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Are you hoping for a hit?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Ony, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. derf

    derf

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Posts:
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    No Man's Sky is a bad example, because they LIED to the consumer. I know there are those who feel this is not true or that it is not a fair assessment and claim some of the blame is on the consumers, but I simply will not agree with that statement simply because of the evidence at hand. Watch every interview with Sean Murray and listen too what he says about their product. Watch every convention where he demoed the game and listen to what he says while "playing" the game and watch the game on the screen. What was released to the general public was not what Sean spoke about or demoed in the slightest.

    However NMS is a good example of pricing the product based off solely the production cost. I cannot for certain say what their budget was but I have heard as low as 2 million pounds to as high as 20 million pounds (does anyone know their actual budget amount?).

    Now they obviously want to make back that initial investment as well as earn profit, the question becomes one of how do you price your product to meet that goal? What input/metrics do you utilize to accomplish this task?

    I do not know what metrics they used, what they considered about the game play/features, what they compared their game too or even whether it was a group decision or did some individual Sales/Marketing exec make the final decision.

    All we know is Hello Games went with a Triple 'A' price model of $59.99. Many consumers (both casual players and dedicated players) bought the game based on what was shown and spoken about which sounded amazing; than learned they over paid for a product that did not offer Triple A satisfaction (this is subjective however) or even provide; at least, what Murray said or showed at conventions (this is an accurate assessment).

    Go find me that planet with the sand worms from Dune they showed in a demo trailer for example.

    Bottom line is NMS was an over budgeted walking simulator. No story. No character interaction. Limited environment interaction. Limited game play. Limited game features. An over simplified minecraft core with a pseudo explorer game wrapped around it.

    The only thing they had going for it when it released was its ability to generate massive amount of worlds (populated with Flora, Fauna and resources) using simple mathematical formulas.

    Cool...but not 60 bucks cool.

    PS. as for Hello Games missing out on me as a consumer, this is because once you have gone behind the curtain and seen the real wizard of Oz, it becomes very difficult to fool said consumer. Being a dedicated indie game developer means, learning many truths, tricks and caveats of game design, game development, business management, financial accounting, resource management, quality control, consumer marketing and distribution, etc..

    Once you have gone down THAT rabbit hole there is no going back.
     
  2. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    We're all game developers here, we can't attack each other, it's not really healthy. I think with NMS, Hello games rode a ridiculous hype train which derailed after they had success. This is both victory and punishment for them but more importantly it is a lesson any of us can learn from.
     
  3. nat42

    nat42

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    Jun 10, 2017
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    I'm more likely to defend Phil Fish than Sean Murray, but they are both kind of the Nickleback's of indie devs (ie. seen as acceptable to pick on); besides I think it'd be hard to separate what went wrong from criticising what went wrong in the context of NMS.
     
  4. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

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    I don't see it as acceptable to pick on game developers, I will instead ignore any dramatic ones. I don't see why negative actions are better than no action.
     
    angrypenguin and Ony like this.
  5. derf

    derf

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    As Hippocoder pointed out, were all game developers here.

    Each of us have likes; dislikes, methods to our own madness and trying to debate the logical discourses we all have and follow is about as effective as trying to push a perfectly round 1 ton boulder up a steep ravine.

    What I will say is this though, there is a large amount of dead indie studios and independent/self publishing developers on the path to success we are all trying to navigate down...tread carefully my friends, tread carefully.
     
    Ony likes this.
  6. nat42

    nat42

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    I've said nothing against NMS or its devs here as far as I'm aware. I just tried to establish why I thought they might be seen an acceptable target. Perhaps a factor in making it about the developer, Sean Murray in particular, is because he made himself a figure in promoting the game. It seems a very dangerous thing to do (perhaps if Palmer Lucky wasn't a figure head for Oculus his opinions, which I don't support, wouldn't have gotten him fired from his own company for example)
     
  7. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    1,476
    I'll be honest, you seem pretty emotional about this. That said, I do agree with you that they lied (and saying we can't call them out on that, without getting emotional and attacking people, is absurd). However, them lying and thus getting lots of sales because of that doesn't disprove my point: it only disproves my final suggestion that Hello Games would be a bad example.

    My point still stands, though, that as a consumer you feel the game isn't worth the price, while for all we know they followed your "procedure" for setting a budget. There's a disconnect there.
     
    nat42 likes this.
  8. nat42

    nat42

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    Real talk: I'm not sure they lied - they promised more than they delivered, but it's not clear that they did so out of an intent to deceive.

    Anyway, I think Derf's argument for pricing wasn't so much about setting the price at release based on development costs; but rather that development costs and the final price should be part of the business plan as before you even start to develop the game.

    Obviously if you feel unlikely you'll recoup your costs when you are ready to ship, slapping a much higher price on the game expecting it won't turn off the few sales you predict isn't going to be a reasonable answer (this bit has nothing to do with NMS just to be clear) ...is what I think Derf meant.

    With Sony's involvement, etc, I feel it's likely that NMS did have there business in order. And they priced their game at what many consumers were willing to pay. If they priced it at what Derf would have been willing to pay arguably they might not have made as much even if they sold a few more copies. And ultimately I think most games are sold based on what the developer/publisher thinks the audience is willing to pay.
     
  9. EternalAmbiguity

    EternalAmbiguity

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    I disagree about the lying, but I don't want to derail.

    This is what I was aiming at.
     
    Ony likes this.
  10. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Mar 24, 2014
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    Itch.io functions well enough, but don't expect a lot of sales there. I have a game on both Steam and Itch.io, and the sales through Steam vastly exceed the sales through Itch.io. Steam is about a thousand times better for me.
     
  11. Ony

    Ony

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    Apr 26, 2009
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    1,477
    Looking at both pages, if I may make a suggestion... Your itch page doesn't seem to have much "personality". There's no top graphic header, no color customization. It looks bland compared to the dark and colorful theme of the Steam page. I think that yes, you will likely get more sales on Steam, just due to what Steam is, but then again, you might improve your sales on itch by spending a bit of time making the page look more lively.
     
  12. nat42

    nat42

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    Not sure what the refund policy is on Itch.io but possibly that sways the gamble on buying an indie game on Steam vs Itch.io when the game is on both for the same price?

    Advantages to buying on Itch.io would be no Steam client? Money not going to helping Valve not make HL3 (I don't care, just playing the meme here)? Or that the purchaser can choose to pay more than the asking price?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
    theANMATOR2b and Ony like this.
  13. ShilohGames

    ShilohGames

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    Mar 24, 2014
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    Thank for the feedback. I'll make some changes to the Itch.io page when I get time. So far, I simply re-used a lot of the images I had from the Steam store page.
     
    Ony likes this.
  14. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    Jul 12, 2014
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    6,717
    If they wrap it up in unity connect like they did with the madewith.unity it will be unwelcoming and convoluted - as it is now if searching for the developer stories which were elequently displayed in the original madewith.unity.

    Several other advantages to mention but one big one is - the developer also has discretion on setting the "publisher" cut, it is not default non-negotiable 30%.
     
    ShadowK likes this.
  15. nat42

    nat42

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    Jun 10, 2017
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    Ofcourse :) (I was leaning more to consumer behaviour specifically why buying ShilohGames's game from Itch.io over Steam might not be attractive for a consumer, neglecting obvious factors such as the disproportionate sizes or that some games are better fits for a market's demographic)
     
    theANMATOR2b likes this.