Post by Eorl @ 04:47pm 16/01/14 | 8 Comments
Independent developer Jason Rohrer has revealed that his upcoming game Castle Doctrine will be getting more expensive as time goes by rather than the typical cheaper trend, due in part by the damage he believes is caused by sales and discounts like Steam’s.
Taking to a new blog post, Rohrer argues that the recent trend of deep discounts through digital distribution doesn't make as much sense compared to your typical retail bargain bin, arguing that that they don't actually do much good for both fans or developers.
"But I suspect that something different is happening. Something that is arguably bad for players, and possibly bad for developers as well. To put it bluntly: sales screw your fans," Rohrer states.
One of the main arguments that Rohrer falls on is that a sale is always around the corner, and that this mindset of waiting until the sale can cause damage not just to your brand, but also to the developer. Rohrer admits that fans will want to buy up your game as soon as its available, but the mentality that a sale is just around the corner pushes them to simply wait, because it would be foolish to buy a game before its on sale.
Of course it isn't just the developers that Rohrer believes are hurt in this new sales trend, stating that hardcore fans get a "kick in the teeth" when a game goes on sale, having bought it earlier at a higher price rather than waiting.
“A culture of rampant sales is a culture of waiting. ‘I’ll buy it later, during a sale.’ Launch weeks become weak, and developers grow to depend on sales for financial survival,” he said.There is also the theory that sales culture may reduce developer revenue in the long-term, with the need for more people who will "uy random games just because they are on sale – games that they had no intention of buying otherwise."
"Maybe there are enough of these people, and I’ve certainly met some of them: people who have a backlog of 50 unplayed games in their Steam library,” Rohrer acknowledged.Whether you agree or disagree on this premise, Rohrer believes that there is no escaping this culture now, and does admit that Valve never forces developers into the sales frenzy - although points out that the more who join, the harder it is to resist those bursts of income.
To help buck against the trend, Rohrer has adopted the Minecraft model for his title, The Castle Doctrine. An alpha version is currently available at $8, a 50% discount on its final price. During the launch week the game will then be available at $12, then move to $16 forever more.
You can read the full blog discussion on the official website, which is highly encouraged to get a better grip on where developers are right now with the sales mindset.