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Report What price is the sweet spot for indies?

Poll started by INtense! with 4,896 votes and 74 comments. Browse the poll archive.

 39%

Free (1898 votes)

 18%

$1 - $5 (860 votes)

 29%

$6 - $10 (1398 votes)

 13%

$11 - $20 (660 votes)

 2%

$21+ (80 votes)

Comments  (0 - 50 of 74)
Shadolon
Shadolon

15 dollahs

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stray-shadow
stray-shadow

If it's fun they are welcome to my cash.

A higher end price for a decent game shouldn't be a turn-off.

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wwbjd
wwbjd

I agree with Stray-Shadow. If it's fun, I'll pay.

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pos_car
pos_car

$6-$10 is a great range for an impulse, maybe even without a demo, but anything higher is totally acceptable if it's a decent game (and if it has a demo!). They deserve a few bucks for pouring their time into a game and wrestling with mind-numbing programming in between all the RealLife goings-on.

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Guest
Guest

The fact that 30% are voting "free" is disgusting. Developers work hard, long hours to hammer these games out of nothing! Are you seriously saying that their efforts don't deserve a dime?

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robinerd
robinerd

There are many ways to earn money from "free". Many here might be allergic to micro-transactions, but when done in the right way it can certainly give enough income to the developers. As indie though we're highly dependent on a good reputation, so we'd better avoid an upset community and stay away from greedy pay-to-win models.
Just my 5 cent, assuming that "free" in this poll refers to buying the title/download.

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Borzi
Borzi

Micro-transactions are one of the worst things that have ever happened to gaming...especially because the ones that use them the most are Tripple A developers.

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robinerd
robinerd

I guess I need to clarify this: I totally prefer to buy a game once instead of being dependent on microtransactions aka. pay to win. I just mean that 30% voting free doesn't mean that they want the developers to earn no money. Maybe a fraction of those 30% actually prefer micro transactions? Like students or others with poor economy. Still, I prefer to buy a game, but people differ.

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Phoenix1747
Phoenix1747

I totally agree with you.

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lancer611
lancer611

(buried)

Yeah I agree with robinerd. I'm not going to pay for an indie game unless its a free to play model or it has a significant free demo, no matter how good the game.

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Ratchet18O_o
Ratchet18O_o

You sadden me.

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lancer611
lancer611

(buried)

I suppose I should have mentioned that I haven't payed for ANY game in over 5 years. Playing games isn't a big enough part of my life to justify spending money on it. All I've been playing for the last couple of years is Dota 2.

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Ratchet18O_o
Ratchet18O_o

I guess the big difference here is that; companies like Valve make good money. It can be argued otherwise, but in comparison to indie developers who are (most likely) newer to the industry, Valve is making good money. And they have many ways of doing so.

So for the fact alone that I want to support indie developers, I'm all for paying (even a decent amount) for a well-made game.

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TigerPower1337
TigerPower1337

I only say free because i'm a high school student with no money, and I like cool games. they don't HAVE to be free, but i won't be able to play them so I do like free games. I think this is mainly people's personal preference on where they like the pricing to be

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vexedjman
vexedjman

honestly if i spent a lot of time on a game, i would make it free but ask for donations... if people want it for free they can find ways. *cough* pirates bay *cough*

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shackra
shackra

People could get the game anyway from the Pirate Bay, they should be able to share the game even if they paid for the it in first place. However, I'll be not too confident about asking for donations. I would place a pay-what-you-want at least, but asking for donations? no way.

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Ratchet18O_o
Ratchet18O_o

I would go 6-10, but I can see an indie developer setting a higher price.

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Sph!nx

I'd say it all depends on the quality of the game. Some games are worth less/more than others. This is also true for commercial (non-indie) titles. Also, marketing decides pricing. Like many said, a demo, media and such gives customers insight in what they buy.

I do believe indies should try to keep below the commercial pricing. Simply because commercial pricing is way too high, imho.

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Tatsur0
Tatsur0

I think the comments say more than the poll.

It all depends on the experience, quality, and overall production and development of the title that seems to set a price gamers feel are realistic and fair.

In the end Free (without micro-transactions) will always be "bring it on!" but many will be wary if even the bandwidth is worth it. There are however numerous free mods available with years of work put into them and game-play that keeps bringing them back.

$1-5 works well for impulse purchases imho. Some people wait for the insane sales or humble bundles hoping their game falls into that list.

$10-20 I think gives the impression that the game better be worth the cost but still falls into the affordable so likely to purchase category if what is being delivered matches that or exceeds it through Hype, Demos, Previews, Reviews, Free weekends, and in vary rare cases those who stopped pirating and have decided to support developers not bring them down.

If an Indie can sell for more than $20 I can only hope it doesn't start a trend like our bigger brothers have done each year but some games just hit that sweet spot or have had a lot of work done including a custom Engine, etc.

In the end I'm for the $15-20 but recommend doing your research before purchasing any title or downloading a free one.

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Igloo
Igloo

(buried)

Why don't you guys hush up? Nobody cares about the developers time and effort they put into the game. As gamers - we care about the quality of the game. You put a lot of time and effort into the game, oh boohoo poor you! You chose to be a indie dev., so expect that. I think play value is another factor in a game beside quality, if you are going to play a quality game just for 30 minutes and you paid $30 for it, then that is certainly a waste. If the game has little play values, then it ain't worth nothin'. It should be open sourced if it has such little play value.

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vfabien21
vfabien21

"Nobody cares about the developers time and effort they put into the game."
Well, except that with no time and effort put into a game, there simply aren't any games done.
Look at kistarter and other alpha funding : people pay in advance just to allow programmers to create the thing, and eventually add more features or keep polishing it.

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Ratchet18O_o
Ratchet18O_o

I'm sensing that we have a troll in the room. It's alright lol No need to defend against people who are only trying to stir up trouble.

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vfabien21
vfabien21

Oh.
Yeah, trolls... I am not used (un)dealing with this yet...

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Roochie
Roochie

true gamers support their favorite developers. I knew that before i even started thinking about learning game dev. You support them because you would not have those games without them, and because you look forward to what they will create in the future. For me, i love and support valve, and bethesda. I disagree with some of their decisions, but i still support them. Without them, i would have never found my passion for gaming/game dev. Elder Scrolls: oblivion made me the man i am today.

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afliii
afliii

Agreed. I was influenced strongly by the games my parents bought me as a kid. Kids today are getting very accustomed to Free gaming. It's killing the industry on one hand (financially) and promoting a creative aspect on the other, with an artistic motivation behind some indie studios. Me, I want to build games people love to play because they're made like the games I grew up playing, not like the crap out these days.

Another thing, to the troll. It's ok buddy. We indie devs aren't looking for your money in particular. We're looking for quality customers interested in furthering the development of the indie market. In other words, we don't need you. =D

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Igloo
Igloo

(buried)

If the game is short though, unique or abstract, then I would not mind paying $1-10 for it. Indies are too known now, which makes way for stupid developers making stupid games which nobody wouldn't even dare to play.

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steveborty
steveborty

WE WANT MONEYYYYYYYYYYYY $€¥¢£₨৲৳૱௹﷼₹₩฿₣₤ :)

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Giamme
Giamme

What do you think, guys, about "pay what you whant" model?

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wwbjd
wwbjd

I'd love to see some numbers from that model. Do you have any examples of games that have tried to do that? I see it all the time on Bandcamp (where I get a lot of my music), but have no idea how many people actually pay for more than the minimum asked.

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shackra
shackra

me too!

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TimtheBigDaddy
TimtheBigDaddy

Honestly, I think their sweet spot is $6-$10. If the indie game is REALLY good I'm willing to pay $21+ for it.

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Ratchet18O_o
Ratchet18O_o

I'm totally with you there.

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BrandonZ201
BrandonZ201

Free? This is unacceptable as those developers work hard to make an awesome epic ultra fun game. Excluding those games with copyrighted content.

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afliii
afliii

Why does it matter if they're copyrighted?

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GogoHD
GogoHD

As a game developer I want to ask all of you a question. If I made a really cool indie-game and I'd0 upload it for free, but also include a PayPal donation link, if you liked the game and you have the possibilities to donate, would you do so? Or you'd simply enjoy the game, recommend it to some friends, and then forget about it. As I mentioned, the game HAS TO BE good. Is it better to actually sell the game, or to include a donation link&upload the game for free? Please be honest with your answer.

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afliii
afliii

I'm a developer and gamer, so I'll answer that. For me, I don't even play some free games. So, the notion of quality is necessary for free and paid games. I need to know that what I'm about to spend some solid time on is worth my money. Perhaps a larger portion of gamers out there (kids and teens) will differ. They've got the time, whereas this self-employed, entrepreneur, husband/father, and full-time student does not have the time lol. I need to know that game has quality. I don't mind dropping $15 on a good game. I did with Don't Starve. I did with Minecraft. I'll drop that on any quality game and I'm more likely to play a paid game more often than a free one. One, I paid for that game, I will waste as much time as justifiable on it! Two, it's probably because I made a calculated decision before engaging myself in the game.

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MercBP
MercBP

Whether or not I donate depends wholly on how much the game itself gels with me. Is it in my top 3 genres, (RPG, Adventure and horror/ mystery) do I like the art style a lot, (no manga crap, no 8-bit lookalike) is the story good and do I find it enjoyable?

If those boxes are ticked I'm likely to donate a larger-than-typical amount.

If only some of those boxes are ticked I'll likely donate a small buck or two if the gameplay is good and the game is in some way memorable.

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arieas
arieas

Hardly play many indie games, or many games at all, but if a game can provide plenty of hours, strong replay value then around $10 - $20, about £7 - £18 at most. Got surgeon simulator for £7, and for its current state is ideal. Might pick up state of decay, be a bit more, but is a larger game, which would justify the price for me personally. Both games had effort put in, lots of work, just for me comes down to how much I might get out of it. Same goes for any game though, glad I held back buying GTA IV, 60 hours, £4 in the steam sale. Skyrim 300+ hours, £25.
Don't think I have actually spent more than £10 this year on games, not many or any games that I reckon would hold my interest for long unfortunately, these past few months.

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BogdanV
BogdanV

I'd say it depends on a lot of factors, like the size, scope, overall quality and replayability of the game. Personally I'd be willing to pay more on a game in which I could lose myself (be that random-generated, procedural content, high modability or plain old "it has a **** ton of possibilities!").
I'd be willing to pay more even on one of those text-based roguelike games if done right.

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Inairte
Inairte

I hate pay more than 5 $ for a game.

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NotchTFG
NotchTFG

FREE!

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99OTSDARVA-STASIS99
99OTSDARVA-STASIS99

$6-$10 is ideal for me but I have absolutely no problem with developers setting higher prices. It's their hard work and only my enjoyment.

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archl
archl

To be honest, I've chosen "Free".

However, I do not mean I will not give money at all.

I just hope all games free and postpone decision for money distribution. hmm.

Still I'm cheap.

May a third party hold my money for a while prevent me changing mind too much :)

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afliii
afliii

Indie games are the future of gaming. They're really making a comeback though if you think about it. When games were new, everyone was indie. Now the big companies suck all the fun out of things and focus on $$$. $11-$20 is a very fair range for everyone. At least you're not paying $60 for what feels like the same darn game as one you played last year, or even a few months ago. Just another formulated game.

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notadcanymore
notadcanymore

For the BEST indie games I would probably say $11 - $21+ instead. There are some indie games that sadden me because a lot of hard work was put to them but it's for free. But when it comes to the small indie games I guess they can use FREE.

But the best ones (especially the Top 100) need more money.

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Igloo
Igloo

If someone has a strong opinion on the Internet they are automatically labeled as a "troll", it is getting extreme. I can't state my opinion on video game companies without being bashed.

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ShrikeGFX
ShrikeGFX

Troll was a really bad label, Ignorant and idiotic would fit a lot better.
Maybe thats because you are unable to express your opinion in the right tone. You would never have the balls saying that infront of someone in person, and that guy totally would slap you if you did.

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Xerberus86
Xerberus86

6-10 USD / EUR is the sweet spot for me.

free is just a joke and only works with some triple AAA titles of crappy pay2win games.

everything under 6USD / EUR is maybe a little too less for the developer to get enough funds to kickstart his developement and everything over 10 USD / EUR i find personally too high due to very high risk for indie alpha games to never see the sunlight of completion. but after all it boils down to the personal value of money or rather the personal income.

6-10 USD / EUR i don't need to cry over or be sad / angry if the game bites the dust before release. everything above and i start getting angry.

look at games like legends of pegasus, stardrive or other indiegames which didn't live up to their promise

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