Wasteland 2 – Interrogations

.

 

Wasteland 2 was recently delayed. This Kickstarter update explains this in detail.

 

While I have no issues with this as a backer and customer (games get delayed all the time, which is always better than a publisher forcing a project out the door unfinished), some of the details in the update got my attention for entirely different reasons.

 

This is primarily due to our disciplined spending, project planning and the benefit of our back catalog sales to cover any extra product features and content we loved.

 

It’s also important to note that we do not profit from the monies raised from crowd funding as we take 100% of that money (plus extra money in our case) and put it into the game

 

There is also Paypal, which has been a continued option for new backers to pledge or existing backers to increase their exisiting contribution. This too goes entirely into the game.

 

So here’s my concern. What room is there for profiting from this business model? Retail sales of course, once the game has shipped. But… How many people likely to buy the game haven’t done so already via the original Kickstarter campaign or Paypal throughout the development? Did the entire market already secure one or more copies? (Some tiers give access to gift copies for friends). Naturally it can’t be 100% but it seems to me with the coverage W2 has gotten there can’t be too many people still waiting to get the game post launch (this is just an impression of course and I could be wrong).

 

But will it be enough to keep Inxile in business with support costs to cover and paychecks that still need to be issued?

 

Of course there are future projects like Numenara but to me it seems like rinse and repeat, using the same profitless model until release…

 

As a fan and a backer I hope Inxile hasn’t set themselves up to at best break even on each project. That would mean they can only be around as long as they can hit a new home run like they did twice already… But how long can that last?

 

I think I’d rather hear they didn’t put everything they’ve got into each title. That could be a tricky policy to uphold PR-wise however.

.

.

 

Share

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.

Share

Wasteland 2 concept art

Inxile released a first piece of concept art.

 

 

It seems the lengthy debate on color style in the forums has been decided if this is any indication in that matter (concept art usually is). Very brownish and nextgen. While it isn’t really what I was hoping for, graphics don’t make a game and I’m not dellusional enough to think all my personal choices will be theirs, or the community of fans.

 

The Wasteland 2 kickstarter is still up for 9 days. They have a neat little countdown image but it doesn’t seem to agree with WordPress so it is unlikely you’ll see it here.

 

 

Share