From: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Would Matrix rather sell to 3/100 customers at full price?
Or would they rather take a chance and over a game at a big discount and possible sell to 50/100 customers?
I guarantee that if they did a big sale on older items that they would sale more copies in a 30 day span than they have sold in the last 3-5 years depending on how old the title is.
I have read different companies forums about their Steam sales and my made up figures that I used are somewhat close to reality. They really do sell 15x-20x the number of units during a sale as opposed to whatever full price is.
Even the answer to the first question depends on what the marginal profit on each sale actually is.
The sales numbers look reasonable enough, but you are not accounting for likely associated changes in revenue over the whole sales-life of the game. You say that there are many titles you would jump at on a 66% discount but not at full price, and that's probably true of most of us. So what happens is exactly what has already happened in my case regarding Paradox and others; I wait until the games ARE on that sort of discount. You know it will happen, the game will need patches in the meantime anyway, and there's plenty else to play in the meantime. If you are really patient, wait for the DLC cycle to end as well and get that slung in for next to nothing too.
In short, by putting stuff on big discounts, you create an expectation that sooner or later everything will be available for a big discount, and if prospective purchasers are basing decisions on the usual industry cycle that could be after a year or less. So when something like WitE or BftB comes out a few die-hards buy them; the rest take one look at what are exceptionally high prices compared with other video games (Bioware Collectors Editions apart!) and wait for the inevitable sale.
It will be interesting to see if the video game industry can sustain the current economic model that digital downloads and super competitive pricing brings.
I am like you. I wait for about 95% of my games to go on sale before purchase. But at the same time, I buy more games now than ever simply because they are on sale.
I buy games for cheap I would never ever buy if they were higher price.
I was looking at my Steam account the other day and my buying looked like this.
2005 - 1
2006 - 3
2007 - 4
2008 - 3
2009 (first year of Christmas sale IIRC) - 13
2010 - 38
2011 - 44
2012 to date - 21
As I said before. The AAA games get my top dollar since I simply can't wait for a sale. But the less than AAA games I buy now for the 'what the hell' factor. If it is cheap then I buy it on the chance I may like it.
They are duds often but I also find some real gems like Mount and Blade, Borderlands and the X series.
I have also bought some games twice. I bought Grand Theft Auto 4 (AAA game) on the day of it's release then about 3 years later I purchased it and the expansions on PC when it was on sale. The enhanced graphics and graphics mods were worth the few dollars I paid for it.
This is a very interesting discussion :)