Planetary Annihilation Beta Launches, Is Very Expensive

By John Walker on September 27th, 2013 at 2:00 pm.

Planetary Annihilation, Kickstarter mammoth, has launched its pricey beta. To celebrate, there’s a video of a lot of things blowing up. That’s the way.

It doesn’t come cheap, however. To play it in its still unfinished state will cost you an absolutely enormous £40. And that’s despite developers Uber raising $2.2m on Kickstarter, when they only asked for $900,000. Be grateful if you backed it, as you’d have picked up the finished game for $20 (£12.50) or access to this beta for $40 (£25).

So the new beta form is the enormous £40 on Steam‘s Early Access. You can save yourself just under £3 if you buy it via the Uber Store, at $60. Where you can also spend $199 or $250 on it, if you so wish. It’s worth noting that there you can also pick the game up for $40 and get it when it comes out in December (and there are currently no plans to raise that price) – something absolutely not made known via Steam, which gets under my grill.

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109 Comments »

  1. FionaSarah says:

    The alpha cost even more than that from Early Access. Isn’t their logic something like “you pay more for the privilege of getting our unfinished game early and we don’t want to punish the ‘early adopters’ from kickstarter so give us loads of money because you are late.”

    It’s pretty back-asswards if you ask me.

    • Grey Poupon says:

      It was either that or not giving non-backers the alpha & beta builds at all. They don’t want to shaft the backers who paid for the development of the game. If you don’t like it, you can just buy the game at a normal price when it comes out.

      • FF56 says:

        It goes back to the whole kickstarter dontation vs pre-order argument.
        In theory, when you back a Kickstarter project you’re supposed to be giving you money to help the development of the product. In theory you’re not pre-ordering, you’re giving money for something to exist and as a thank you you get that product when it’s finished.

        If you look at Kickstarter as donations there’s no reason why someone would be upset that the alpha comes out with a normal price. Again in theory at that point you should be happy that you helped something exist and not feel like you were shafted on some pre-order deal.

        • FionaSarah says:

          Basically this. I don’t understand the logic behind “you give us more money during the kickstarter and you get to play the game earlier.” it seems weird, and it’s like a pre-order system. They game was funded well over the odds, so now the situation has changed. Now you’re asking people to buy the game, if you want more people into the beta, then fine, but don’t act like it’s acceptable to charge more for it like it’s still in crowd-funding mode. It’s far better to not offer it at all.

          They’re exploiting the shit out of people with this model.

          • Volcanu says:

            Sorry, who is being “exploited” here?

            If you think $40 is too much for beta access, then dont pay it. We’re not talking about an electricity company with a local monopoly gouging your granny here.

            I agree they’ve made a bit of a rod for their own backs here and maybe they shouldn’t have opened beta to people who want to ‘buy-in’ later on, if only to save themselves the whinging. But if they had opened the beta for a price well below that paid by the kickstarter backers, those loyal backers (Im not one of them btw) would have almost certainly got pissed off. You only have to look at the Carmageddon fallout recently to see how KS backers dont like it if they feel the goal posts have been moved.

            So, yeah $40 for beta access- count me out. But I understand why they did it. And it certainly doesnt make me angry.

            I’ll just wait for the full game and buy it if its good.

          • The Random One says:

            Beta access is £40, not $40.

            The people being exploited are those who do not read glorified gaming blogs and thus don’t know this game is planned to cost less on release.

        • Grey Poupon says:

          It’s all about what they’ve been promised and how much Uber values that. Yes, technically they’ve been only donating their money, but they’ve also been promised something in return. I’m pretty sure it’s in Kickstarter’s contracts that they have to deliver whatever they’ve promised their backers. Yes, they could give the same deal to others who come later as well, but that’d be bad PR, especially if they plan to do another KS later on. It’s easy to see it more as a preorder than a donation, except that if the company goes bust you won’t get your money back.

          Considering how the companies are usually in it for the money, why should we be any more altruistic.

          • FionaSarah says:

            > I’m pretty sure it’s in Kickstarter’s contracts that they have to deliver whatever they’ve promised their backers.

            Untrue. It’s actually catagorically in the Kickstarter T&C that projects are not obliged in any way to make good on their rewards.

          • faelnor says:

            Project Creators are required to fulfill all rewards of their successful fundraising campaigns or refund any Backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill.

            I wouldn’t have been as catagorical as you if all it took to contradict me was a minute of searching on the Kickstarter website.

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            Tom De Roeck says:

            Actually, kickstarter backers are not contractually obliged to deliver anything. But kickstarter isnt obliged to see their project through to the very end.

            And thats not on the website, but from personal experience.

        • Tacroy says:

          If you look at Kickstarter as donations there’s no reason why someone would be upset that the alpha comes out with a normal price.

          You forget – this is the Internet, where people take “no reason to be upset” as a challenge.

        • InternetBatman says:

          That is your view of kickstarter. I find that it is both remarkably simplistic (why isn’t kickstarter just a charity then / why doesn’t it allow charities) and far too one-sided in favor of the project creator. In sheer economic terms, kickstarter is a risk-adjusted purchase or distributed patronage with a contract to deliver. In decent human interaction terms, you should act reciprocally to other people. Those that have placed the most trust in you deserve a better deal from you; that’s just acting in good faith.

        • mygaffer says:

          Sure, you would think that, but people being people they are going to feel shafted anyway. They don’t want to upset their most loyal fans, the ones who put up the money to make the game possible, and personally I respect them for that.
          Again, if anyone feels this pricing is abusive you have the easy option not to buy it, that is kind of how a free market economy works.

        • Premium User Badge

          imperialus says:

          But what about the people who paid, say 20 dollars on the kickstarter.

          Say they released the beta on steam for 20 dollars… Should the 18000 backers who paid 20 bucks have to pay twice? Should they get the beta for free? If so, then what about the 5000 backers who paid 40 dollars specifically for beta access? Should they get 20 dollars back?

          Only thing I can even remotely compare it to is Xenonauts. I ordered that game for 30 bucks waaay back in the day before Kickstarter, or early access or anything like that was a ‘thing’. When Chris did the Kickstarter he lowered the price for entry to 20 bucks and offered 10 dollar refunds to anyone who had bought it before. Not a huge number of people jumped on it, but I suspect that some did. The big difference was that Chris was operating with a much smaller number of backers, it was manageable. For Uber to try and do the same thing would be a frigging nightmare.

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        RaveTurned says:

        Couldn’t they just ask the same price for the alpha and beta builds as the Kickstarter backers paid? Not sure how that would shaft the KS backers.

        • Commissar Choy says:

          The Alpha after the KS WAS the same price ($90) but the Beta is significantly more expensive for some reason ($40 vs $60).

          • faelnor says:

            Probably just because the end price point for the game is $40 so they needed something in-between.

    • Boozebeard says:

      There’s nothing backwards about it. The $90 kick starter tier gave you Alpha access. They thought it was unfair to the people who had payed that $90 if they priced the alpha cheaper than that when it was released. Makes perfect sense.

      • nitehawk says:

        So, the game will be super expensive upon release as to not hurt the feelings of the Alpha and Beta backers?

        • Teovald says:

          They adjust the price at each phase to match the kickstarter levels.
          So now that we are in beta, the price as been lowered to be the same as the kickstarter pledge level that allowed to get the beta (and not the alpha)..
          And they will reduce the price once again when the game is released..

          Honestly, dealing with this is just a no-win situation for devs. If they offer cheap access to the beta/alphas, they get angry backers that don’t understand why people are able to get the same for less (and I agree that these people are missing the point of kickstarter but they don’t really hear reason).
          If they match the kickstarter levels to avoid this, there is a similar outcry from people who think it is insane to have costly alphas..

          • Premium User Badge

            RaveTurned says:

            “They adjust the price at each phase to match the kickstarter levels.”

            Nope. £40 is quite a bit more than $40. Latecomers are being asked to pay about 50% more than KS backers, in the UK at least.

          • Optimaximal says:

            They are, but then they’re giving something to the people who had faith to chip in some money when the game was nothing but an idea and an empty SDK project.

            Which, as covered many times above, is the spirit of Kickstarter.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Alpha and Beta access is an exclusive good that is not the same as the fully finished game.

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      It could also keep away impulsive players who wouldn’t enjoy the game under any circumstance and would unhelpfully piss and moan about the game rather than provide the kind of constructive criticism necessary for a successful alpha and beta. Not that they won’t get some people like that anyway. ;)

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        jrodman says:

        Why don’t they want free pissing and moaning? It’s a bargain.

      • Dark Nexus says:

        Wasn’t that pretty much the explanation given for the Prison Architect alpha and beta pricing? They only wanted the engaged fans at that point in the process, and not the bargain hunters.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Eh, i don’t know, I think we’re not entitled to early access to a game and, if they are offering it a premium price ( I recall alpha being even more expensive?) then it’s up to us if we go for it or not. It’s too rich for my blood but I am also aware that it is not released yet. When it is released, it appears it will be at a more reasonable price and I am happy to wait for that.

      Whilst it’s a bit gougey on people who can’t wait, I think it’s less dubious than the pre-purchase discounts that are pretty common these days.

      • hotmaildidntwork says:

        Exactly who is it that is genuinely unable to wait for this electronic entertainment program to arrive? Is it that their life support runs entirely on virtualized interplanetary travel and they already tapped out KSP?

        • SanguineAngel says:

          People with very little self control or will power or who have a shopping addiction and love the buzz of spending money? Or people who only just heard about it and are REALLY excited?

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Uber have some interesting sales strategies. For example they gave people upgrades in Super Monday Night Combat in exchange for mining bitcoins for them. Which, as with this, on one level is fair enough – you’re not obliged to do it if you don’t want, and it’s perhaps a good deal for people who can leave their PCs on all day and want free micropurchases – but on another it seems a little weird and exploitative.

      Then again, bitcoin itself is weird – Paul Krugman noted that the notion that currency has value because it takes work to get has been odd since Adam Smith, who said that a currency should be as cheap as possible to make to facilitate the flow of goods, and that expending resources on getting something that has no inherent value beyond its face value is wasteful, unless you have excess labour and want to just bring down unemployment.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Pricing in general is pretty complicated, but “a premium for getting at it early” is a pretty straightforward way to make people who are willing to pay more, pay more.

    • Premium User Badge

      Cinek says:

      IMHO that’s perfectly valid practice.
      Actually – I wish more Kickstarter campaigns would have identical policy.

  2. luukdeman111 says:

    I find it a bit odd that there are still this many people upset about the pricing. These are the prices they set when the kickstarter started and back then nobody complained about it….

    Think of it this way:
    If they would have announced during the kickstarter that you would be able to get into the beta when it started for a much lower price than you have to pay while the kickstarter is still running than obviously their kickstarter wouldn’t be doing so good. Instead they decide not to say that. And since they didn’t say that, they figured it would only be fair not to do that….

    Sure it’s a lot of money, and anyone who just wants to buy a game would be stupid to buy it. However, I am getting sick of people complaining that they are somehow exploiting people or something… Which is quite the opposite to what they’re actually doing.

    • trjp says:

      People are complaining because “entitlement” and because we keep giving them a platform to do so.

      People who didn’t have to pay £70 for a game when £70 was a LOT more than it is now

      People who complain that a 99c game only gave them 20 hours of entertainment

      “Generation Y” basically.

      p.s. the developer IS exploiting people, I don’t think you can describe it any other way – but it’s entirely optional so who cares>

      Ferrari, McLaren, Porsche ‘exploit’ their customers and they do pretty well (Random Fact: Porsche makes over £13K on EVERY CAR THEY SELL – that’s $20K!!)

      • FionaSarah says:

        It’s not entitlement. The kickstarter was for crowd funding and it got crowd funded. That time period is over and it’s a different situation entirely. Now they’re just straight-up asking for people to pay over the odds to beta test their game for them. The concept of not just free QA, but QA that people will pay to do is like bizzaro land.

        • nitehawk says:

          And if we let these guys get away with this without argument, then developers will start to think this sort of thing is ok with the players. Suddenly every A-List game is £70 on release again. No more demos to see if the game is worth paying for, companies fire half their QA department since apparently people will pay them for the privilege. Heck, why even bother finishing the game if people will pay more for the unreleased version?

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I think you’ve let the idea run away with you a little bit here – see why steam sales make the games on sale a tonne of money – I think the point is that some people are willing to spend more money on early access. If a game wanted to maximise it’s profitability and lets be honest, most do, then it makes sense for them to take a premium from those players. Looking at the kickstarter for rough guidance though, of the 44,000 pledges, only 5000 were willing to pay over $100 – close enough to your £70 as makes no difference – for the game, which if my maths doesn’t fail me is about 12%. So ignoring any skews, which I suggest on kickstarter is likely to skew in the more generous backers direction – if you market a game to a pool of 100 customers at £70 and 12 of them buy it, you have a total income of £840.

            That same game at £10 nets you all 100 customers, thus an an income of £1000. Now if you sell early access to those 12 at £70 then the other 88 pay £10 your income is £1700 ish (math failing me) and everyone is happy*. People paid what they were willing to pay and some paid a premium to play early, which is apparently worth it to them.

            *Except for those who want it early at the cheaper price, hence why the e word will inevitably be slung around

          • InternetBatman says:

            And if we follow your logic, few people would back at an early access level, because they could wait to see if it is good, then play a lower price. There is nothing wrong with them charging a high price for people who couldn’t wait till the game was finished to play, but wouldn’t support the devs in the kickstarter.

          • trjp says:

            Worst case is that loads of developers ask for £70 on Kickstarter (they won’t get it from me) and then £70 for alpha on Steam (again I’m out) and then £40 for beta (I’m still not going for it) and then £25 for the release (I might still not be in there) and then £15 in a sale (wavering) and then £7 in a sale (wavering more) and then $1 in a Humble Bundle (almost certainly in now!)

            You still get the game – sooner or later – OK, getting into an online game ‘late’ isn’t ideal but them’s the breaks…

            It’s not disastrous – in fact I like the idea that gullible pillocks with too much disposable, fund my future gaming :)

        • Bull0 says:

          If you really think it’s as black and white as “paying people to beta test their game for them” and that that therefore isn’t understandable, you must find a lot of what happens in consumer culture totally baffling.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            Also QA. (Although I find that baffling despite helping QA to write tests on a regular basis.)

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            It’s a pretty simplistic view, but it’s accurate. People are essentially paying to test a companies product. That’s the direct opposite of how it works in the rest of the consumer world.

          • Bull0 says:

            They’re paying for early access to the product as it’s developed. They’re not actually under any contractual obligation to assist with the QA process. Some people choose to help; they enjoy it, that’s a hobby mentality. It’s not “completely different” to the rest of the consumer world. People pay for early access to things all the time – think conferences, expos, magazines, that sort of thing. It’s nothing at all like testing, and comparing alpha/beta access to being a professional tester isn’t remotely accurate.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            People don’t pay to test arthritis medicine. They don’t pay to test soft drinks. They don’t pay for movie pre-screenings.

            It’s only in the “hobby” sector that you find those willing to spend money to test products. That’s where the distinction needs to be made.

          • Bull0 says:

            So rather than the rest of the consumer world, we mean the rest of the consumer world except a big chunk of it

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            The hobby sector is not a “big chunk” of the consumer world. I’m talking average consumers here, not niche buyers.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          To be fair – this is nothing like holding a paid position as a games tester, which is a job choice that puts people off playing games ever again for years in some cases.

        • Tacroy says:

          There’s a super simple solution to products being priced higher than you think they should be – don’t buy them.

          It’s not particularly exploitative when people making the decision to join the early beta do so out of their own free will.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            It is worth noting, though that most steam users do not keep up with gaming news and are unlikely to know that the games price will drop later on. That could be seen as exploitative, or it could be seen as a consumer not doing their research before making a purchase.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            I don’t think you could make a legitimate case for that being exploitative. I mean just because the vast majority of customers have become too lazy to do the slightest bit of due diligence doesn’t mean the company is at fault for their ignorance.

            As long as Uber is being forthcoming as to what the product is and what the price is they’re pretty much in the clear.

          • whorhay says:

            I don’t think it’s really possible to argue that Steam users would be too ignorant to know that a game they see being sold today will not be available for less money sometime in the future. That is pretty much one of the biggest reasons people use Steam to begin with. Regular sales offering huge discounts and competitive pricing all around, unless you pay in currency other than dollars, is probably one of the most well known perks of using Steam. Yes, it is a little unusual to see an early access version of a game cost more than the regular release but not absurdly so. I seem to remember at least one MMO only giving early access to people who pre-ordered a more expensive version of the game.

      • frightlever says:

        “Random Fact: Porsche makes over £13K on EVERY CAR THEY SELL – that’s $20K”

        Absent context this statement is meaningless. They might be making a gross profit of $20k on average per car, but they also have a fairly massive advertising, promotion and development budget which is funded forward. And I’d imagine the profit margin increases with price. They sell Boxters and Cayennes for under $50k and obviously those have nothing like a $20k profit margin.

        • Optimaximal says:

          Honestly, all cars are relatively expensive to build per unit, but unless it’s made entirely out of exotic materials, super cars are much higher margin than normal cars. Given the base Boxster (your example) costs £38k, it’s feasible the margin is approaching £20k.

          ANYWAY, COMPUTER GAMES!

        • trjp says:

          No – Porsche made $20K on every car they made – overall profit divided by cars made…

          They are just 2% of their parent (VW)’s volume but almost a quarter of their profit (and yet, at one point, Porsche almost bought VW!!)

          That’s how you market a non-essential product you see – they’re ‘priced at what the market will bear’ and not ‘priced at what it costs to make’ – in many ways this is very similar, it’s priced at “what the market will bear” (the Kickstarter made that clear).

          http://www.pistonheads.com/news/default.asp?storyId=27703 for the skinny…

    • derbefrier says:

      the reason no one complained is because funding it on kickstarter isn’t the same as buying it on steam. Kickstarter isnt a pre order its funding game development. steam is for buying games not funding them. There is a huge difference in expectations there and its really surprising people don’t seem to get that. people like me don’t give a shit if the kickstarter backers will whine because they don’t understand the purpose of kickstarter, they should be more mature than that. If people see a game on steam and feel its over priced they have every right to say so. people are calling us entitled but in my opinion the entitled ones are the kickstarter backers.

      • luukdeman111 says:

        You misunderstood me. I understand that buying a game on steam is different than pledging to a kickstarter and therefor buying a game for $90 dollars on steam is absolutely ridiculous, if you simply want to buy a game.

        Therefore i blame nobody for not buying this game, because at the moment is in incredibly fucking expensive. However, there are many people who think steam should for some reason not allow this game to be on their service for this price for whatever reason. And THAT is absolutely ridiculous and unfair.

        These early access prices are basically set up as a slacker backer campaign and is only meant for people who want to support the development of the game by pumping in more money… If you think they have already made enough money and you don’t want to pay this much for the game, just wait a few more months…. It’s that simple.

        • derbefrier says:

          oh i have no problem with them selling it on steam. I do believe they can set the price for whatever they want, it is their game after all. I just think its a little sad the only reason they are pricing it so high is so their backers don’t throw a fit. People don’t seem to want to admit to that though and that’s what annoys me.

        • The Random One says:

          It’s not that I think Steam shouldn’t sell this game at this price, it’s just that I think they should have a huge disclaimer saying its release price is planned to be lower. I don’t even think Steam or Uber are trying to exploit people, but if someone buys this game unaware that its price will drop on release they will still feel ripped off regardless of their intent.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Ignore the people who immediately bring up entitlement when this topic arises. They have a distorted view with a poor foundation, so they have to resort to empty insults in order to get their point across.

  3. Freud says:

    I’d never pay to beta test anything.They should be grateful that people are willing to test their product for them.

    I realize that most betas have a high ratio of people who just want to check the game out but if anything charging for beta access will only increase that ratio.

    • Jomini says:

      You’re not paying to beta test, you’re paying to pre-order the game and you get beta access on top of it.

      • nitehawk says:

        Except the apologists are saying the exact opposite. “It’s not a preorder, its a donation!” Well what the heck is the difference?

      • Freud says:

        Ah. The concept of being given things for free as long as you buy something and only if you buy something. It’s almost as if it was part of what you bought, now that I think of it.

  4. Premium User Badge

    Screwie says:

    As previously witnessed by Jim, they’ve been scaling the cost of the game at each stage to match the Kickstarter rewards, in order to be fair to the backers.

    Granted it looks decidedly weird from the outside, but if the game price doesn’t drop again for release I would be terribly surprised.

    EDIT: However, that dollar-to-sterling exchange rate does look decidedly stingy (something that escaped my attention on first reading).

  5. Eery Petrol says:

    While I’m not an expert judge of betas, this game doesn’t seem to be meeting up to the lush standard of graphical artistry set by its Kickstarter pitch.

    • luukdeman111 says:

      You mean the looks of the game? You might wanna watch their pitch again. It looks pretty much identical.
      In terms of gameplay I would agree, they still have a lot of work to do. But the art…. It is quite literally identical except it is seen from a less fancy cinematic angle

  6. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    What are you talking about? It looks pretty much exactly like the pitch concepts.

    [edit] Ah, screw the reply/login/reply system. That was meant as a direct response to Eery Petrol.

  7. Commissar Choy says:

    I don’t mind the Beta price being high but I think something we can all agree on is this: The Early Access page does NOT list that the game will be cheaper upon release and that is BAD.

    • Optimaximal says:

      That could be because Valve might not allow price promises on store pages (especially seeing as they get a cut of sales and it would discourage purchases at the higher price – Business 101)

      Jim could probably confirm or deny if there are any stipulations attached to Early Access.

  8. Chakawi says:

    Please stop talking about prices and money… it’s boring. Please discuss the smashing of planets! Please discuss the gameplay adjustments that the game needs to come out of beta. Let me start! Yesterday I tried the beta, I build orbital spaceship to take out my friend’s (enemy) orbital laser! Awesome!

    Then my friend got disconected! :o So he juste reconnected! Reconnection in a beta, thats great!

    Most units hit VERY hard and are very squishy. I have 40 ish little kbots and my friend basically blew them up with 2 shells from his artillerie! The shear speed of destruction does’nt allow me to intervene hehe

    Fun beta!

    • Bull0 says:

      Yeah, here here. As if the price discussion isn’t completely played out already. Group A think it’s too expensive, Group B think it’s fair enough because of the Kickstarter, no progress is going to be made on that. I’d be a lot more interested in hearing about the planet-smashery.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      The first thing that comes to my mind is that the UI needs a massive overhaul. It hasn’t really changed since alpha, and it’s still missing a lot of the features that made SupCom work on such a huge scale. At the moment you can’t even set a factory to build repeatedly, and that’s just not going to work if they intend for their game to be even larger.

  9. Seafort says:

    Everyone agreeing that the price is fine and dandy are setting a precedent. This type of ridiculous pricing for a alpha/beta could become the norm and will end up destroying the indie games industry with extortionate pricing.

    Once another indie developer sets these types of prices they are no better than EA or Activision for price gouging.

    Kickstarter is a donation platform for indie developers to get funded by the general public so they can create the game of their dreams not for preordering.
    Once that is over and they start selling the game on steam or another digital platform the person who buys the game becomes your customer not a donator.

    Donator and customer are 2 entirely different things. Kickstarter donating and steam pricing should not be compared. The developer is in the wrong here and should have set the price on steam at what they wanted for the full version not the kickstarter pricing for donations.

    So £70 for the alpha and £40 for the beta is absolutely ridiculous.

    Take Godus for example. The kickstarter price to get into the beta was £10 and the alpha was £100.
    The steam early access price is £15 which I deem as an alpha not beta.

    Compare that to Planetary Annihilation prices and there is a £25-45 difference for the early access. Now I would say that steam customers are getting royally ripped off with the PA early access.

    Those that are defending the pricing of PA. Be careful what you are actually defending.

    And yes I did back PA kickstarter at the $20 tier so no alpha or beta for me.

    • Bull0 says:

      Thing is those people that didn’t back it and aren’t going to buy it now because they’re complaining that it’s too expensive aren’t actually customers, so who cares what they think?

      • derbefrier says:

        the developers should after all its the price, and only the price that keeps me from buying it now instead of sometime next year when it 75% off. Thats not a very smart line of reasoning.

        • Bull0 says:

          They’re definitely not about to make it 75% off before release. I think you’re falling victim to the steam sale culture. These are great products that are worth paying for.

          • fish99 says:

            He’s talking about in a sale. If their current price model creates resentment and everyone waits to pick it up for under £10 in 12 months time, it absolutely hurts the developers and their next project.

            IMO Kickstarter tiers aren’t pre-orders and should have no impact on retail pricing. And Steam has a duty to inform people they’re paying extra for alpha/beta access. Nowhere on steam does it say that.

    • schlusenbach says:

      Well, if you think the pricing is ridiculous, don’t buy it.

      Kickstarter, alpha, beta, whatever: I don’t understand the problem. If it’s too expensive, don’t buy the game.
      You sound as if people _must_ buy it. They don’t.

    • Ansob says:

      They can price the alpha/beta at whatever the hell they want to price it at, and frankly matching the Steam early access alpha/beta price to the KS reward tiers for the alpha/beta is something that should become standard practice. They’re not trying to raise the RRP of released games.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      Plus, if dropping the price after the kickstarter becomes the norm then many of the people that might otherwise back may instead choose to wait, much as you see happen with steam sales. That could result in a lot of things never getting made in the first place.

    • Seafort says:

      Wow you guys really don’t understand, do you?

      So if a kickstarter put their alpha at £1000 donation the developer should put the early access at £1000 too? That would be one bankrupt developer right there.

      Like I said before be careful what you defend as it could become the norm and not just with indie devs but with AAA publishers too. You’re defending a price hike in PC games btw :)

      I backed the game but at a lower tier of $20.

      It’s not going to stop me backing worthwhile projects but I will never defend their price gouging.

      Once it gets on steam or other digital stores it should be at a price what they want to sell their full game at and not just to placate their backers on kickstarter.

    • hotmaildidntwork says:

      Your determination to ignore the reality of economics is inspiring, truly.

  10. Flappybat says:

    I kickstarted it and just played the beta. This is meant to be out in December? It’s making me think a lot of Shadowrun Returns with most of the money spent on the engine and the game is a lightweight remake of classics in the genre. Unfortunately for PA it’s got the relatively recent Supreme Commander to compare to and right now it doesn’t stand up well.

    • fish99 says:

      That’s a big shame, to me it’s the depth (especially of the economy) that makes SupCom/FA special.

  11. Premium User Badge

    LTK says:

    If Planetary Annihilation is cheaper after it was Kickstarted than before, all the backers bitch and whine that they’ve been ripped off.

    If Planetary Annihilation is just as expensive after it was Kickstarted as before, all the non-backers bitch and whine that they’re being ripped off.

    You just can’t win, can you?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Welcome to people!

    • bstard says:

      You could, when this game wasn’t available on Steam at all until it’s ready. But nah, it’s the smegging age of half baked pre order see before it’s even here.

      • shaydeeadi says:

        AFAIK it was put on Steam Early Access because people were asking on their forums for it, saying that they wanted to buy into the alpha but would prefer to do it through Steam. So they acted on the wishes of prospective customers and placed PA on early access at the price matching the tiers of the Kickstarter.

    • Premium User Badge

      jrodman says:

      Well you could easily win as a member of one of those two groups.
      But you might not realize it.

  12. TentSalesman says:

    It might be a tad pricey but… is it any good?

    • Teovald says:

      It is very very hard to judge an alpha or even beta product, since the polish that happens (or don’t) in the last phases make or break the game.
      This being said, Uber has been building the bases of a very good str with some new ideas to spice it up like the planetary & interplanetary battles.

  13. Reapy says:

    Regardless how the pricing, how is the game? I admit it does look like TA and it’s ilk, which sucks because I have always hated that design choice. Still… no other planet’s yet? I would think they would have that up and running before anything just because it is supposed to be such a critical aspect of the gameplay, you probably want to start iterating on that right away, though I see the logic of starting with one and spreading out.

    As it is it doesn’t seem like very exciting gameplay besides sort of standard RTS fair, is there anything special beyond the absent multiple planet setting? I am honestly wondering too if the multiple planets will end up feeling like any old water RTS map, it is the same concept, 2 land masses separated by a special terrain you can only bypass with certain vehicles and/or enough weapon range.

  14. Lemming says:

    It doesn’t matter if it’s a million pounds, it’s a pre-release version!. Just wait for the bloody retail release like a normal person and stop moaning!

  15. DarkFarmer says:

    Lookin good so far, I am stoked for this game. Seems like the unit balance is a little more starcraftish than SupCom but not nearly that starcraftish if you know what I mean. Lemme just say I like where they are going with the unit design and balance.

    As for the whole expensive preorder to protect the sanctity of the KS backers, no worries. I would rather stop playing early access betas, I feel like I am spoiling the experience of the final game for myself with these early betas.

    A game like KSP is an exception because its more of a hobby, and its always fun to come back and tinker with it some more, but Cubeworld, Minecraft, terraria, I feel like my early beta access to those spoiled them. Had a great time with all 3, but i feel like I would have had more fun if I had waited till release and I feel like Planetary Annihilation is the same. So kudos to them for making it easy for me to stay away with the silly price tag.

  16. EvilLaufter says:

    The actual problem here is Steam Early Access. I really do not enjoy the idea of Steam selling unfinished products. I preferred it when they actually had the ability to enforce some form of damn quality control over games on their service. Early Access basically gives any developer that gets on it a get-out-of-jail-free card (lol, it’s beta!) Remember The WarZ? The outrage (which I do believe was fully justified) would never have, could not ever have happened if Early Access was available at the time. People raised a moderate brouhaha about Greenlight, but this in my mind is a far greater issue. At least Greenlight games are released when they are actually done. No one seems to be talking about the potential ramifications of Steam legitimizing the selling of incomplete games against ones in a release state.

    It ultimately bodes ill for Steam. It’s no longer going to be a premier digital distribution platform. It’s going to quickly turn into the Walmart, McDonalds, insert whatever mass market selling insult you people who love to dis on prefer.

    Turning this tangential rant back on course, Uber really should have just sold slacker back access on their own site. The very fact that putting it on Steam gives you a much larger viewer base is exactly why you’re getting all these people whinging about this in the first place. If they just kept it on their site, released a news line to the internet saying, “We’re in beta now. We’ve got new features and the price dropped for those interested,” I guarantee the bitch fit would be orders of magnitude smaller. I’m surprised people still whine about this. Didn’t we get this over with during the whole alpha release on Steam.

    Also when did £40 become very expensive? Forgive my U.S. ignorance but isn’t that essentially the same price as console games? According to my Google currency converter it’s pretty much the same thing here factoring in taxes ($64 and some cents).

    • Seafort says:

      The normal price for PC games in UK is £30. The alpha early access for PA was £70. That’s not normal.

      Its £40 for beta early access and will probably be £25-30 at release. I got it for $20 on their kickstarter.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Don Reba says:

    Come on, if you calculate the price per bug, I am sure you will find it a steal.

  18. coty says:

    I hope Steam, at some point, decides to segregate early access games. It is fine with me if they want to offer them, I just want nothing to do them. I wish they would have their own section, like the unreleased greenlight games.

  19. vivlo says:

    Oh, this game looks nice !…

  20. PopeRatzo says:

    Kickstarter has been really bad for PC games.

    I mean, what’s the incentive to actually release a finished game? Change the name of your company and start another kickstarter. Rinse, repeat.

    There’s a reason 2013 has been a bad year for games, and I choose to blame kickstarter.

  21. idmah says:

    Because 2.2 Million isn’t enough for you? most indie developers would kill to make 2.2 Million and you want us to pay to beta test for you ?? Yeah sure sign me up… HA!

  22. Strangerator says:

    In a related story, thousands of gamers today were shocked to discover that, having eaten their cake, they no longer seemed to have it.

    If one of the perks of a stretch goal of a game is to be allowed to get access to early versions of the game, then this is the only real fair way to do things. Either that, or not to sell any further alpha/beta access slots at all. If anything, you should be paying MORE at this point, since people who initially kickstarted this thing got their money in sooner.

  23. Freemon says:

    So…let me see if I got this right.

    Uber makes a great kickstarter. It gets overwhelming support to reinvent a niche genre like RTS.
    The game makes it into Beta. There are dozens of great features that already make the game stand out and what does RPS do? Does it report on those features? No. Does it talk about what Uber did during the Alpha and is planning to do in the future? No. Does it comment on how the game is coming so close to become what was promised in the pitch video? No.

    Instead, it decides to have a go at the price. What is that? It’s not journalism, of that I’m sure. It looks like a copy paste of some forum rant made by a teenager.

    • shaydeeadi says:

      This/+/10Char

    • coty says:

      Yeah RPS should instead be focused on how Uber is revolutionizing pre-ordered games. Instead of the typical “discount for buying the game early” nonsense, they are making it 50% more expensive than it will be at release. It is absolutely brilliant, everyone should do it this way.

  24. P.Funk says:

    I find the most entertaining aspect the refusal of many to allow a connection between the Kickstarter pledge promises and the current Steam pricing paradigm. Its like they refuse to accept it as a legitimate argument.

  25. elikso says:

    Wow, tank rush in 2013 is so exciting!