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View Full Version : Sophie Houlden's crazy week of payment options for her game Swift*Stitch



Matzerath
16-01-2012, 07:58 PM
Sophie Houlden adjusted the price on her game every 24 hours for a week -- ranging from the bargain basement deal of $1.00 to the sky-high $77.77 (also the satanic 6.66). She's posted the sales results for that week, which are very interesting indeed:
http://www.sophiehoulden.com/blog/results-of-the-swiftstitch-pay-when-you-want-sale/
This reminds me of my indie-game pricing concept of starting low and raising the price a dollar every day, until you reach something crazy like 99.99 -- then cycling back down to the cheapest price again.
It's worthy of note that she made more on her most expensive day from a few generous people than she did on most of the discount days.

alms
16-01-2012, 09:58 PM
It's worthy of note that she made more on her most expensive day from a few generous people than she did on most of the discount days.

Excuse me while I put my tinfoil cap on, it would be more noteworthy if we knew who those people are.

Snargelfargen
16-01-2012, 10:29 PM
What an interesting idea. The comments on her page are almost universally positive, so it looks like she actually got a good response from her fans. Indie devs shouldn't sell themselves short.

The cynic in me suspects that this will only work when she is the sole distributor. Put her product for sale on platforms with a larger audience such as steam or gamersgate, and suddenly you make more sales, but you also have to deal with an audience that isn't personally invested in the game and is used to price checking other sites and waiting for deals. At a certain point, the amount of product you move trumps the price you sell it for, which is why you get a race to the bottom in terms of quality at most big box stores.

Matzerath
16-01-2012, 10:52 PM
Excuse me while I put my tinfoil cap on, it would be more noteworthy if we knew who those people are.

She sent each of the $77.77 buyers followup e-mails to give them a chance to retract their payment if they had been under a spell of temporary insanity. It would seem they were not people she knew, if that's what you're getting at. Though perhaps sympathetic fellow developers!

alms
16-01-2012, 11:05 PM
It would seem they were not people she knew, if that's what you're getting at. Though perhaps sympathetic fellow developers!

I'll admit to not being above wondering about the first of the two things you say, though the latter would seem more realistic given how PWYW bundles tend to go. OTOH I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who don't mind spending 77$ on an indie game, so I'm back where I started.

trjp
16-01-2012, 11:21 PM
It's worthy of note that she made more on her most expensive day from a few generous people than she did on most of the discount days.

That 'fact' is pointless given the volumes of sales involved and the time periods each price was available.

If it had held-up over longer periods (months, with advertising backing each price) and for sales in 1000s or more it would be interesting - but as is, it's just a freak of the data.

I'm reading a book atm about the psychology of pricing and how people react to different prices/values/costs etc. and it's quite astonishing how some stuff actually works.

All this bundle stuff suggests people respond well to low prices and that you'll sell lots but reality is far, far, far, far more complex than that and unless you understand the mechanisms involved and how to setup your 'experiments' (as this appears to have been) properly - you're just noodling really.

Bhazor
16-01-2012, 11:33 PM
OTOH I'm sure there's plenty of people out there who don't mind spending 77$ on an indie game, so I'm back where I started.

Anyone else remember the guy who paid over a thousand dollars on Kickstarter to essentially take his favourite IF designer on a dinner date? Some indies attract some crazy fans. Must be the Swag.