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Because You’re Worthless: The Dark Side Of Indie PR


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Found this interesting article linked on Kotaku earlier. Indie dev discusses his thoughts on gamers, customers, Steam and indie development. It's worth a read.

 

http://www.puppygames.net/blog/?p=1574

Nice. Thanks.

 

It does fit with what I suspected and observed myself.

 

People don't want to pay for game - everything has to be F2P or at least at 5-10$ price point (after a -75% sale)   UNLESS:

1. it is newest mainstream AAA game from EA-Bioware, Ubi or Activision-Blizzard - then gamers are happy to throw 60$ + another 20-100$ on DLCs

2. it is some kind of MMO or f2p online game - then gamers are happily paying 20-50$ for some virtual cash shop currency or mount, or xp booster or other pixel  or paid cheat.  (biggest joke in regards to that is Star Citizen I cannot even wrap my head around this, I envy folks who own company that is making Star Citizen - completly no-risk business venture + they're already swimming with money even if SC would be a completle flop post release ).

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Nice. Thanks.

 

It does fit with what I suspected and observed myself.

 

People don't want to pay for game - everything has to be F2P or at least at 5-10$ price point (after a -75% sale)   UNLESS:

1. it is newest mainstream AAA game from EA-Bioware, Ubi or Activision-Blizzard - then gamers are happy to throw 60$ + another 20-100$ on DLCs

2. it is some kind of MMO or f2p online game - then gamers are happily paying 20-50$ for some virtual cash shop currency or mount, or xp booster or other pixel  or paid cheat.  (biggest joke in regards to that is Star Citizen I cannot even wrap my head around this, I envy folks who own company that is making Star Citizen - completly no-risk business venture + they're already swimming with money even if SC would be a completle flop post release ).

Totally agree with ya.

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Nice. Thanks.

 

It does fit with what I suspected and observed myself.

 

People don't want to pay for game - everything has to be F2P or at least at 5-10$ price point (after a -75% sale)   UNLESS:

1. it is newest mainstream AAA game from EA-Bioware, Ubi or Activision-Blizzard - then gamers are happy to throw 60$ + another 20-100$ on DLCs

2. it is some kind of MMO or f2p online game - then gamers are happily paying 20-50$ for some virtual cash shop currency or mount, or xp booster or other pixel  or paid cheat.  (biggest joke in regards to that is Star Citizen I cannot even wrap my head around this, I envy folks who own company that is making Star Citizen - completly no-risk business venture + they're already swimming with money even if SC would be a completle flop post release ).

 

Got to be honest, I am guilty. I'll buy a game on Steam when it is 80% off but when I see it full price, unless it is something I have been waiting for and am excited about, I'll usually just wait for it to go on sale. I've only spent more than £20 on two games this year I think, South Park and Divinity:Original Sin. Everything else I have purchased has been in a sale.

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Interesting article.

 

Some reactions and observations:

 

1. Gamers aren't very nice people

As are all customers in a market where supply much higher than demand and a good portion of that supply is, well let's face it, utter crap. No excuse for people being shitheads, but the reality is they're being empowered to be so. Yep, netiquette is at an all time low. Nope, that's not how I'd like it either.

 

2. There's no such thing as bad press

Well, there actually is. Customer reviews. The true 'bad' about press though is their general lack of being well informed and the general interest of the public in well informed press (chicken - egg, which was first? thing here). Outcome is that press and crowds are just fickle things with their own agenda. Use press at your own peril, but twitch and twitter are so much faster. Press may not be the best PR tool.

 

3. You are worthless to us

Erm.. no. Not if you get us to draw that wallet. The thing is that there is just way, way too many of you. Too much supply. Too many indie developers, and too many of them making crappy games or even worse imitating other's crappy games. Too many Indie developers using google/steam/valve/big fish/humble bundle are like ants, wanting to tap into the sweet goo of mass distribution with games that just aren't good enough. That kind of developers are ... worthless to us.  

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3. You are worthless to us

Erm.. no. Not if you get us to draw that wallet. The thing is that there is just way, way too many of you. Too much supply. Too many indie developers, and too many of them making crappy games or even worse imitating other's crappy games. Too many Indie developers using google/steam/valve/big fish/humble bundle are like ants, wanting to tap into the sweet goo of mass distribution with games that just aren't good enough. That kind of developers are ... worthless to us.  

 

This is a good point, the store page on Steam now has 10 - 20 new releases almost every day! Most of them are trash Android or iPhone ports. It's getting difficult to pick a good game and due to the risk of buying some piece of toilet I wouldn't be willing to pay a lot of money for these indie games. I don't know what the answer is, I want indie devs to be successful when they deserve it but also I doubt my own spending habits will change.

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There's more games out there than I could ever play even if I lived for a few millenia and I could get them for a month's wager: more than a lifetime of gaming for a month's wager.

 

I actually play less games now. Because there are too many.

 

The answer for the indie devs is to let twitter and twitch do the work for them if they truly have really good games. Or be stuck in steam mediocrity forever. Or go back to hardware service and devving as a hobby instead of a job.

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Got to be honest, I am guilty. I'll buy a game on Steam when it is 80% off but when I see it full price, unless it is something I have been waiting for and am excited about, I'll usually just wait for it to go on sale. I've only spent more than £20 on two games this year I think, South Park and Divinity:Original Sin. Everything else I have purchased has been in a sale.

I did that too - I have over 100 games on Steam and something around 50-70 on Origin+Uplay+GoG.com.   Most of them I have not played at all or have played for like 15 minute or 1 hour.

 

 

I've stopped buying it like this though.  I don't play them anyway, actaully more titles I had, then more I did not play*.   I've stopped buying - why waste my time, money (even if it's just a little) and effort to buy something I would NOT buy if it would not be cheap in first place.

 

I mean if I had to wait in order to buy game for 5$ because I think that i.e. 40$ is too much for this title - then this game is not worth to spend my time on in first place. 

 

 

*there is a psychological phenomenon for that - with choice and number of choices and amount of consequences, etc I forgot the name of it though sorry

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I've played a couple indie games since leaving LOTRO... 

 

Gonna use Wurm Online as example... problem I've seen with indie devs is the games' owners tend to be more reachable... which is actually a bad thing since it'll be a small cadre of buddies whispering "great ideas" into their ears.

 

Add to that this odd attitude where paying players are "people we let into my buddies' and my server with an optional 'donate' button", when you're actually paying subscription fees and such.  Then they wonder why profits are low, and of course you'll have the classical shills obfuscating what would be otherwise good feedback.

 

Wurm's hella expensive ($15/mo sub + at least another 10 to have a decent plot of land), way rules have been handled and modified into a lack thereof made life way easier for griefers (apparently the "trick" is let griefers run lose so people have to pay more in order to expand their land over stuff they wanna protect)...... at least when I got on forums and shot a shill in the knee, they let me get away with it quite decently.... that one time some anti-griefing rules were removed as part of a "buy land or lose it" move and I dared the game owner to show some good faith and reduce land costs though, 1 month mute =P

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