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!