Terraria Heading To Retail, But For A Price

By John Walker on January 25th, 2012 at 5:21 pm.

Some shitty joke about being in the twilight of its life.

Terraria, the absolutely superb Minecraft-meets-side-scrolling-platformer, is to get a retail release. For, er, £20. The digital version costs £6 at most, regularly dropping to amazing bargain prices during various sales, and is unquestionably amazing value. But £20 for an “Exclusive Collectors Edition” when it’s a year old, in a box, in a shop? That seems a little strange.

This is via Merge Games, who have previously provided publishing for Gemini Rue, and an awful lot of casual titles I’ve never heard of. Clearly Terraria is another powerful arrow in their quiver, if they can market it to the sorts that still use “shops”, whatever those were.

This Collectors Edition (sic) comes with a mysterious, unnamed “in-game item”, which I hope would be some awesome new weapon, a keyring in the shape of a pick axe, some trading cards (?) and a poster. Which really doesn’t sound like £14 worth of content, to me.

Anyhoo, this strange thing is happening on the 16th March in the UK. Perhaps it will catch the eyes of the less hardcore audience, although while I’d be delighted about more people getting to play stuch a fantastic game, I’m somewhat concerned about their paying over three times as much as it should cost. Which they’ll probably notice, as I’m sure it’ll require a Steam connection to get the updates.

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79 Comments »

  1. Deiru says:

    Pretty sure that the exclusive in-game item that is mentioned is a pet rabbit of sorts, that people have managed to get by registry editing in the current game.

  2. Icarus says:

    The in-game item is an item that summons a pet bunny, it’s already in the game files but you can only use it if you have the right edition.

    Edit: Ninja’d!

  3. Lewie Procter says:

    Bear in mind most PC games ostensibly cost “£40″, but retailers always compete on price, and they end up somewhere between £20 and £30. This will probably be under £15.

    • sneetch says:

      Retailers do compete yeah, digital download stores not so much, you might take John aside and explain that to him as he apparently doesn’t understand why people use retail stores anymore. Thanks Lewie. ;)

  4. bit_crusherrr says:

    That’s a bit of a rip off. Also how the hell is the game selling over 1million copies and winning an award a unique selling point?

    • MiniMatt says:

      Good point, when (if) (even “if” is rather ambitious, truth be told) I get round to finishing any of my “that’ll be a neat idea for a game” ideas I’m going to make sure my Bronze Swimming Certificate is included in any and all marketing.

    • Phantoon says:

      It was made by a couple of dudes, is how.

    • cafe says:

      Rip off?? I paid around 5 bucks for this and i got hours worth of fun for it. Also since release they have released updates for free that more than double the content of the game. Also they have done extensive balancing etc. And they actually listen to their community which is really active and fun!

      Nothing I can say about minecraft or ANY other indie game!!!

      This game is EASY worth 20 bucks! Even more! Stop complaining! Go buy overgrowth for 30 bucks or xenonauts for 15 im sure one of these two will let you down after release and THATS when a price is not reasonable!

    • propjoe says:

      I’ve got over 60 hours on this game so far, and I’m not even close to being bored with it. That’s an order of magnitude more than I put into, say, Portal 2, and I paid almost an order of magnitude more for that game. I’d say this is a pretty damn good deal – hell, I’d gladly buy it just to get the extras and support the devs.

  5. woodsey says:

    Assuming that’s how much they’ve had to up the price to get the same return – I have no idea if that’s the case or not – then it would seem to be a waste of time.

    Anyone savvy enough would have gone for it online and anyone who is casual enough will look at it and assume its a ridiculously over-priced equivalent of an iPhone game.

  6. acenck says:

    Hmm, expensive. People still use shops?

  7. diamondmx says:

    If you ignore the other version’s price – is it worth the £20?

    • Cryptoshrimp says:

      I’d say yes.

    • Ultra-Humanite says:

      I’d say yes as well.

    • Keymonk says:

      Yes from here as well.

    • sinister agent says:

      I’d say yes, but only because I’m hoping a quartet of yessing will lead to a musical number.

    • c-Row says:

      I have sunk a huge amount of time into Terraria, so I would say yes, too.

    • Bluerps says:

      Jup. I’ve spent around 170 hours with this game, and should they drop another patch like 1.1 I will go over 200 hours for sure.

    • sinister agent says:

      These are the worst lyrics ever.

    • Chuck84 says:

      Can I get the deliberately contrarian “no” out of the way? Ok, good.

      Obviously yes. I am only a tiny fraction into the game(work and such) and it’s been well worth 20 bucks, let alone the 2 buttons and piece of lint that it cost me in some Steam sale.

    • Llewyn says:

      @sa: Mrs Llewyn’s CD collection disagrees with you.

      On-topic, I have no idea. I seem to have bought it at some point but have never played it.

    • mondomau says:

      No, it bloody well isn’t. It’s good, I’ve spent a lot of time playing it and I love it. But it isn’t a £20 game, no way. £10, maybe £15 at a push. The install size is less than a gig, it’s still (really and truly) under construction and the whole game is based on a fairly one-dimensional concept. Like I say, it’s a great game but asking a score is taking the piss, frankly.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      @mondomau: Because £:GB is the important ratio when it comes to games…

    • Wabznasm says:

      Absolutely yes. Steam reckons I’ve put in 193 hours to date, which makes it the most played game in my library. The fact that I only paid around £3 for it is almost criminal.

    • GoldAero says:

      Easily worth 20 dollars. I’ve logged 265 hours into Terraria. About 170 even before the 1.1 patch. I say yes.

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      What is there to do for so many hours?

  8. Gnoupi says:

    ” Perhaps it will catch the eyes of the less hardcore audience, although while I’d be delighted about more people getting to play stuch a fantastic game, I’m somewhat concerned about their paying over three times as much as it should cost.”

    Let me introduce you to Popcap games!
    Their site, reached most likely by casual gamers: http://www.popcap.com/
    Their category on Steam, reached most likely by hardcore gamers: http://store.steampowered.com/publisher/PopCap%20Games,%20Inc.

    With a few exceptions, all Popcap games cost 20 euros on their site, and 10 on Steam.
    And it works good like this, for them. Because a lot of casual gamers won’t have any complaint about paying 20 for their games, and they haven’t even heard of this “Steam”.

    • qrter says:

      Jeff Vogel does the same kind of thing – different prices for different sites.

      He wrote a blog post on it – scroll down to ‘Bonus Point: Why Is Our Game Twice the Price On Our Site Than On Steam’

    • Gnoupi says:

      Some good points, indeed.
      Niche games are another kind for which this can apply, I see. Because a lot of people who reach for such games are not really chasing the deals, or even having a large backlog of diverse games.

      It targets an audience who will have no problem investing into the game, money-wise, because they will also invest their time in it.

      A large part of Steam audience is gamers who will chase the novelty, play a lot of different games. These ones will most likely be reached by a lower price, motivated by curiosity more than deep passion in the genre.

  9. sneetch says:

    I paid something like €15 for it and as I’ve played it for more than 100 hours I consider it money well spent.

    As for the price of the physical copy, well, I’d imagine that most of that increased cost is because of the increased costs in manufacturing, distribution, retailer cut, publisher cut and so on, would anyone bother publishing a physical version unless they thought they’d make a profit? The physical version of other cheap/indie digital download games is higher too (like Zombie Driver €9 on Steam, €24 in retail near me).

    If all digital download versions of games were that much cheaper then I’d agree that retail was largely pointless but as it is you can buy big name games for about €30 in retail stores as opposed to €50 in digital download stores.

    That’s something that the “retail is old and pointless” crowd should remember.

  10. kwyjibo says:

    Given the amount of time people spend in this game, and it’s reception, £20 is a reasonable price.

    I think it’ll do well if it’s a limited run, it won’t do well if they’re expecting Johnny Mass Market to buy some2d kids platformer thing when they can have manshoot 5.

    • sneetch says:

      In fairness manshoot 5 is pretty awesome though, it is both visceral AND cinematic!

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      It’s verisimilicious!

    • alundra says:

      nothing can compete with manshoot 5 and with the upmyass map pack available to l33t premium man bangers it is the best handjob ever.

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      I hear Manshoots 6 will have a special hightek ‘autofollow’ function that alleviates the need for the player to manually follow the NPC opening all the doors and takes cover so they can focus on shooting the infinite respawning enemies. EA is calling it their ‘on rails’ system.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I did hear that the “on rails” system will be “More cinematic than ever” and when combined with the “autofollow” function and the “un-lose-able scenario system” makes it their most accessible title yet. Manshoots 6 is really targeting a new toddler demographic whilst still appealing to the hardcore gamer as they always have.

  11. UnravThreads says:

    With regards to the high price, just look at Lace Mamba Global’s efforts:

    Soundtrack, poster (usually), manual, usually a whole host of other extras. They really do give you a lot of out of game content for your money.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Oh, no soundtrack included in this edition (note to self: read story properly).

      Still, it’s worth it to support the devs more, no?

    • Lewie Procter says:

      Aye, I got the Super Meat Boy Ultra Rare Edition that came with T Shirt, Comic, Soundtrack & Poster.

      Just buying the T-Shirt (only available to order from the USA) would have cost more than the ~£14 I paid for that.

    • DrGonzo says:

      But I got Super Meat Boy for about 2 pounds in the Christmas just after release. Personally I can’t stand extras and things. I would rather have no box if possible. Judge nothing but the content of the game.

      Always been confused as to how you would want to preorder something with extras when you haven’t played it yet too. I mean, it might be shit. Why would I want extras when I don’t even know if I like it yet?

    • Lewie Procter says:

      I only wanted to get that because Super Meat Boy is one of my favourite games. I’d not bother with a game I quite liked. I already owned it on Xbox and on PC anyway.

      Edit: And I had came close to importing the T-Shirt on it’s own for ~£20 a couple of times too.

  12. Zeewolf says:

    This’ll be £14.99 tops at Play.com. Which would be genuinely tempting. I’ll probably buy it and give the code to someone so we could play together.

  13. 0positivo says:

    “- Exclusive content only available in the Collector’s Edition: Ingame pet, physical toy pick, trading cards, poster”
    There we go, the secret ingame item is a pet

    Still, I bought the game at launch, and I’ll buy it again. Along with minecraft, I’ve spent more hours on this game than most other “AAA” titles all summed together

  14. DBG says:

    The screenshots featured on that website have actually an outdated version of the game. Also i didn’t see any official info on http://www.terrariaonline.com. This starts to look shady…

  15. MythArcana says:

    You can’t come down on the developers for wanting to make up profits due to s73@/\/\’s swap meet style discount pricing schemes. I wonder how many people have actually considered the possibility that we’ll be seeing another great video game crash soon with the seas of crappy .50 cent releases that should be considered tech demos. In this case, some fans want a boxed copy and that stuff costs money to produce.

    v@|v3 is silently killing the industry and the kids keep screaming for MOAR crap.

    • Chuck84 says:

      Um, what? Also, why are you writing that way? It’s Steam and Valve, they’re not dirty words.

    • pipman3000 says:

      it’s like micro$oft but even more stupid and the people who say it are mentally 13 years old instead of physically

    • MythArcana says:

      Oh, right. My mistake. VALVe then. Pffffffft. Same difference in my eyes.

    • wcanyon says:

      He’s proving he’s “leet”. He’s better than us, let him be, haters gonna hate etc.

    • Berzee says:

      None of those seem like satisfactory explanations, guys. I think there must be some other reason.

    • BrendanJB says:

      Steam is killing the industry?

      Hahaha

      Oh, you’re serious?

      Hahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • jrodman says:

      I would like to protest that not enough words were spelled with creative symbolic replacement in this post. I really do miss the old days, and it would be a kindness for you to honor them once again.

    • mondomau says:

      You’re not one of these “troll” things are you? Away! Shoo!

    • HothMonster says:

      Devs have full control of the pricing of their games on steam. They set the initial price and agree to sales and decide the sale price.

    • Gir554 says:

      Meh,I only slightly agree with steam being bad,but that’s because it’s giving me horrible problems where I can’t install anything -_-.

  16. TailSwallower says:

    I’d consider getting this because I got the game for a pittance and absolutely love it – the devs deserve more money than what I paid. But will they see a decent chunk of it?

    Anyway, holding off until we see exactly what the extras are like.

  17. Mr_Initials says:

    I was thinking about how well this game would do on a mobile device. Not like a phone or something but, say a 3DS. You could use the stylist as the mouse or if you were simply hitting things or mining it would highlight a block and you would hold a button. Inventory on the top screen.

  18. Kaira- says:

    I don’t know how much shipping and packaging and all that mumbojumbo costs, but I believe this may be a profitable venture for them. I believe there is quite a lot of younger folk interested in the game but don’t have access to online payment methods.

  19. wodin says:

    The diehard fans will buy it again for the poster and keyring..betcha

  20. mbp says:

    I don’t understand the £20 price tag. It would want to come in a very fancy box.

    Ridiculous price aside one potentially huge market for a game like this is kids who do not have a credit card. Minecraft has developed an enormous following of 10 year olds for example. Being able to buy the game in shops for pocket money (or convince uncle Johnny to buy it for you) could well be a winner with this credit cardless audience but not at £20.

  21. ThinkAndGrowWitcher says:

    > “That seems a little strange.”

    Good Christ, John, the naivety over these kinds of things from people who’ve been in the business for donkey’s years is absolutely astounding.

    [plenty of] People in the ‘real world’ still buy stuff that’s – shock horror – over a year old.
    [plenty of] People in the ‘real world’ still have no clue what’s good, what’s crap, and what sells elsewhere for peanuts.
    [plenty of] People in the ‘real world’ still want a boxed, hard copy of a movie/game for their nicely varnished collection-shelf even though they *know* it can be had much cheaper digitally.

    THAT’S why this is anything but strange.

    In fact, it would be far stranger if they didn’t at least have a go at this price…it’s not as if it can’t itself be reduced if it doesn’t sell enough.

    > “I’m somewhat concerned about their paying over three times as much as it should cost”

    Really John? And who the pigsticks would you be to decide what it *should* cost? Or more importantly, what value someone else should be prepared to place on it?

    I only hope to God they don’t for some bizarre reason use the dreaded bitch-word on the packaging – I can only imagine how much somewhatted-concernedness you’d release for humanity over that, too!

    • Zeewolf says:

      You make some good points, but…

      Wait, no “buts”. You make some good points.

    • aerozol says:

      Physical retailers around here sell RJ42 cable at around $30 NZD for 5 meters.
      I found it online for $12 for 10m, free shipping, lifetime warranty, and it was delivered the next morning.
      Now I may be naive, and I’m sure those retailers make a deliciously sweet and tasty profit, and who am I to judge? But I can guarantee that I will never, ever, buy anything from those retailers again, based on the fact that I rely on them for service. Service includes not knowingly ripping the shit out of customers.

      I’m not saying that they can’t charge whatever price they want, and I hope it works out for the studio, but what John is saying (how I read it), is that this is a deal for chumps. And I think he’s preaching to a non-chump audience, so I don’t see the problem.

    • HothMonster says:

      It is more an offer to give you a little something more if you are willing to give them more money. This game has been growing since it has been out and had a couple very significant content updates with more in the works. It’s a way to show your appreciation for their work and give them more funding while getting something back instead of just offering them a donation. I saw some talk of this on the forums awhile back and it seems like this is a solution to people constantly trying to throw money at them. Which does happen when you release such a great game with a sale prices of 2.50$.

  22. newprince says:

    I dunno, there’s still a lot of people (God knows why) who still defend and love the retail model for games. So this move might make sense, even with this prince point.

    There’s some people who just love the physical form. It reminds me of the “Guarantee Fairy” bit from Tommy Boy.

  23. wcanyon says:

    I’d say this is an instance of a publisher going to a dev and saying “we’ll put your game in front of a new audience at no cost/work to you”. Dev says sure, as long as we don’t have to support it. No work for the dev, they both might make some money. Seems fine if a bit silly.

  24. HothMonster says:

    This is one of those games I would happily hand the devs more money after I bought the game. Its just worth so much more than it cost. If this collectors edition had been out earlier I would have bought it, but I already bought about 6 copies of the game so I think they might have enough of my money for now. Maybe I will feel like throwing more money at them after the next major update. But is it weird that I would want to mail-order it?

  25. Dr_Nick says:

    I’d buy it. I’ve spent plenty of time playing Terraria. Having it on a disc, in a box with a paper manual and stickers and stuff would be nice.

  26. Deano2099 says:

    Arguably:

    Big sales digitally meant a huge amount of post-release support. The game is now significantly bigger and better than it was at launch. Indeed, were it launching with this level of content today, it’d be fair to say it’s under-priced on Steam.

    Of course, you can’t really put the price up after release (unless you’re Notch) but if you’re launching into a new market…

    Why assume it’s overpriced at retail and not just under-priced on Steam? It’s half the retail price of a big modern commercial game, sounds reasonable to me.

  27. Beelzebud says:

    I see people dismissing Terraria for being a “2D Minecraft”. I don’t think this is fair because Terraria has had something from day 1, that Minecraft still doesn’t have, even after releasing: A game.

    Minecraft is an awesome sandbox. It’s a pretty dull game, with horrible combat mechanics. Terraria is actually a game first, and a cool sandbox second.

  28. Wisq says:

    Retail shops sell physical games for the same price or less than digital copies … people complain.

    Retail shops sell a highly deserving indie physical game with exclusive content for a higher price than the digital copy … people complain.

    WTF people?!

    Just kidding. 3x the price is rather high, especially for a “collector’s edition” that has no actual physical stuff to collect.