From: Cornwall, UK
ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
To cut to the chase, you are suggesting that we make some kind of special decrease of our UK prices to detach them from our US (and worldwide) prices in order to match mass market retail shelf pricing?
No. I'm suggesting that you set prices seperately for each market, according to the pricing history of, and prevailing conditions and expectations within each market, at least in the short term. I would not anticipate pricing to match mass market shelf pricing as your sales volumes are much lower, but I would anticipate prices not totally out of step with it.
How would this be fair to anyone outside the UK? Do you think we sell the same level of units as most retail shelf titles, such that it would make sense for us and our developers to do that?
I fail to see how it would be unfair as, for example, nobody in the US would be paying any more. In both cases, in terms of our pay packets, we would be paying much the same as we always have.
I'm sorry to hear that you are looking elsewhere for your gaming and I appreciate that you're giving us what you feel is important and urgent advice. However, keep in mind that economies of scale don't apply to wargaming as they do to many other gaming genres. We can only go so far down in pricing before we should be fired for business incompetence, as we'd put ourselves out of business. The fact is that the pricing needs to stay where it is (or go higher) in order to both keep our developers ahead of their bills and fund future wargame development.
I'm not looking 'elsewhere' any more than I always have, and there are a couple of Matrix titles I will most certainly buy. But at current prices I will buy fewer titles, yes.
I don't follow your argument regarding pricing. Or at least I do, but I don't see how it is relevant. IMVHO a price reduction to something more competitive will increase your profits rather than reduce them, i.e additional sales volume will more than compensate for the reduction in profit for each unit. I am making a big assumption there, true, and you will have the figures and I don't. If that assumption is wrong, fair enough.. I have no case. But it does seem that the folks at Steam agree with me.
There just comes a point where every customer has to decided if a game is worth the price we're asking and if they'd like to see more games from a particular developer/publisher. As long as enough customers accept the prices that are required for wargames to continue to be developed and published, there will be wargames in abundance. If that stops, so will the wargames. Wargames by and large can't make their development cost back at a "budget" price and frankly overall wargame prices should probably be higher if we want to continue to advance the art of wargame design and development.
I accept that. I'm only asking you to consider the possibility that significant price hikes (as they appear to us) must hurt sales. It's not a case of a 'budget price', it is what is to us the same price. No matter how much you may want to support wargames developers, if you have only so much money available for games you will buy fewer of them if their prices increase. And if, like me, other gaming genres also appeal on occasion, they are likely toi appeal even more as they get relatively cheaper. That now includes not only major releases I can buy in stores, but a substantial amount of indie stuff from Steam.
For sake of argument, because you can get a copy of "Monopoly" at a store for $19.99, do you expect the latest board wargame from GMT to be priced the same? Do you understand why it can't be? If you are a wargamer, buying and playing Monopoly is not going to be as satisfying as buying and playing that new wargame. How much is that worth to you?
It is not, sticking with your metaphor, that the latest wargame from GMT costs more than Monopoly. It's that the latest wargame from GMT costs substantially more than the previous wargame from GMT while the price of Monopoly remains unchanged. Not only that; this year's flavour of the month in family board gaming is the same price as Monopoly. And Monopoly can be kind of fun, after all..