Braid Creator Responds To PC Pricing Questions - UPDATED

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Braid Creator Responds To PC Pricing Questions - UPDATED

image

Braid creator Jonathan Blow has responded to questions about the higher price of the PC version of the game, noting that several factors were involved in the decision, not least of which is the fact that 20 bucks is pretty cheap for a good PC game.

A PC version of the hit Xbox Live Arcade game was announced today and is scheduled to arrive via the Impulse digital distribution network on March 31. But the game is selling for $19.95, a jump of $5 over the original price of 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) which itself took criticism for being more expensive than the usual XBLA cost of 800 MS Points ($10). When asked about the increase, Blow touched on a few points that affected the decision and noted that "standard" pricing doesn't necessarily translate across platforms.

"I just looked at what comparable games are selling at on the PC," he said. "Crayon Physics is $20, World of Goo is $20, Aquaria is $20. Should I be selling Braid for less than those games?"

"As for the price disparity - that's what happens when you have standard price points on different platforms," he continued. "As one example, World of Goo costs $15 on the Wii, but it is the same game as on the PC, where it costs $20. World of Goo is a really nice game, and I think $20 is a fine price for it, but Wii games are generally a lot cheaper, so I understand why it's being sold there at that price."

It's a valid point, and one familiar to PC gamers: 20 bucks doesn't get you very far out of the bargain bin. It's a trade-off, perhaps; PC owners have grown accustomed over the years to things like free online play and a wealth of user-generated content, but ready access to cheap games that don't suck over services like XBLA has remained elusive. That may not satisfy thrifty cross-platform gamers who grumble about forking over five bucks for Frogger, but some of us spent fifty bucks for seven hours of Stranglehold.

"There are other factors - support costs are a lot higher on the PC, and there's always the piracy question and what that does to sales. But about piracy, nobody really knows, it's just a big question mark," Blow said. "So the main reason for the $20 PC price point is that that's just what games like this often cost on the PC."

UPDATE: Blow is apparently sick of answering questions about the price of Braid for the PC because he's since decided to drop the price to $14.95, the same as the Xbox Live Arcade version. "Ultimately, I don't care that much about the PC release price," he wrote on his blog. "The XBLA version was nicely profitable, and my goal with the PC release is mainly to get the game out to a wider audience."

"It would be nice to earn the optimal amount of money from that release - I have interesting ideas for games that I want to make in the future, and making games is very expensive, and I will probably have to hire people to help!" he continued. "But ultimately, I would rather have people talking about the game itself, what they like and dislike about it, than about how many American Fiat Currency Dollars it costs."

Pre-orders for the game haven't been charged yet, he said, so anyone who's already in line for the release on Impulse will also get it for $14.95. He also noted that along with Impulse, the game will be available on "one or two" other digital distribution networks when it's released.

Permalink

Blow was quoted saying
"All the cool kids games cost $20 on the PC. And damn, am I cool."

I won't be buying the game for $20, just like I didn't pay $15 on the 360.

If there was a level editor, I'd pay 50 bucks.

sunami88:
Blow was quoted saying
"All the cool kids games cost $20 on the PC. And damn, am I cool."

I won't be buying the game for $20, just like I didn't pay $15 on the 360.

So you wouldn't be buying the game either way. Your point?

The last several PC games I bought were $5 because they were on sale on Steam. Oh, except Doom, that was $1.

I guess I figure I haven't had time to play through the games I already have, so there's not much point in buying new ones unless they're ones I plan to play some day in any case and they're as cheap as I ever expect them to be.

Edit: Hey, lookit, he changed his mind already: Braid for the PC is now $15.

Wait, so he didn't listen to the ideal of the average price when he raised the price on the Arcade, but he is now using the average price argument to increase the price by a third? Anyone else thinking hypocritical?

Vim-Hogar:

Edit: Hey, lookit, he changed his mind already: Braid for the PC is now $15.

Frankly, $15 is priced to move on the PC. For an indy to give their game a $20 price tag, they are stating in unequivocal terms that they put at least a third of the time, effort, and money that a major developer put into a $60 game. That their game is equivalent to say, at best, a third of Half-Life 2. We know that HL2: Ep1,2,&3 are one-third of HL2, so we're not opposed to paying $20. But when you establish your game on the XBox Live Arcade as worth $15, then you can't really expect a cheery attitude when you jack the price for PC. Now that I can use a keyboard and mouse, the game is worth $5 more? When I bought Call of Duty 4 for PC, I didn't pay $5 more than my roommate did for buying it for his XBox. What he should've done was price the thing at $20 to start with.

For $15, if it works on my laptop, I might consider it.

Either you want the game, and will pay the $15 or $20 for it, or you don't truly want it. For a price difference so damned low, any bitching and moaning about paying more for PC hits my ears like the warbling of a retard in heat. mew mew mew, don't wanna pay $20, that's too much. mew mew mew, not fair XBox is cheaper. mew mew mew

how loud some will cry to save $5

Cousin_IT:
how loud some will cry to save $5

No kidding. Hell, I've often blown as much as $20 over the lowest-found price, simply to avoid a specific store, save travel time, or other such things.

I'm one of those people who waits months for a game to drop in price...

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

(But seriously, Blow still appears to be competing for the '#1 Industry Asshole' award.)

Khell_Sennet:
Either you want the game, and will pay the $15 or $20 for it, or you don't truly want it. For a price difference so damned low, any bitching and moaning about paying more for PC hits my ears like the warbling of a retard in heat. mew mew mew, don't wanna pay $20, that's too much. mew mew mew, not fair XBox is cheaper. mew mew mew

I'm borrowing your cat sounds joke, that got a laugh out of me.

Awesome, it's being ported to the pc!
That's pretty much all i thought, if anyone truly wants to get this then 5 bucks aren't gonna stop them. Braid was the only game i really wanted to check out for the 360

harhol:
I'm one of those people who waits months for a game to drop in price...

THIS IS AN OUTRAGE

(But seriously, Blow still appears to be competing for the '#1 Industry Asshole' award.)

Totally, after the shit he dropped regarding games and their story obstacle he proudly holds this spot in my heart, just barely after the GOW 2 incident regarding the lancer

It's not about extra $5 being or not being a lot of money. The issue is, why the fuck should I be paying extra for an almost year old game.

L.B. Jeffries:
I'm borrowing your cat sounds joke, that got a laugh out of me.

You should hear me do it live. Text doesn't convey my sense of disgust at the world, nor the mockery I bestow upon groups of whiners.

: D

JakubK666:
It's not about extra $5 being or not being a lot of money. The issue is, why the fuck should I be paying extra for an almost year old game.

That's not the issue. The issue is do you want the game or not, that's the fucking price, take it or leave it.

$20 for a year old game? Quake Wars ET has been out for seventeen months now and it's still $40-60, and you're whining about twenty fucking dollars?! You can't buy most Sims expansions for twenty goram dollars.

JakubK666:
It's not about extra $5 being or not being a lot of money. The issue is, why the fuck should I be paying extra for an almost year old game.

This. Exactly this. When 2K ported Bioshock, they had the decency to upgrade the visuals and give us the challenge rooms.

I actually didn't detect a large amount of annoying "I'm-an-indie-game-dev!" vibes from Blow in this story.

And the price has been dropped, so it's really no argument anymore.

I usually pick up games after they drop a bit in price, however, they're still at least 30-40 bucks by then. I didn't really see the problem with the 20 buck price tag to be honest.

I think the problem here is that we see $10 bargain bin games that have far more work into them (and that might have been top notch games 2 years ago) yet here is a game that wants to be $20 for really no other reason than greed.
As for "Well don't buy the game then" yeah I don't plan too... but I'm still going to play it >:P

Khell_Sennet:

Cousin_IT:
how loud some will cry to save $5

No kidding. Hell, I've often blown as much as $20 over the lowest-found price, simply to avoid a specific store, save travel time, or other such things.

Then you have too much money for your own good. Give it to me instead.

Maverynthia:
I think the problem here is that we see $10 bargain bin games that have far more work into them (and that might have been top notch games 2 years ago) yet here is a game that wants to be $20 for really no other reason than greed.
As for "Well don't buy the game then" yeah I don't plan too... but I'm still going to play it >:P

I really don't understand this at all. Greed? Considering the effort that goes into making a good game, especially "independent" games, calling $20 greed is bizarre. Hell, IMHO, there are a ton of free mods for existing games out there that are easily worth $20 a pop.

I don't know about the rest of you, but going out to dinner or ordering in costs more than $20 for my family of three. And then when I consider I used to pay around $70 CDN at retail for my PC games, I can't bring myself to scoff at games that are $20 USD or less on Steam, its like buying some junk food to me, only more healthy. Wait, more like buying a precious jewel far below its long term value.

And who cares what they pay on Xbox, really? I'm not playing it on the Xbox. If it starts to sell for different prices in PC distribution, then you might have something to bitch about - only I'll tell ya to go find that cheaper price from a source you trust *shrug*

Khell said it best: "mew mew mew"

Why would he charge more? Maybe because porting a game is extra work.

Maybe because seeing a lot of games able to charge $20 and sell well, he makes a reasonable decision that this is a price point the market will bear.

What pisses me off is that now he's lowered the price by 25% and I expect it'll make maybe a 5% difference in sales. Those who were going to buy it aren't going to buy extra copies for the $5 savings, and lets be honest most of those who weren't going to buy at $20 aren't going to buy it at $15 either.

Khell wins.

And now the PC gamers look like brats. <cries>

But... Yay! Braid is coming to PC!

Maverynthia:
I think the problem here is that we see $10 bargain bin games that have far more work into them (and that might have been top notch games 2 years ago) yet here is a game that wants to be $20 for really no other reason than greed.
As for "Well don't buy the game then" yeah I don't plan too... but I'm still going to play it >:P

This. It really boils down to overall value. All games these days are not only competing with each other, but also all releases ever. Older games may not have the same market value, but they can have a higher overall value. I could find myself a copy of Thief for $10 or less, and that could last me hours. Braid can be beat in one sitting for a smart player. They added all those nice extras like the stars, but that still doesn't equate to even $15 IMO. The overall value for the game is pretty low, because once you beat it, you really are done. Thief, on the other hand, has secrets galore, harder difficulty modes, and even offers players ways to make up their own methods of playthroughs if they are desperate to play the game more (never knock out guards, never get spotted.. ect). Braid will be beat, and then be done.

Kwil:
Why would he charge more? Maybe because porting a game is extra work.

Maybe because seeing a lot of games able to charge $20 and sell well, he makes a reasonable decision that this is a price point the market will bear.

What pisses me off is that now he's lowered the price by 25% and I expect it'll make maybe a 5% difference in sales. Those who were going to buy it aren't going to buy extra copies for the $5 savings, and lets be honest most of those who weren't going to buy at $20 aren't going to buy it at $15 either.

Khell wins.

I expect you're right, but I for one am certainly more likely to buy it at $15 than at $20. When I saw it was going to be 20 bucks, I thought, "Hey, that's finally coming to PC, I've been wanting to try it for a while. Maybe I'll wait for it to go on sale, though, I've got a bunch of other games to play right now..." At $15, though, I'm a bit more likely to just get it when it comes out, depending on what I feel like and how much I've got going on at that point.

I said it in the original post and I'll say it again here: 20 bucks is cheap for any kind of half-decent PC game. If you have a problem with that price, there can only be one of two explanations: Either Braid really isn't your kind of game, or you're just cheap as hell. Both are perfectly legitimate reasons for not buying the game. Neither justify calling the man names, particularly after he responded to all the whining by giving you what you want.

Although to be quite honest, I suspect that the most vocal bitching about the price is coming from people who have absolutely no intention of paying for the game anyway.

I already own the game for the 360, so I don't think I'll get this.

Hoookay.

$5. What is $5 gonna get you? What fantastical things are you not going to be able to purchase, because Braid was $5 more than your expectations?

image

-Five hundred shares of Radio Shack stock.

-Any five items at a dollar store... Four if you live where there's sales tax.

-A single pack of 10 Nerf darts.

-A strip of four color photos from one of those mall/fair instant-foto booths.

-A used novel, two if they're terrible ones

-Six blocks in a city cab. Possibly more/less depending on what the pickup fee is.

-Four rolls of asswipe (discount brand. 2 rolls if quilted)

-A VHS movie

-One Starbucks coffee (small)

-A small box of tampons

-A value meal at any number of low-end fast food chains... Not a good value meal, like a Teen Burger or the McChicken Deluxe, just a crappy regular basic one. Probably can't afford a supersize on it either.

-One Tim Hortons breakfast combo

-One jar of Games Workshop model paint or ink (unless they've upped the prices since I last bought some).

-A blow-job from a trans-sexual hooker over the age of 45, or one with more than three diseases.

-One tenth of an Uwe Bole movie fund donation. Probably wouldn't get the DVD or the prize give-away, and your name in the credits would be shortened to just initials.

-Twenty local calls on a payphone. That is of course, if you can find a payphone these days, and no, you can't text with one (for all you new-age brats that probably have never seen such a device).

-Six bars of soap (and I bet there's more than a few people here who need this)

-A two-pack of AA batteries

-Postage for three letters, Canada to Kazakhstan.

-One hour's work from an illegal immigrant laborer

So yeah... Mew mew mew!

Could much of the fuss be caused by it being a reversal of the usual situation? I'm making a bit of an assumption that this applies globally, but generally full price PC games, at least in the UK, are and have always been cheaper than console games, something always explained by the slice that the console manufacturer takes for allowing the game on their platform (this is, after all, how you turn a profit on a console).

JakubK666:
It's not about extra $5 being or not being a lot of money. The issue is, why the fuck should I be paying extra for an almost year old game.

because part of making games comes from profiting from sales to make more games like braid or better? if blow can instantly make millions by farting on a sofa, otherwise I would have purchased all of london by now re-vamped it into a utopia of skate-boards, comics and alternative rock-bands whose main talent come from disgusting sexual innuendos.

my twisted mind aside; the port is coming out for 20$. might as well go to charity to cancer research.

Now it's even cheaper? Awesome! I've been waiting a long time for the PC version of Braid and I would easily be willing to pay even more.

HA! What a chump, he caved. And apparently threw a hissy fit at the same time.

FINE! PAY $5 LESS, SEE IF I CARE! BUT MY NEXT GAME WILL BE CRAP AND IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT! *Throws rattle out the pram*

Indigo_Dingo:

JakubK666:
It's not about extra $5 being or not being a lot of money. The issue is, why the fuck should I be paying extra for an almost year old game.

This. Exactly this. When 2K ported Bioshock, they had the decency to upgrade the visuals and give us the challenge rooms.

Are you done?

How can't it be about the money? You basically said "I don't wanna pay that much for a game that's a year old". Quit yo' bitching.

EDIT:

Khell_Sennet:
snip

You good sir, are a complete winner. You may have my virginity :P

Radelaide:
You good sir, are a complete winner. You may have my virginity :P

Not the usual prize offered up, that's for sure...

Khell_Sennet:
IN AMERICA

Maybe, yes.

But here, $5 is almost 20 PLN. That's a good pizza, one-person dinner in a restaurant (meal + a drink) and many more things. It's also 2/3 of a Terry Pratchett's book and it's just the cost of a Dungeons and Dragons book.

Try thinking about something except your country for a moment there.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Posting on this forum is disabled.