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RE: Pricing

 
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RE: Pricing - 4/15/2013 4:27:03 AM   
general_solomon

 

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I am sorry to go off topic but a PON Rome would be awesome.

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Post #: 151
RE: Pricing - 4/15/2013 8:15:03 AM   
Pocus


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You can try Alea Jacta Est and Birth of Rome, for a very good appetizer!

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Post #: 152
RE: Pricing - 4/15/2013 10:55:00 PM   
JW

 

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I support Matrix/Slitherine/AGEOD. AGEOD is a tremendous company that makes some really great games. To be honest, I tried PON, and it was too complex for my tastes. It is a grognard type game in my opinion, and I am not quite a grognard. But I am having a ball playing Alea Jacta Est/Birth of Rome.

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Post #: 153
RE: Pricing - 4/17/2013 12:33:02 AM   
LRRP

 

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Hey I have a 2 year old Kia I bought new for $14,000 it had some engine issues and would just shut down for no reason. I am offering it on sale today for $15,000 and it has 30,000 miles on it. Just trying to add some humor in this thread. LOL

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Post #: 154
RE: Pricing - 4/17/2013 12:47:18 AM   
bairdlander

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil

Sorry I didn't mean to, but my point is that when you sell something for a low price people don't value it. If the price is higher they value it more and tend to get more enjoyment from it.

Exactly right,the other argument could be "its a niche market,we have no choice to sell for this price",both are valid points

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Post #: 155
RE: Pricing - 4/17/2013 1:10:33 AM   
rogo727


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Lol! Well Kia enough said. Sorry my friend. You did what matrix/slitherine didn't do and that is research the market .
quote:

ORIGINAL: LRRP

Hey I have a 2 year old Kia I bought new for $14,000 it had some engine issues and would just shut down for no reason. I am offering it on sale today for $15,000 and it has 30,000 miles on it. Just trying to add some humor in this thread. LOL



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Post #: 156
RE: Pricing - 4/17/2013 1:38:22 AM   
Twotribes


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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

Lol! Well Kia enough said. Sorry my friend. You did what matrix/slitherine didn't do and that is research the market .
quote:

ORIGINAL: LRRP

Hey I have a 2 year old Kia I bought new for $14,000 it had some engine issues and would just shut down for no reason. I am offering it on sale today for $15,000 and it has 30,000 miles on it. Just trying to add some humor in this thread. LOL



I thought you were done posting in this thread? I mean you already have the game, you have no point.

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Post #: 157
RE: Pricing - 4/17/2013 2:47:06 PM   
Iain McNeil


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I think this has run its course and everyone has made their point of view made so maybe its time to move on and talk about the game :)

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Post #: 158
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 7:38:35 AM   
Johan

 

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Some facts are not entirely correct.

PoN was never sold at 1.50$. It was at 4.95 several times when we had -75% off sales. The average amount of money we got for a game was about 13$ (after the distributor cuts).

We based the pricing on what we know usually nets a decent amount of sales, but the game had some problems which made it impossible to turn a profit.

a) It was enormously costly in development, even disregarding the costs AGEOD had before we bought them, we still had to fund another 18 months of development in total on the game.

b) The game had really bad reviews, 70 at metacritic is a kiss of death.

c) Bad word of mouth, due to awkward interfaces, and very slow game-turns.

And when a game can not even sell 10,000 copies in the first 3 months, it does not matter what you price it.


When it comes to sales...

If a game is accessible and had decent enough reviews, then when you sell at a discount at steam, you sell somewhere about 20-50x what you usually sell in a month in revenue. Pride of Nations never managed to do that for us.



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Post #: 159
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 12:33:02 PM   
Iain McNeil


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Hi Johan

where are you getting your data from?

The key with PoN is its not an accessible game and trying to sell it as one is doomed to failure before you begin.

Cheers

Iain




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Post #: 160
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 12:56:04 PM   
vonRocko

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Johan

Some facts are not entirely correct.

PoN was never sold at 1.50$. It was at 4.95 several times when we had -75% off sales. The average amount of money we got for a game was about 13$ (after the distributor cuts).

We based the pricing on what we know usually nets a decent amount of sales, but the game had some problems which made it impossible to turn a profit.

a) It was enormously costly in development, even disregarding the costs AGEOD had before we bought them, we still had to fund another 18 months of development in total on the game.

b) The game had really bad reviews, 70 at metacritic is a kiss of death.

c) Bad word of mouth, due to awkward interfaces, and very slow game-turns.

And when a game can not even sell 10,000 copies in the first 3 months, it does not matter what you price it.


When it comes to sales...

If a game is accessible and had decent enough reviews, then when you sell at a discount at steam, you sell somewhere about 20-50x what you usually sell in a month in revenue. Pride of Nations never managed to do that for us.




You're full of #@$% Johan! I paid $1.50 at gamersgate. I put the games failure right in your lap.

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Post #: 161
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 1:20:32 PM   
RockKahn

 

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I've never seen Pride of Nations sold for $1.50, but I haven't been watching the price, either. I came pretty close on Jan 2, 2012 when I picked it up for $1.70.

I had already purchased ACW and BoA2 from Matrix. I hadn't planned to buy this game, but I loved my other AGEOD games so much I bought it. I couldn't pass it up for that price.

I've played the game a lot and I think it's probably worth $25. I think it's a lot more complex that ACW and BoA2.

My goal is to buy games at less that what I think it's worth. I have failed many times, but try to wait until Christmas sales. I'm kind of a cheapskate.










Attachment (1)

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Post #: 162
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 2:46:42 PM   
Johan

 

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That sounds weird. I was never aware of any price drops of -90%.


quote:

ORIGINAL: vonRocko
I put the games failure right in your lap.


Yeah, you are right.

In hindsight, the game should have been cancelled when we knew how bad Rise of Prussia was doing, and we saw the risks.




< Message edited by Johan -- 4/18/2013 2:50:38 PM >

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Post #: 163
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 3:19:37 PM   
wosung

 

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Interesting assessment.

So the lesson is: if TBS then only WW2, Rome, Nappy?!

I wonder how Slitherixod will handle PON and what games Ageod will make in the future, apart from AACW2.


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Post #: 164
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 4:17:57 PM   
Iain McNeil


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Hi Johan

the games are both good but the business model just was not appropriate. These detailed games are never going to sell to a mass market, but they do make money. They have their niche and this is where they need to stay. In their niche they can command reasonable price that makes development sustainable and profitable. They do not need to sell 10,000 units in 3 months to break even. The tail is much much longer on these games and 2-5 years on you can still get significant revenues if you keep faith, support them and don't heavily discount. Paradox has slowly drifted out of the strategy games market and is now targeting the mainstream with games like Magicka which has been a great success for you guys. The business model that suits this move just doesn't fit these detailed strategy games very well. Good luck and hope it all goes well for you!

Cheers

Iain




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Post #: 165
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 6:55:10 PM   
Hertston


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Johan

In hindsight, the game should have been cancelled when we knew how bad Rise of Prussia was doing, and we saw the risks.


It's at least arguable that PoN could be marketed at a 'mass' audience, particularly the subset of 'Joe Gamer' that is quite comfortable with games like the EU3, HoI3 and Vicky 2. Nobody could ever have thought that about Rise of Prussia or Revolution under Siege so surely that's an 'apples and oranges' comparison?

Anyway, at least it seems to be agreed all around that Ageod are much better off with Matrix/Slitherene than Paradox. May everybody sell lots of games to their targeted market.

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Post #: 166
RE: Pricing - 4/18/2013 8:58:55 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wosung

Interesting assessment.

So the lesson is: if TBS then only WW2, Rome, Nappy?!

I wonder how Slitherixod will handle PON and what games Ageod will make in the future, apart from AACW2.




IIRC, they are of the opinion that there is no market for turn based games.

The instant I found out that March of the Eagles was not turn based, I dropped it from my buy list.

< Message edited by Aurelian -- 4/18/2013 9:01:18 PM >

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Post #: 167
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 3:32:13 AM   
kentcol

 

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LOCK!

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Post #: 168
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 7:21:35 AM   
Johan

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil
the games are both good but the business model just was not appropriate. These detailed games are never going to sell to a mass market, but they do make money. They have their niche and this is where they need to stay. In their niche they can command reasonable price that makes development sustainable and profitable. They do not need to sell 10,000 units in 3 months to break even.


The size of a market is not entirely depending on the detail of the game.

Victoria 2 is arguably as detailed as Pride of Nations, but had better interface & better performance. This gave it better reviews, and sales numbers at about 20 times what PoN has had.

The median time played for Pride of Nations was 1 hour & 13 minutes in total. Victoria 2 had 13 hours & 12 minutes.

I'm 100% convinced that Pride of Nations, with a good interface design, and running on an engine that does not stall for 2 minutes at the end of a turn, would sell far far better than it did.


quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil
The tail is much much longer on these games and 2-5 years on you can still get significant revenues if you keep faith, support them and don't heavily discount


Good games that have good replayability always have a very good tail. Heavy discounts bring in new players, and then those buy more and more.

All our old strategygames that people play still sell very good for us. As a comparison, HoI3, the most detailed game we ever published, which was released almost 4 years ago, gave us more revenue (on the basegame at 9.99$) in the last month than the total amount of money we ever got on Rise of Prussia.




quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil
Paradox has slowly drifted out of the strategy games market and is now targeting the mainstream with games like Magicka which has been a great success for you guys. The business model that suits this move just doesn't fit these detailed strategy games very well.


Actually, we have done strategygames before and after Magicka that has not been that far off in revenue. All while doing discounts to bring in new customers.

We are still doing insanely detailed strategygames.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil
Good luck and hope it all goes well for you!


I hope everything goes fine with you guys as well.. and I am very happy Philippe & Philippe are still in the industry.. I like them alot.

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Post #: 169
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 2:29:11 PM   
Alchenar

 

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I do enjoy seeing the "People play games longer when they cost more" bare assertion being challenged by conclusions from actual data collected by Steam.


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Post #: 170
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 3:01:01 PM   
tocaff


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The best return for my money in gaming was Uncommon Valor, War In The Pacific and now War In The Pacific/Admiral's Edition. The price of a game means nothing depending on how much play time you have with it.

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Post #: 171
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 3:05:24 PM   
wodin


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I thought Johan was quite calm considering it had been implied the pricing was to be considered illegal..

I'm not sure this niche thing holds up so well in the cold light of day..certain battles\wars maybe considered niche but not strategy games as awhole. I also have a feeling developers are put off from doing anything to far out there when it comes to the era they choose because of fears it wont sell so well. Yet I thought that was why the pricing was the way it was, due to low sales and it being a niche market.

Still nothing will change SLitherines stance here..so it's beating a dead horse.

I still support you in what you do and I'm looking forward to future releases..however when it comes to pricing of old\older games I just can't agree with it.

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Post #: 172
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 3:46:06 PM   
Alchenar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I thought Johan was quite calm considering it had been implied the pricing was to be considered illegal..

I'm not sure this niche thing holds up so well in the cold light of day..certain battles\wars maybe considered niche but not strategy games as awhole. I also have a feeling developers are put off from doing anything to far out there when it comes to the era they choose because of fears it wont sell so well. Yet I thought that was why the pricing was the way it was, due to low sales and it being a niche market.

Still nothing will change SLitherines stance here..so it's beating a dead horse.

I still support you in what you do and I'm looking forward to future releases..however when it comes to pricing of old\older games I just can't agree with it.


I think Johan nails it: if you make a game accessible and reasonably priced then they will come. Which is why Paradox can make extremely detailed and deep grand-strategy games and make money out of them.

I think Slitherine/Matrix have stuck themselves in a self fulfilling prophecy summed up in the quote "These detailed games are never going to sell to a mass market, but they do make money. They have their niche and this is where they need to stay."

It's just wrong. The niche only exists because zero effort is made to make games accessible to new players in terms of UI, Demos and pricing. Note that the two recent games which have paid attention to those areas (Panzer Corps and Unity of Command) have sold above expectations and are either on Steam or Steam Greenlight.

Want another example? XCOM. In gameplay terms it has all the fundamental elements of a wargame, they're just packaged with a slightly different wrapping. It sold massively. Look at Civilisation. Look at games like Eador, Heroes of Might and Magic, and King's Bounty. All of those games are turn-based strategy with some substantial depth to them (no, they aren't calculating the path a rifle cartridge takes from the factory to a soldier on the outskirts of Moscow, but on the player end there still some serious math that needs to be done). There is a fairly substantial mainstream market out there looking for detailed and accessible strategy games.

Wargames are only as much of a niche as they choose to be.

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Post #: 173
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 7:20:10 PM   
DBeves

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

You almost make me feel guilty for buying this game at 1.99. I did mess around with it and told myself no big loss. I see I have missed some updates for this game. And what you say is also true about life in general....to get out what you but in.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil

Rogo remind what price you bough the game at.

One of the things we have found is that demos for these huge games don't work well. The reason is that these games take a lot of effort to get you going. You need to put in the time to get something out but when you do you're rewarded with an extremely deep and fulfilling experience. When you pay for something you're willing to invest that time and push through a certain amount of frustration. When you get something for free you are much more likely to give up at the first hurdle or point of frustration as you've lost nothing. Someone who would enjoy the game if they paid for it, does not enjoy it if they get it for free as they never get into it enough.

Taking that a step further, someone who only paid a few dollars for the game is less likely to put in the effort required to get the most out of it. I'm wondering if this is where you are right now. If you had paid $24.99 would you have persisted when you gave up because you paid less?





Well no, surely the point with you is that you have said several times you bought the game for the ridiculous price of 1.99. You then come here spouting pages of vitriol at matrix for increasing the price. But if you already bought the game at 1.99 WTF, exactly, is your problem ? Not only is no one asking you to buy it again - but you already have it.

< Message edited by DBeves -- 4/19/2013 7:21:40 PM >

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Post #: 174
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 8:55:07 PM   
Aurelian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DBeves

quote:

ORIGINAL: rogo727

You almost make me feel guilty for buying this game at 1.99. I did mess around with it and told myself no big loss. I see I have missed some updates for this game. And what you say is also true about life in general....to get out what you but in.
quote:

ORIGINAL: Iain McNeil

Rogo remind what price you bough the game at.

One of the things we have found is that demos for these huge games don't work well. The reason is that these games take a lot of effort to get you going. You need to put in the time to get something out but when you do you're rewarded with an extremely deep and fulfilling experience. When you pay for something you're willing to invest that time and push through a certain amount of frustration. When you get something for free you are much more likely to give up at the first hurdle or point of frustration as you've lost nothing. Someone who would enjoy the game if they paid for it, does not enjoy it if they get it for free as they never get into it enough.

Taking that a step further, someone who only paid a few dollars for the game is less likely to put in the effort required to get the most out of it. I'm wondering if this is where you are right now. If you had paid $24.99 would you have persisted when you gave up because you paid less?





Well no, surely the point with you is that you have said several times you bought the game for the ridiculous price of 1.99. You then come here spouting pages of vitriol at matrix for increasing the price. But if you already bought the game at 1.99 WTF, exactly, is your problem ? Not only is no one asking you to buy it again - but you already have it.


I paid $19.99 for it. That was the price on release. I thought is was a dang good price. If I had to buy it now, $24.99 is a dang good price. The difference in price is less than a meal at McDonalds.

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Post #: 175
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 9:58:33 PM   
DBeves

 

Posts: 393
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alchenar


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I thought Johan was quite calm considering it had been implied the pricing was to be considered illegal..

I'm not sure this niche thing holds up so well in the cold light of day..certain battles\wars maybe considered niche but not strategy games as awhole. I also have a feeling developers are put off from doing anything to far out there when it comes to the era they choose because of fears it wont sell so well. Yet I thought that was why the pricing was the way it was, due to low sales and it being a niche market.

Still nothing will change SLitherines stance here..so it's beating a dead horse.

I still support you in what you do and I'm looking forward to future releases..however when it comes to pricing of old\older games I just can't agree with it.


I think Johan nails it: if you make a game accessible and reasonably priced then they will come. Which is why Paradox can make extremely detailed and deep grand-strategy games and make money out of them.

I think Slitherine/Matrix have stuck themselves in a self fulfilling prophecy summed up in the quote "These detailed games are never going to sell to a mass market, but they do make money. They have their niche and this is where they need to stay."

It's just wrong. The niche only exists because zero effort is made to make games accessible to new players in terms of UI, Demos and pricing. Note that the two recent games which have paid attention to those areas (Panzer Corps and Unity of Command) have sold above expectations and are either on Steam or Steam Greenlight.

Want another example? XCOM. In gameplay terms it has all the fundamental elements of a wargame, they're just packaged with a slightly different wrapping. It sold massively. Look at Civilisation. Look at games like Eador, Heroes of Might and Magic, and King's Bounty. All of those games are turn-based strategy with some substantial depth to them (no, they aren't calculating the path a rifle cartridge takes from the factory to a soldier on the outskirts of Moscow, but on the player end there still some serious math that needs to be done). There is a fairly substantial mainstream market out there looking for detailed and accessible strategy games.

Wargames are only as much of a niche as they choose to be.

quote:

gameplay terms it has all the fundamental elements of a wargame, they're just packaged with a slightly different wrapping. It sold massively. Look at Civilisation. Look at games like Eador, Heroes of Might and Magic, and King's Bounty. All of those games are turn-based strategy with some substantial depth to them (no, they aren't calculating the path a rifle cartridge takes from the factory to a soldier on the outskirts of Moscow, but on the player end there still some serious math that needs to be done). There is a fairly substantial mainstream


Well - yes and no. Fundametally they are different, yours are shooting aliens or slaying dragons. Its simply a fact that those two things have a much bigger market - precisely because that is what they are about - than a simulation of the military situation in 1700's prussia. Thats entriely the point and you are to a large extent comparing apples with oranges.

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Post #: 176
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 10:07:55 PM   
DBeves

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Johan

That sounds weird. I was never aware of any price drops of -90%.


quote:

ORIGINAL: vonRocko
I put the games failure right in your lap.


Yeah, you are right.

In hindsight, the game should have been cancelled when we knew how bad Rise of Prussia was doing, and we saw the risks.




quote:

Victoria 2 is arguably as detailed as Pride of Nations, but had better interface & better performance


Y,know I find it really odd you are here arguing this. Of course we only have your word for it that everything you said is true and not just BS madeup to support your argument. But more to the point - why would you come to a discussion board of a different company and come here to argue about a game you no longer sell. Smells like some sour grapes along the line somewhere.

"Victoria 2 is arguably as detailed as Pride of Nations, but had better interface & better performance. This gave it better reviews, and sales numbers at about 20 times what PoN has had."
Well PON had a metacritic score of 70 and victoris one of 75 - so review wise there is not much difference - certainly not 20 times the difference - so it seems to me there were other things at play here - such as the paradox name and a certain "auto buy" from paradox loyalists that AGEOD didnt have.

The median time played for Pride of Nations was 1 hour & 13 minutes in total. Victoria 2 had 13 hours & 12 minutes. Well - its a nice number - but is actually meaningless as its not time to play either game to completion or to any great depth - all your number actually tells us is that most of the people who bought it on steam didnt play either game very much. As I always suspect with most steam sales - people buy the games on a whim - and most end up un played - so essentially its irrelevant to the actual argument.

< Message edited by DBeves -- 4/19/2013 10:22:20 PM >

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Post #: 177
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 11:00:39 PM   
Alchenar

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: DBeves
Well - yes and no. Fundametally they are different, yours are shooting aliens or slaying dragons. Its simply a fact that those two things have a much bigger market - precisely because that is what they are about - than a simulation of the military situation in 1700's prussia. Thats entriely the point and you are to a large extent comparing apples with oranges.


Nah you've confused 'fundamentally' with 'superficially'.

What's a person playing XCOM doing? They're calculating risk with hit percentages and cover. They're positioning units to flank enemies and support each other. They're planing contingencies for enemy moves. Strip away all of the graphics and all they're really doing is moving counters on a grid. And those counters could be anything - soldiers and aliens, wizards and dragons, regiments and brigades. Fundamentally it's the same kind of game, you just have to present it the right way.


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Post #: 178
RE: Pricing - 4/19/2013 11:47:16 PM   
alex0809

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Alchenar
Nah you've confused 'fundamentally' with 'superficially'.

What's a person playing XCOM doing? They're calculating risk with hit percentages and cover. They're positioning units to flank enemies and support each other. They're planing contingencies for enemy moves. Strip away all of the graphics and all they're really doing is moving counters on a grid. And those counters could be anything - soldiers and aliens, wizards and dragons, regiments and brigades. Fundamentally it's the same kind of game, you just have to present it the right way.

If you compare XCOM and AGEOD games, they are propably the least alike of any two turn based strategy games you could possibly compare... they have nothing in common apart from both being turn-based.

And also, it does not only depend on "how you present it". Fact is, a game about 18th century warfare in Europe is NOT going to get the same attention as a game about fighting aliens.
It's the same reason as why there is an way higher amount of "mainstream" (I don't like the word, but don't know what to use instead) WW2 games which feature the US of A instead of the in reality way more important Eastern front.

(in reply to Alchenar)
Post #: 179
RE: Pricing - 4/20/2013 12:18:47 AM   
tocaff


Posts: 4623
Joined: 10/12/2006
From: USA now in Brasil
Status: online
The fact of the matter is those in the West view things from their point of view and though the Eastern Front in WW II was the meat grinder it doesn't get the attention.

_____________________________

Todd

I never thought that doing an AAR would be so time consuming and difficult.
www.matrixgames.com/forum/tm.asp?m=2080768

(in reply to alex0809)
Post #: 180
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