Jane Jensen’s Gray Matter Out, Costs €∞

Jane “Gabriel Knight” Jensen’s new point’n’click adventure, Gray Matter, is now available from German digital download site Gamesplanet after 7 years in development under two different dev studios and two different publishers. The German version has English voiceovers, so apparently it’s playable. You can buy it here for €39.99, which I think is more money than I’ve ever had at any one time. Thanks to RPS reader Wendy for the heads up, and thanks to Qt3 poster Triggercut from informing Wendy via this thread.

EDIT: Anyone interested in the boxed version can hit up the German Amazon, too.

Gray Matter is still scheduled for a February 2011 release for America and the UK.


  1. rei says:

    I can scarcely believe it actually came out. I think I’ll wait for it to get on Steam though.

  2. Wendelius says:

    Love the tags. But how far would you go to save your love? :)

    I couldn’t resist. I am downloading it.

  3. Eclipse says:

    Yay a new adventure by the Gabriel Knight creator!
    For €39.99? No, thanks…

  4. Eclipse says:

    what’s wrong with RPS comment system? :\

  5. Ralph says:

    €39.99 isn’t ∞, is it? It’s not that much for a new game, actually. What’s the big deal, because I don’t get it?

    • phlebas says:

      It seems a lot for a download-only copy of something that’s listed as £25 or less for a physical one when it’s released here. €35.99 for physical (amazon.de) is better, but I can stand to wait for now.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I must say that it is more than I have ever spent on a game in my life.

  6. Lewie Procter says:

    Preorder of the shiny plastic disc version for £16.85
    link to shopto.net

  7. Dawngreeter says:

    Quinns, you’re inventing numbers now. Am I supposed to take your word for it that this “39`99” number is real? As if. And you call yourself a journalist. For shame!

  8. Navagon says:

    Hopefully the UK version will be cheaper. A lot cheaper. If there’s a boxed version then the price should go right down in no time on sites like Play, Amazon etc.

  9. stahlwerk says:

    Quinns, it’s 39.95 €, not 39.99 !!

    That is a lot of money for a point and click adventure, considering we get the MI remake bundle for nearly a third of that price. But it’s Jane Jensen, and it’s been a long time in development. Will we see a Wot I Think on it?

    • stahlwerk says:

      To put the pricing of that particular shop in perspective:
      Codblops is €59.95
      Tropico 3 gold is €29.95 (discounted ATM from €39.95)

  10. cliffski says:

    I remember when most of the discussion when a game came out was how it played and how good it was, but all people worry about now is the cost.
    Games aren’t getting cheaper to make, so forcing prices lower means lower budget, less polished games, or games that are dumbed down to appeal to as many people as possible.

    • rei says:

      To be fair that’s probably only the case here because special attention was drawn to the apparently very mysterious currency that people will have to tangle with if they want the game right now.

    • tekDragon says:

      People debate if XXXXX is worth $$$$$ all the time. Games arent special in that regard.

    • Rich says:

      I don’t know if making games is, or isn’t, getting cheaper, so I can’t comment. However, a market is based on the price people will accept for what they’re getting. It’s expected that enough schmucks will be willing to pay £50 for COD or MOH on the release day, so they price it accordingly. For something a little more niche, the price has to come down to encourage sales. It’s up to the developer to keep their costs lower without impacting on the eventual produce, as that too will effect sales. They also tend to be happier with sales over a long period, rather than only being interested in day-one, headline making, sales.

      The exception to this is games like Victoria or the even more grand strategies, which are certainly not mainstream and aren’t actually expected to sell many units. They have to be priced up, in order to make a profit. In any case, the people who buy grand strategies tend pay whatever asked.

    • Neil says:

      @cliffski Lower price doesn’t necessarily mean lower profit.

    • Tom Camfield says:

      I remember when reviews were buying guides and so often linked the price of the game to the discussion of its merits.
      As for production costs, while GTA4 cost $100M, Canabalt was made in 5 days, so I doubt that cost much to make… certainly in some cases production costs have dropped dramatically over the past five years.
      As for dumbing down or being less polished; there’s a lot of AAA big budget productions which suffer from those faults.
      That said, I can understand that it might be annoying for a developer to hear a journalist with a big audience implying that the price of a game is too damn high.

    • Rich says:

      It might be annoying on a personal level, but only a totally pigheaded developer would ignore it. You have to listen to your customers, or you won’t have them much longer.

    • cliffski says:

      I know lower price doesnt mean lower profit. Its not like I just got off the boat.
      But if you want lower price and higher profit, that means you need much higher sales, meaning your game has to be less niche.

      That was exactly the point I was making.
      As to ‘listening to your customers’, I kind of do that too, but customers seem to be under the impeession that if they demand free games, or games costing $0.01, they will get them, with everythign else remaining the same.

      They will either get very very mass market games or very crap games. There isn’t any other way to manage it.

      It’s like demanding cheap chicken. You can have cheap chicken. Fuck knows what they feed em, or how it’s produced, but if the customer *only* cares about price, then the customer gets battery chickens injected with water.

      All I’m saying is I’m prepared to pay more, for better quality, polished games.

  11. Wendelius says:

    Amazon Germany also seems to have the boxed version in stock: link to amazon.de . And the description also mentions English voiceovers. It would not cost any less once shipping costs are added though.

  12. adonf says:

    @RPS: Do you know if you’re getting a review copy ? I used to work for the developer so if the publisher’s not doing its job maybe I can arrange for you to get a copy. I mean, €∞ is a lot of money these days.

    • Brumisator says:

      You know, I post comments on RPS, so technically, my words are published on RPS, therefore, I write for RPS.

      You should sent that review copy my way.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      I just read Brumisator’s comment, therefore I’m a proofreader for RPS, and thus his secretary, here at RPS.

      All review copies should be sent to my desk so I can forward them to him.

  13. Lyrandon says:

    Games in Germany are a lot more expensive than in UK. Gray Matter is 35,99€ on Amazon.de and that is a very good price for a new pc game.

  14. Gremmi says:

    It’s a pretty good game. My first immediate impression is that they’ve put a lot more thought into animation than other point and clickers. Characters (main ones, at least) don’t just stand utterly motionless, there’s plenty of idle wandering about, twitching, adjusting weight, etc etc, and the lead character Sam tends to not look that robotic, especially how she does the Grim Fandango trick of looking about at items of importance (though you can highlight them all easily enough with space).

    I’m not too sure the depiction of England and Oxford is that accurate though…it seems to the US England is nothing but country roads and wooden road signs (in the intro there’s a sign that just says ‘OXFORD – LONDON” as if those are the only two places in existence. Also one of the English characters going ‘Oxford to London? About two hours by train’ didn’t seem quite right. But maybe they were using Virgin Rail.

    • rei says:

      Maybe they’re just going by the assumption that you’ll likely end up having to take the replacement bus service.

    • Baboonanza says:

      There is another place in the UK besides London?

    • James G says:

      Just a shade over one hour according to thetrainline, but yeah, rail replacement busses into London would be horrific.

    • Rich says:

      Just hope you don’t have to get the replacement bus at Didcot.

  15. adonf says:

    [double post. sorry, blame the overzealous spam filter not me]

  16. Magius Paulus says:

    Woot! A new adventure from Jane Jensen. Instabuy for me!

  17. Juan de Marco says:

    My take on this one is that the story seems to be very appealing (I’m halfway through chapter 2) and graphics are definitely very good, especially for a point & click adventure game. The only thing that makes me cry in pain is the user interface, that is, at least as far as I’m concerned, not that ‘smooth’ to use, the inventory above everything else.

    As far as the currency debate, €39.95 is an average price for a videogame. Sure, there are cheaper ones, and sure, I for one prefer to buy from the US because it’s cheaper, at least for me because I benefit from currency conversion rates, but €39.95 is like 8 beers. How long does it take for you to drink those? :)

    • Rich says:

      Here in Sheffield 8 beers in a pub* would only cost you £20-ish. That’s about €24.
      Yeah, yeah, regional pricing. But still.

      *In Tesco it’s more like £6.

  18. Eric says:

    Criminy. I like Jane Jensen, but I don’t think I’m dropping $55USD on her game without reading some reviews and maybe playing a demo first. Point-and-click adventures haven’t been my favorite thing for awhile now, and while I freely admit that may just be because there haven’t been that many lately (and even fewer good ones), I still find myself hesitant to pay top price for one off the bat.

  19. Berto says:

    Gray Matter is a very, very flawed game with a very, very good and well written story. Play it only if you like Jane jensen and her stories, you wont be disapointed. If you’re expecting a technical wonder, forget it.

    • stahlwerk says:

      care to elaborate on the flaws a bit? Design deficiencies, bugs, or just not “a technical wonder”?

    • Berto says:

      Well it has low production values. The animations are pretty bad, the graphics are not too bad, but the art style is so boring. The game follows the “one-click-does-everything” wich is a pitty because makes the game too easy. The voice acting (the english one) is not on par with Gabriel Knight., however Steven Pacey that voices David Styles is incredible.

      Overall it lacks polish (it doesn’t have any major bugs though) it’s pretty obvious they didn’t have the budget to do more.

      However, Jane’s story saves the day, but i’ll let you discover that by yourself. It all depends on how you value the narrative in a video game, if you don’t care, Gray Matter will be pretty… meh…

      I liked it, a lot.

    • phlebas says:

      Steven Pacey? As in Tarrant?
      So looking forward to this.

    • Berto says:

      Yep. He’s fantastic,. It helps that his character, David Styles, is very well written and developed.

  20. Wendelius says:

    I got the game.

    I’m still in Chapter 1 but I enjoyed the animated style of the intro a lot. The heroine seems like an interesting character.

    The art style is very classical so far. Big mansion, paintings, … It’s true that the game doesn’t look like it had an unlimited budget. But it’s the story I’m looking forward to.

    The only downside of buying the game this way is that it only comes with a German PDF manual. This means I’m missing out on Jane Jensen’s intro to the story and chars and on the explanations on… your character’s hobby (trying not to spoil it). The tutorial hasdone a good job so far of filling the gaps though. So might not be an issue.

  21. Wendelius says:

    (Can’t post logged in for some reason. So trying logged out)

    I got the game today.

    I’m still in Chapter 1 but I enjoyed the animated style of the intro a lot. The heroine seems like an interesting character.

    The art style is very classical so far. Big mansion, paintings, … It’s true that the game doesn’t look like it had an unlimited budget. But it’s the story I’m looking forward to.

    The only downside of buying the game this way is that it only comes with a German PDF manual. This means I’m missing out on Jane Jensen’s intro to the story and chars and on the explanations on… your character’s hobby (trying not to spoil it). The tutorial hasdone a good job so far of filling the gaps though. So might not be an issue.

  22. JohnnyMaverik says:

    If this isn’t any good I’m going to kill myself :(

  23. UncleLou says:

    39.99 is 10€ less than most new games cost on Steam, and 5-10€ less than games cost on the high street here in Germany.

    You lot don’t know how lucky you are with your bargain PC games prices in the UK! :)

  24. UncleLou says:

    That’s actually quite cheap for a new PC game in Germany.

    You lucky lot with your bargain PC game prices in the UK!

  25. bakaohki says:

    It’s 3 euro more expensive than Fallout New Vegas, so it must be pretty good… apart from trolling I don’t think it’s a lot of money for an indie game, nevertheless I’m not interested.

  26. Wendelius says:

    No need. The story is where it’s at and, so far (I’m at the end of Chapter 2), it’s very intriguing. It’s definitely got the Jane Jensen touch.