S&S Underworld on Sale… For the Sake of Science!

The debate has raged on for days… Weeks even.

Should niche games be priced higher to compensate low, but presumably motivated demand? Or should they be priced lower to entice a less familiar audience to give them a try? This question I explicitly asked in an RPGCodex poll thread. Seven pages of debate later, the poll numbers were the following (as I am writing this):

Indie “niche” RPGs should be priced

High. There’s little demand but the demand is motivated.                                                                                                        >$20                       15 vote(s) 14.3%
Above average. Don’t be too elitist, you’ll miss out on reasonably interested folks.                                                     $15-20                   43 vote(s) 41.0%
Just below average. Compete with price, but not too hard.                                                                                                     $10-15                   45 vote(s) 42.9%
Low. Indie RPGs aren’t worth more than $10.                                                                                                                               <$10                        10 vote(s) 9.5%
Aggressive. Go for the impulse buy. People will buy anything for                                                                                        <$5                           7 vote(s)  7.6%

(Multiple votes are allowed.)

Note that the wording I chose for this poll does direct answers a little bit. It is only as scientific as Inxile’s new recruits will allow Wasteland 2 to be. In short, it is also, and especially, for entertainment. To be taken with a grain of salt.

What this suggests is that a solid majority favors higher pricing, but not over the top. Also this implies that the niche game in question be worthy of appeal, which is quite a subjective requirement. Whether or not it applies to Swords and Sorcery Underworld Gold is for you to decide.

So pricing aggressively is not believed by most to benefit from any kind of curiosity that making the game accessible could bring to an actual purchase. The majority does not believe that demand for a specific product can be motivated enough to justify pricing far beyond the accepted market range. The idea that the target audience be in favor of contributing 20-30% more than the estimated market norm ($15) is largely favored. The idea that it should stay in the range, or a 20-30% below, is doing just as well.

In short, this poll is a bust.  Not only are the numbers not really high enough to be statistically viable, but nothing clear-cut really stands out.

To add further input to this debate and possibly close it forever, I decided to put S&S Underworld on sale for the weekend, at $9.95. For the sake of science, of course. It was previously priced at $19.99.