The indie scene is full of what a corporate sort might call Price-Costing Thought-Thinks. There's an increasing trend wherein developers are offering early versions for sale to fund development, as well as offering 'pay what you want' initiatives and joining collections like The Humble Indie Bundle.
Now, the indie aficionados behind Indiegames.com and the fine fellows at digital distribution service Desura have launched Indie Royale, a new site with a new type of indie bundle. Containing four games, with new ones every fortnight, the bundles have an original take on pricing and, if the first one is anything to go by, they've got some excellent games lined up.
Rather than explain the pricing myself, I'll leave it to the boffins.
"[From a starting point of $1.99 for the first bundle], Indie Royale uses a unique new pricing mechanism. The total cost for the four-game bundle (which are worth over if $40 purchased separately) gradually increases as more bundles are bought, with early adopters guaranteed the best deals, and prices remaining competitive throughout."
So, the early bird does indeed catch the worm, if the worm is a bundle of games and 'catching' it involves paying a pittance. And that's why I'm bringing you this news as soon as humanly possible. Because you all deserve cheap games.
BUT WHAT IF YOU WANTED TO PAY MORE?
...those who choose to pay more than the current cost to support the indie developers and the people behind the bundle will appear on the front page of Indie Royale as part of a special section, with their name and URL called out specifically. In the process, they will drop the price of the game bundle for everyone else - anywhere from several cents to multiple dollars! This pricing methodology will likely spawn unpredictable but entertaining results, and the creators of Indie Royale are looking forward to seeing the pricing trends that result.
I'm fascinated to see the trends that will result, which is why I'll be putting on my inquisitor's robes (a tweed jacket) and discussing matters with one of the chaps behind Indie Royale in the near future.
Pricing is all well and good though, but what really matters is the games. The first bundle contains sci-fi adventure Gemini Rue, which I know has a sizable following among our readers. Mainly because I get shouted at all the time for not talking about it more. The rather excellent Sanctum is in there as well, along with A.R.E.S.: Exctinction Agenda and puzzle/racing game Nimbus, which I'd forgotten that I played and quite enjoyed until I just wrote its name.
My thoughts? This is an excellent way to pick up cheap games and also a great opportunity for lesser known titles to bundle themselves with big hitters, hopefully picking up plenty of new fans in the process. And it'll provide me with plenty of information on peoples' spending habits without forcing me to dig through their garbage or snuggle up to a Murdoch.
One final quote and then I'm outta here for the evening.
"Indie Royale is designed to be content and platform agnostic, with PC direct downloads, Steam and Desura keys for the titles available if the game supports them, and an easy to use gifting and download redemption system built into the site."
Good? Yes. Good.