Amanita Sorry To Botanicula Pre-Orders, Give Free Stuff

By John Walker on April 20th, 2012 at 12:47 am.

Look, Machinarium's trying to cheer you up.

The decision by Amanita to put out the stunning Botanicula as part of a Humble Bundle on the day of release sounds, at first, like a lovely idea. A brand new game in a pay what you want bundle? Amazing! Except of course for those who pre-ordered it at full price. Personally, I think the $10 it would have cost anyone is a bargain for a game as utterly lovely as this, and people who pre-ordered clearly believed it to be worth that much to them at the time. But I do understand the frustration of learning that others could be getting the game, along with two other Amanita classics, for as little as one cent. That’s galling. I caught up with Amanita’s main man, Jakub Dvorský, to ask him about the reaction, and he informs me that it was their mistake, and to make up for it everybody who pre-ordered the game will be receiving the fantastic soundtrack, an art book, and a copy of Machinarium, for free, tomorrow.

“There was definitely no intention to rob anyone or anything like that,” explains Dvorský, apologetic about the response. Everyone who pre-ordered on GOG.com and GamersGate, he tells us, will receive the full soundtrack, art book and Machinarium tomorrow, “as an apology.”

Hopefully the offer of another game, the art book, and the genuinely great soundtrack (I’ve listened through rather a lot of times) will make up for people’s disappointment. But obviously some will remain frustrated that it wasn’t thought through properly. And it does seem odd that the two sites that took pre-orders, GamersGate and GOG.com, seem to have not known about the Bundle in advance.

Meanwhile, the Bundle has already sold over 21,000 copies in just six hours, with an extraordinarily high average price of $8.67 at the time of writing. It’s getting expensive to unlock Kooky and Windosill! That’s over $184,000 split between the developer, the World Land Trust, and Humble. And the second highest donor so far? Er, apparently GOG.com, with $300. If that’s really them, what an extraordinary way to respond to their getting a touch messed with.

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91 Comments »

  1. Delusibeta says:

    Confirming, it is indeed GOG.com that made that donation: http://www.gog.com/en/forum/general/humble_botanicula_debut/post269

    Also, looks like they might be lining up something extra for their customers. I’d wager a $9.99 voucher.

  2. Fede says:

    Oh, lovely! I did preorder as the price was so low and I was confident the game would have been nice. But I have to admit that now the deal is even sweeter.
    Might get the bundle even if I have already all the games for the movie, they do deserve the money. =)

    @John: the spider picture + alt text was very nice too, what about adding it at the bottom?

  3. westyfield says:

    Oh wow, that’s very nice of them.

  4. Torgen says:

    How would one who didn’t preorder get the soundtrack? Does it come in the bundle?

    • Kaira- says:

      I think they mentioned on CDP keynote that in order to get Botanicula to go to 9.99$ pricepoint they couldn’t get the full OST and some other goodies. This was obviously about the version on GOG, but my memory’s a little bit fuzzy whether this was actually said, so if someone knows better…

  5. rockman29 says:

    I’m sorry… but GoG… you are too awesome. Start putting more games on your service so I can send you dollas.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Indeed. (QFG & NOLF plz)

    • Navagon says:

      GOG have outdone themselves once again. Putting out fires they weren’t in any way responsible for starting, and at their own expense. I’ve never had any misgivings about buying games from GOG and that is something I really don’t see changing. Rock on, you crazy, beautiful thing.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      And did you see how awesomely they went and sued them P2Pers. Astonishing, I tells ya.
      Wot class.

  6. Skabooga says:

    I think this is one of those rare situations where everyone comes out looking good in the end. And now I’m even happier for having pre-ordered it on GOG!

  7. Klydefrog says:

    I pre-ordered on GOG but that didn’t stop me from donating $15 to the bundle. Mostly I donated for the bonuses and the soundtrack but it seems I’ll be getting another copy of the soundtrack now anyway. I certainly won’t turn down these nice gifts though, even if I do have Machinarium in about 3 different Humble Bundles. The way I see it’s for charity so who cares? I hate that people are paying 1 cent for the but I hate that anyway so it doesn’t make much of a difference, I pre-ordered because it looked like the game was worth it (it definitely was) and nothing will really change that.

  8. Lemming says:

    Sounds good. At least the pre-order people will get something unique (the artbook). Hopefully that’ll stop the moaning, now.

  9. piratmonkey says:

    Everyone wins :)

    I bought the bundle at school so I could download the soundtrack to listen to on my way home and my goodness, I think this is my new favorite thing.

  10. kalirion says:

    The artbook is the only part of the bonus which can’t be found in the bundle, correct?

  11. jlivius says:

    John, you just don’t get it. Even with these added extras, only those who bought the Humble package for the same amount as those who pre-ordered get the movie and Steam keys, which were two of the extras most of us care about. Of course I could pay even more and get those, and it would still be a good deal, but I can’t shake the feeling of being shorted, especially when they were pushing those pre-orders.

    • Buttless Boy says:

      Pretty sure $9 for a movie and four Steam keys is still an amazingly good deal. I already owned three of the four games from previous bundles and I still bought this one.

      • jlivius says:

        This isn’t about whether it’s a good deal or not. I don’t think gamers should be okay with companies launching games with extras that aren’t included for those who pre-ordered, especially when they’ve been pushing these pre-orders. It also doesn’t seem fair to their new partner GOG, who are handling this like champs.

        • trjp says:

          Fortunately there’s a dead simple solution – goto HIB and pay 99c (or whatever the minimum they allow is) and get all the fun of the fair for next-to-nothing and you’ve not lost out in any way

          In fact as a pre-orderer you GAINED – job done?

          • jlivius says:

            The Steam keys are only for those who pay more than $5, and the film is an extra for those who pay the average (around $8 last I looked).

        • MrMud says:

          I agree, making a bundle on release day that sells for less and where you get more than if you pre-ordered from the developers themselves is like spitting your most loyal customers in the face. Is incredibly bad business practice.

          • mouton says:

            I pity you if you feel so insulted by something as trivial as this.

            If it does anything, it cheapens the value of the game. At least, that’s how bundles work for me.

        • dreadguacamole says:

          I kind of get what you’re saying, but they’ve admitted it was a mistake – and the way everyone’s handling it is exemplary. I’m not above getting mad at this sort of thing, but I can’t even begin to get angry in this case.
          If nothing else, something as lovely as Botanicula deserves my £20 even before all the extras.

  12. JD Ogre says:

    Botanicula is pretty. Oh, so pretty. Great OST, too. Definitely worth the $10, even if it weren’t for Humble.

  13. Deano2099 says:

    A lesson to be learned by many on the folly of pre-ordering games when there’s no extras or discount in return for it.

  14. discopig says:

    Johnny: Botanicula out in two days time!
    Leslie: I don’t think I’ll bother preordering.
    Johnny: I loved Machinarium, so it’s a day one purchase for me.
    Leslie: Yeah, I don’t think I liked it as much as you.

    Day of release Leslie pays five dollars less for her copy and receives three extra games, three soundtracks and a movie. That is the last time Johnny supports Amanita.

    • frightlever says:

      Leslie would have had to pay about nine bucks to get the movie, but yeah.

      Meanwhile Johnny has his copy of Machinarium for free – except he, like virtually everyone else buying Botanicula at this stage, already owns it.

      Played about an hour of Botanicula last night – like it. Barely frustrating. Also, Windowsill was a fun fifteen minutes.

    • felisc says:

      or “Johnny plays botanicula and loves it so much he feels it’s well worth his 10$ and leslie is a whore anyway so screw them all”.

  15. imdwalrus says:

    I don’t know. I’ve got a sour taste in my mouth from this, because the ONLY reason they decided to do this is that GOG’s users acted like three year olds and threw a tantrum. I mean, there were people threatening to boycott the developer, demanding GOG pull ads for the game off their home page, moaning about how they couldn’t POSSIBLY enjoy the game because it was also in the bundle, going to the developer’s forums and doing this

    All this, over games that a lot of us already had through older Humble Bundles or indie bundles. And all they had to do to get the extras anyway was to spend a penny more – a PENNY more – to get the extra two games and the soundtracks.

    They get their extra goodies, but only because they acted like spoiled children. I can understand being a little upset, but the ridiculous sense of entitlement in their forums reminded me why I don’t usually bother with that part of GOG.

    • kalirion says:

      This has nothing to do with GOG – it has to do with Amanita shitting over its biggest fans – those that pre-ordered Botanicula.

      If this bundle had come out even 1 month AFTER the game’s release, that would have been different. Or if there had not been a pre-order option at all. As things are, those who pre-ordered are being punished for enthusiasm, compared to those who didn’t care enough for the game to give their money prior to release.

      • Mo says:

        I’m pretty sure Amanita’s biggest fans are the ones who are really excited by all the new-found success Botanicula is going to bring them because it’s in the HIB.

        The ones who are making the most noise about this are just immature, entitled jerks.

        • Yachmenev says:

          I´m sure that some of the fans that are angry have written a couple of immature things, but you´re just as immature if you can´t see anything wrong with Amanita has done right now.

          There shouldn´t be any calls for boycotts or things like that, but Amanita has acted very clumsy with these deals and need to know about it.

        • Resonance says:

          I can’t get over how happily people are defending an incredibly bad business practice from a company. Imagine if EA pulled this stunt…

          Nobody is ‘entitled’ for expecting to receive the best possible deal on a game when they pre-order…

          • dreadguacamole says:

            If EA pulled this stunt, it’d be a part of their business strategy. I’m pretty confident that Amanita (as they said) made a mistake.
            Context and goodwill and all that.

          • Resonance says:

            Nah; there’s no way this was a ‘simple mistake’; it’s far to calculated and requires to much effort on the part of the developer.

          • Baines says:

            If EA had done it, no one would be defending it, it would be plastered on the various videogame news sites, people would be threatening lawsuits and making complaints to the Better Business Bureau, and Penny Arcade might actually notice something going on in the world of videogames and do a strip about it.

            Whether Botanicula is worth $10 or not, it is a bit of a kick in the teeth to pre-orderers to then launch the game for a lower price with more extras.

            I can’t even see how at least one person involved wouldn’t see a possible issue with the idea, unless everyone only saw pre-orderers as a dedicated base that would willingly overpay to get a game and/or offer support.

            As for GOG and GamersGate, though they have been slighted by Amanita, their only real choices probably are to take it on the chin or to play gracious. The alternative involves publicly complaining about a charity event, which won’t go over well.

      • frightlever says:

        It’s not Amanita screwing over their fans, so much as screwing themselves over. They’ve lost money on this deal, no question about it. There’s been zero chance for word of mouth to spread on the game, while many fans who were waiting for the iOS version have decided the bundle deal was too good to miss. But yeah, formally loyal customers will be wary of pre-ordering their games now.

    • edit says:

      I fully agree, such a sense of entitlement is juvenile and ridiculous, but sadly widespread. They don’t owe anyone anything. It’s lovely of them to be so generous to their customers, but the price was generous to begin with, and they have every right to even give the game away if they want to, whenever they feel like it. Did Portal customers get screwed when Portal was free on steam? Don’t be ridiculous.

      • MrMud says:

        Portal was not free on steam the day of release.
        This is a really, really dumb business practice and Amanita needs to learn that they cant do this to their core customer base and expect to have people pre-order in the future.

      • Yachmenev says:

        This is about preorders – people paying a company before a products release. That´s loyalty and trust there. And as a small indie developer you must tread very carefully to keep that trust.

        It´s not so much about what you owe, as it´s about how you act and that you work to get every single customer felling satisfied with their preorder. And when you on the release day puts up a deal that´s significally better than the preorder one, you have made a blunder. Both deals are still good, the price on GOG is very reasonable, and I´m sure the game is fantastic and very every penny, but a blunder is still a blunder.

        I hope that no boycotts this game, and I hope that people keep supporting and by Aminitas games, but we must be able to acknowledge that an error has been made, that this situation could have been handled much better.

        • edit says:

          I can absolutely see your perspective, but nobody’s purchase is many any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. Someone is always going to pay one price and then find that someone else got something cheaper. That’s the nature of buying products with more than one outlet of distribution. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy. When buying a creative product, we should be happy to have supported the artists, regardless of what kind of deals other people have access to.

          For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.

        • edit says:

          I can see your perspective, of course, but nobody’s purchase is many any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. Someone is always going to pay one price and then find that someone else got something cheaper. That’s the nature of buying products with more than one outlet of distribution. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy. When buying a creative product, we should be happy to have supported the artists, regardless of what kind of deals other people have access to.

          For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.

        • edit says:

          I recognize see your perspective, but nobody’s purchase is many any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. Someone is always going to pay one price and then find that someone else got something cheaper. That’s the nature of buying products with more than one outlet of distribution. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy. When buying a creative product, we should be happy to have supported the artists, regardless of what kind of deals other people have access to.

          For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.

        • edit00 says:

          (I’m having a lot of trouble getting my comments to appear, for some reason)

          I understand but disagree, No purchase is made any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. It’s extremely common for someone to pay one price and then find that another outlet had it cheaper. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy.

          When buying a creative product, it’d be nice if we could be happy to support the artists and not squabble over who saved a few bucks.

          For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.

      • edit says:

        I understand bud disagree. Nobody’s purchase is many any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. Someone is always going to pay one price and then find that someone else got something cheaper. That’s the nature of buying products with more than one outlet of distribution. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy. When buying a creative product, we should be happy to have supported the artists, regardless of what kind of deals other people have access to.

        For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.

      • edit says:

        One final attempt to get this comment posted. Am I being spam blocked or something? It’s quite frustrating.

        I can absolutely see your perspective, but nobody’s purchase is many any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. Someone is always going to pay one price and then find that someone else got something cheaper. That’s the nature of buying products with more than one outlet of distribution. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy. When buying a creative product, we should be happy to have supported the artists, regardless of what kind of deals other people have access to.

        For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.

    • LCinn says:

      `the ONLY reason they decided to do this is that GOG’s users acted like three year olds and threw a tantrum’
      *some* of GOGs users.
      Please.

      And while those people were clearly overreacting, that doesn’t change the fact that Amanita has been inconsiderate, both towards pre-orderers, and the stores that offered it. Especially GOGs case is pretty sad, with them only just trying out their hand at selling indies, and being pretty enthusiastic about selling Botanicula. Come to think of it, I guess this is partly the cause of those tantrums. GOG instills something like loyalty in their customers, which results in classy fanmen like me, but also immature fanboys that throw a tantrum whenever someone slights their favorite site.

      Anyway, on the other hand, Amanita is using their game to raise money for charity, and the game is super lovely, so it’s kind of hard to stay annoyed, especially after the peace-offering.

  16. mlaskus says:

    I preordered it on GoG and bought the bundle. No regrets here, I have a new movie to watch and shared the joy of Amanita’s games with another friend of mine.

  17. Tom De Roeck says:

    I will buy it, only for Kooky, because I despise iTunes. And because theyve upgraded the money system, now you can tell them exactly where the money goes to.

  18. Derppy says:

    I do understand the frustration of learning that others could be getting the game, along with two other Amanita classics, for as little as one cent.

    If you buy Humble Indie Bundle for 1 cent, you are the scum, wasted semen and you should kill yourself. It will only cost money to the people who run this great campaign.

    Bought the game and played it for about an hour, I can already say it’s worth well over 10 bucks. Anyone who whines about this is a cheap, immature prick who would just have abused the campaign to get a bunch of games for barely any money.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      I got it for 10 bucks, and gave it all to the kooky producers! yay!

      EDIT: to clarify, I already own machinarium, samorost 2 AND botanicula. paid in full! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

      (listening to JUCHU, while typing; all botanicula players know what I mean XD XD XD)

    • fish99 says:

      I don’t get why HIB still let people pay a price that’s less than their own costs (bandwidth, paypal fees etc). The minimum should be whatever delivering the game cost them, plus some sort of profit margin, even if it’s just 50 cents.

  19. Sweetz says:

    I spent $50 on the bundle, half on Amanita, the rest on the charity, save a couple dollars for the site (I plan to download from Steam so the humble guys are not footing my bandwidth bill) and I think it’s well deserved.

    It’s crap that the average paid is as low as it is right now; lot of jerks taking advantage of them. Anyone who would get bent out of shape over paying $10 for Botanicula is similarly an arse.

  20. ChainsawCharlie says:

    How likely that there is someone who pre-ordered Botanicula and doesn’t own Machinarium from before. Yes you get artbook with the bundle, but still a dick move from Amanita.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Is this what “dick moves” look like in the industry currently? Because I can live with this.

      I mean really. I’ve never seen a developer get so much flak for basically releasing their game for free.

  21. edit says:

    I pre-ordered but am glad to have supported them. This is a lovely gesture, but they honestly don’t owe me or anyone an apology. I don’t feel entitled to any extra rewards simply because I actually paid for their game normally.

    I’ve been seeing a lot of this consumer-entitlement “he got a bigger cookie than I did!” thing, lately. When we’re buying a creative product that we actually like, we should be happy to have supported the artists and made it feasible for them to stay creative, rather than getting jealous and egotistical when someone other than us benefits from generosity. Those who paid full price would still be getting exactly what they paid for, and it is absolutely within the developers’ rights to give the game away shortly afterwards, or do whatever they like with it. Presumably such generosity is made more possible by the ordinary purchases anyway.

  22. rustybroomhandle says:

    I don’t think the peeps who pre-ordered should feel shorted. I think they should see this as an opportunity to give the developers more than the $10 initially asked for this game, which is clearly worth much more. Or go donate to that charity… doesn’t have to be through Humble. It’s obviously something Amanita care about.

    Basically what the complainers are saying is that they don’t think the game is worth the $10 they paid when pre-ordering. Dang kids, man.

    • Resonance says:

      Nobody is saying that, it’s amazing how badly you’ve missed the point of complaints…

      The complaints stem from getting a better deal through paying less. That those who pre-order suffer as a result of this business practice and those that pay less for the bundle get a better deal than those who bought the game from GoG.

      Would anyone really have spent $10 on Botanicula if they knew the HIB deal would net them 3 Steam games + DRM free versions and a more complete soundtrack for $5?

      It’s not ‘entitlement’, it’s not even about the price – it’s about expecting a company not to sell you short after you’ve supported them…

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        You’re just confirming exactly what I am saying. People are upset because they could have gotten more stuff for less money. Why the hell set the bar so low? Don’t pay $5 for the bundle… pay $25 for the bundle.

        • Resonance says:

          ‘People are upset because they could have gotten more stuff for less money.’

          What a shocker…people paid more and got less than those that didn’t, ergo they’re annoyed.

          The bar is set low because that’s the minimum price required to pay in order to receive more additional goods than you got from pre-ordering on GoG.

          • rustybroomhandle says:

            It’s nothing more than incessant whining.

            This is how I read it:
            “I want I want I want, gimme gimme. Waaaaaaaaaah he got it for $5, I had to pay $10, and he got more stuff!!1111!!!1″

            A few slaps upside the head are in order.

          • Resonance says:

            If you’re not prepared to address an issue it’s probably not wise to attempt a debate about it.

            You just posted exactly the problems people have with what occurred and added a few numbers and exclamation points in a sad attempt to make the complaints appear less valid, without actually addressing the issue at all.

            If you personally believe that consumers who pay more money to pre-order a game have no right to be upset that the developer knowingly planned to offer much more content at a lower price elsewhere on the day of launch then…good for you I guess, I’m pretty shocked there’re people who genuinely feel that way though.

            I assume you’re also perfectly happy with retailer exclusive pre-order DLC if you support this practice.

    • AmateurScience says:

      To add to what resonance said, if they’d announced that this is what was happening when pre-ordering became available there would be no issue.

      Recent example: legend of grimrock, available for pre-order from GoG, but also from the developers who not only offered the DRM-free game, but Steam keys and extra stuff. There both deals were available from the get go and people could make an informed choice. Here that choice has been removed hence people feeling a bit hard done by.

      (as an aside, I bought the bundle version but paid $15: $10 for the game $5 for the other bits)

  23. cliffski says:

    I don’t get the anger.
    Sure it’s slightly annoying if you miss out on a good deal, but get used to it, this is life. Ever flown on a plane or stayed in a hotel room? I can ASSURE you that no two people on that plane or in that hotel paid the same rate. That’s just not how those businesses work these days.

    Nobody forces you to buy a game. If you see the price and go “ok”, how can you rationally decide your decision was wrong only after the event when someone else paid a different price. That’s just totally mad.
    And lets not forget the game is TEN dollars. Thats Six pounds, or less than lunch in a restaurant. For a video game you will play for hours and hours and have forever.

    Personally, I don’t think they made a rational revenue maximising decision on their timings, but that’s a separate issue.

    If gamers absolutely insist on getting everything for nothing, or for dirt-cheap, then expect to get dirt-cheap production values or absolutely squeezed, pestered and mugged every inch of the gamplay for microtransactions, or bombarded with ads. Games cost money to make, and game developers have bills too.

    • adonf says:

      Sure nobody forces you, but I’m sure that a lot of people preordered the game under the assumption that it would be cheaper than to buy it after it’s released. Why else preorder a digital download* ? It’s not like GOG are going to run out of stocks of bytes. I understand how these people feel cheated.

      Also you don’t expect to be treated by independant game companies the same way hotel chains or airlines treat you, do you?

      * as opposed to analogue download, I guess…

      Disclaimer: I didn’t preorder and had no plan to buy Botanicula yet i just bought the bundle.

    • Simon Hawthorne says:

      If I were you, I would try my very best to at least understand the anger, even if you don’t empathise.

      PS – I’m not angry but understand why some people might be. I’d also be worried as Amantia, if only because I doubt they’ll receive many pre-orders next time.

    • fish99 says:

      I think you’ve missed the point. The reward for being a loyal customer, supporting the devs and pre-ordering was to pay more and get less.

      If steam had a 20% off preorder up for a game, and then immediately on release the game was another 50% cheaper and had new extras denied to the preorder people, everyone would be outraged. No one forced the devs to put the game in a day 1 HIB.

      • cliffski says:

        I totally understand emotionally why people are annoyed in that case, but it is entirely totally hugely irrational.
        Don’t get me wrong, I think any developer who puts their game on release day into a pay-what-you-want sale is insane, for about 100,000 different reasons. It baffles me as much as it baffles anyone. I assume they got the HIB offer last-minute, and went with it rather than turn it down, but I think it’s a big mistake.

        What I’m saying is, if you stop and actually analyze the reasoning behind it, nobody is worse off, nobody is ‘punished. What has actually happened is that buyers who pre-ordered did not get a discount that was available from another location.

        what that in-some-ways reminds me of is the charge thats levelled at the MPAA et al about ‘imaginery profits’, only in this case it’s imaginery discounts :)

        • rustybroomhandle says:

          I feel like people who already have the pre-ordered Botanicula should just evaluate the HiB like every other bundle. See which of the games they don’t already have or are otherwise interested in, and if they’re still interested in the bundle, plonk some money down for what they feel the remaining items are worth, or otherwise just skip it.

          I agree they have lost nothing. And truth be told, as I stated earlier – $10 is a really low price for this game, and it’s a shame that people are even paying less when getting the bundle, but it’s their right.

        • flibble says:

          It seems to me that the key factor is the fact that those who pre-ordered weren’t able to make a fully informed decision. Had Amantia announced that they were putting Botanicula in the bundle, all this would have been avoided. Basically those that showed faith in the developers by pre-ordering ended up with a worse deal than those that didn’t on day 1 (regardless of how much you feel they should be paying for the game anyway), and that is pretty much the opposite of what pre-ordering should do.

    • MrMud says:

      If the game was 10$ or 60$ is completely and utterly irrelevant.
      If Gamestop sold Modern Warefare 4 preorders for 60$ and then immediately on day of release dropped the price to 30$, everyone who had preordered would be pissed and rightly so. While it is completely up to Gamestop to do such a thing, it would effectively mean that none of those people would ever preorder again.

      • cliffski says:

        I undrstand that, but please think about *why* that is the case? Nobody has actually *lost* anything, except access to potential discounts that they clearly did not need in order to be persuaded to purchase the game.
        It’s so similar to the argument that devs don’t *lose* anything if a game is pirated, which is also true, unless it was a potential sale, but people argue that furiously.
        The argument here, however is clear cut. The buyer clearly *would* have bought the game for $10, because they actually *did*. So they didn’t need the discount at all, to make the purchase.

        There are many books on this topic, it’s a universal feeling of regret at someone getting a better deal than you. People have done academic studies on it.
        It’s also entirely irrational.

        • Simon Hawthorne says:

          Consumers being upset don’t need to have rational reasons.

          Media lobbies (including games companies) who draft legislation do need to have rational reasons.

          I actually think you do understand, and nobody here is actually disagreeing on any fundamental principle.

        • MrMud says:

          Amanita lost something. They lost the trust of their consumers.

    • Eclipse says:

      Cliff I really admire you as developer, but I really think you’re missing the point here. This kind of stuff is not what an indie developer should do to his customers. People who preorder your game are giving you money on trust, they are your loyal fanbase, paying full price for Botanicula is not a bad deal, it is a splendid game.
      I’m sure nobody regrets paying that tiny sum for such a game. But the point is: people feels a bit cheated, and rightly so. It’s not about the price, it’s more like being treated like stupids

      • cliffski says:

        Yeah I totally get that. It’s an avoidable error on their part, and No way would I do it. I’m not so much defending the devs here, as just expressing my interest (it’s a hobby!) in the irrationality of consumers attitudes to pricing.
        I’d probably initailly be vexed myself, but I understand how irrational that decision is.
        I bet the devs *know* it’s a bit of a bad move in PR terms but calculated that the revenue of $250k+ in 24 hours from a HIB is something that will soften the blow. Heck, maybe they really needed the money and saw the HIB as their only sure way of getting it? (unlikely).
        I find attitudes to pricing to be fascinating, and kind of a meta-game in themselves :D

        • jlivius says:

          If what Amanita did was an error and is something gamers aren’t okay with, then it would be more irrational to remain silent, because that sends the wrong message. For most of the people complaining, it’s not a simple matter of money; rather, it’s about their treatment of their customers and fans.

    • RichardFairbrass says:

      Exactly, the degree to which people are willing to get worked up over practically nothing at all is incredible. All this ‘Amanita fucked all the GOG staff up the arse and then shit all over our faces. I’m never, ever buying anything from them ever again waah!!’ stuff from the fanboys just makes me wonder quite how distorted their world view is. I guess there haven’t been enough Ubisoft or EA stories to get worked up over recently, some people need to rage at something and this fits the bill.

      The principle of the whole situation (it can’t really be the $5 that’s the issue) is wrong, but very possibly an honest mistake. Amanita are surely losing money from this deal, earning significantly less from each copy sold than if they had just sold it normally. It hardly seems like a calculated move to rip people off. If that were the case then they’ve gone a very odd way about it. As far as I can see the losers in this situation are the pre-orderers, the winners are all the people buying it now and charities. I’m ok with that (pre-orderer here).

    • NathanH says:

      Basic decency and betrayal of trust are not economic questions, and so economic rationality is not very important here.

  24. edit says:

    I can’t seem to get my comments to appear.

    In response to those who responded to me – I can absolutely see your perspective, but nobody’s purchase is many any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. Someone is always going to pay one price and then find that someone else got something cheaper. That’s the nature of buying products with more than one outlet of distribution. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy. When buying a creative product, we should be happy to have supported the artists, regardless of what kind of deals other people have access to.

    For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.

  25. edit says:

    I give up on posting here. I’ve been trying to respond to comments which responded to mine for a long time and nothing is happening. What gives? I will be very surprised if this works.

    Edit: Weird! Here is what I was trying to post, in response to those who responded to me.

    “I can absolutely see your perspective, but nobody’s purchase is many any less valuable by someone else getting a better deal. I see this more like two different stores charging different amounts for the same game. Someone is always going to pay one price and then find that someone else got something cheaper. That’s the nature of buying products with more than one outlet of distribution. Since everyone is still getting exactly what their purchase promised them, the only reason to take issue is some kind of jealousy. When buying a creative product, we should be happy to have supported the artists, regardless of what kind of deals other people have access to.

    For the record I pre-ordered on Gog, and while I wasn’t going to, I just put 10 bucks on this Humble Bundle as well. Mainly for Kooky, although I loved Machinarium enough to happily send some more good will towards Amanita. Pleased to support land preservation as well.”

  26. mouton says:

    The game looks very much like 10 usd. At least. I will certainly buy it from GoG at 10usd, as I am fed up with bundles. Yes, I can pay more for a bundle but they still feel cheap to me, for some reason.

  27. jaypettitt says:

    With something so unreservedly brilliant as Botanicula, one hardly thinks such a small oops matters.

  28. Trippin says:

    I got the mail from Humble and the first thing i thought was, D’oh. Then i got over it and thought the game is to pretty to get mad about.

    and now i get the Witcher free, and Machinarium.

    I love all of those people :P

  29. Vartarok says:

    As I understand the concern about this, do not forget humble bundles are pay-what-you-want (and for that matter, one would say “what you think this bundle deserves”). I usually get really angry when I see people showing off how smart they are and how they robbed developers and got almost-free games for one penny but in this case, I think if you preordered the game it’s totally legitimate to spend one or two bucks for all the content apart from Botanicula you are missing.

    This is exactly the greatest advantage of the pay-what-you-want model, the way it gives you freedom to do what you think is morally the best. Be it an ass, or a nice guy, hope it’s the second, of course.

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