christ. I like his honesty, but he's just put himself in a bad position. Can you take this article down Mark.

    These guys are based in Australia right? He's just broken a bunch of consumer laws, and admitted it in writing. You cannot raise the price so it "looks like a good deal on sale". Lots of companies do it anyway, but they keep it quiet. Its like one of the first things you learn in high-school business studies. How does he not know this?

      Actually, this is not a breach of law. Companies raise prices all the time. What you are referring to only constitutes a violation if the price is temporarily risen and then returned to the former price as a "sale". This, however, is a permanent rrp price rise.


    "The trader must have offered these goods at the higher price for a reasonable period of time—that is, it must be a genuine pre-sale price."

    You can't meet this standard if you've said you've increased the price just to make the sale look good.

      I understood it as exactly that - he's indeed planning to offer the goods at the higher price for a reasonable period of time. As a side effect the price they get will be better when it does in inevitably go on sale in the future.

        Agreed. As long as there is no sale for a short time while the price change 'settles' this is fine.

    Good luck, Brawsome! You guys (but mostly you) rock. I have no doubt this will boost sales. People see "on sale" and don't even check the original price. We've been trained into only buying things when they're on sale, so why not use that?

    In the end, you guys can get away with this because it completely matches the humour you put into your games. Good move!

    If games were priced at $100 each but permanently "on sale" at $40, I'd probably be buying them a whole lot sooner.

    I bought this one at full price, I really enjoy brawsome games so the $5 full price figure was not a turn off at all.
    However I see their point of view, I rarely buy full price games based on the fact I have a huge pile of shame and chances are if I buy something at full price it will be on sale before i get around to playing it. There is also a issue with enjoying the game or not if it is the first game by a new developer.

    They are right about this - I'm currently holding off from buying "Braid" at 800MSpts (whatever that is in real money) waiting for a sale

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