The Bard's Tale 4 Will Get Cheaper The More Wishlists It Gets

Image: inXile Entertainment

inXile is best-known these days for Torment: Tides of Numenera and Wasteland 2, but it's also responsible for another franchise: The Bard's Tale. A stalwart from the Interplay era, its modern adaptations are now inXile's domain, with the latest instalment, The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep, due out late September. To promote the game, inXile has come up with what it calls the "Wishlist Initiative".

Taking a note from Kickstarter's funding goals, inXile will sweeten your Barrows Deep purchase based on the number of wishlists it receives on Steam and GOG.

Image: inXile Entertainment

There are three goals in total: 100,000, 300,000 and 500,000. The first is a bit naff: the addition of the torch from Red Hook's Darkest Dungeon.

The other two, however, a much juicier: a price drop to $US39.95 ($53) and $34.95 ($46) respectively.

Brian Fargo, inXile's CEO, believes it's a good way to "spread the word" before release, while also giving fans "something extra":

Our backers helped us get The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep made, and now we’re hoping that all our fans can help us spread the word about it, and in doing so, unlock rewards for themselves and help make the game that much more accessible for the wider gaming audience out there.

Putting a game on your wishlist costs nothing, yet can mean everything to an indie studio like us. With this initiative, we’re hoping to have it mean something extra for our fans, too.”

It's a pretty novel idea to be honest, and I wouldn't be surprised if other developers follow inXile's lead in the future — depending on how successful this attempt is, of course.

Wish Upon a Bard! [Steam]


Comments

    Whether other developers decide to follow suit will probably depend on how many of those wishlists convert into sales.

      That's the key part of this, aint it? I wonder though how many people will just wishlist it based on seeing this story somewhere, just to bump the numbers up. That's people looking for freebies, nothing else, so might not transfer to actual sales.

      Still, nice idea to at least try. It really costs them nothing if it bumps sales up by just 25%, which isn't a high bar.

        It is possible that people who wishlist the game but don't buy it end up helping the developer too though: it could very well tilt Steam's recommendations algorithm to offer the game to people it otherwise wouldn't.

        Alternatively, it might kick in some kind of spam protection and bury the game ...

          I loved the Bards Tale games back in the 80's, they were some of my earliest gaming memories, so I'll probably wishlist it myself. As I didn't realise they were making another one, that means this story has been a success in my case. I think I'm the sort of person they're trying to attract.

          Whether I then buy it or not will depend on what sort of game it is. If its in line with the originals (as in, a RPG) then probably, but if its action (like the PS3 era BT game) probably not.

          Whether its $US30 or $40 wont really impact on whether I buy it or not anyway, though cheaper is always nice.

          Overall I think its an interesting approach, and one a lot of developers will keep an eye on. If it works, you'll see it again. If it doesn't, you wont. I don't think they harm themselves much either way.

    I hope they're not basing this on the idea that those wishlists will convert to immediate sales because that is a very flawed piece of logic. A lot of people are going to be waiting for sales and others will be like myself in that it's something I have interest in but won't be looking to purchase until sometime in the far future when I'm looking for something new.

    The interesting thing though is that if they get a jump in sales it will be difficult to work out the cause. Was it the wishlist promotion itself or the fact that a whole bunch of popular game journalism sites were promoting it?

    I backed this years ago and can't wait for it to come out, but still wishlisted it on Steam and GOG to boost awareness.

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