Guys, I think a lot of you are missing the point. We aren't talking about a brand spanking new game here. PON is three years old. At release I paid $19.99 for it. Whether Ageod/Paradox or whoever was sustainable at that price is really not my concern. They asked the price and I paid it. Three years ago. And let's be honest. At release PON had a lot of problems and still does. For Slitherine/Matrix to now ask $24.99 for a three year old game which still has problems is a little questionable to me. Let's also not forget the fact that PON has been sold for very low prices right up until just recently. Keep in mind that anybody who really wanted to buy the game probably did already. How many more sales of PON do they think they're going to get? Especially when people find out that it was sold cheaper elsewhere and that Slitherine/Matrix raised the price.
Slitherine/Matrix has a huge problem with pricing. Not only with their older games but with a lot of their games. With today's economy asking $60, $70, $80 or more for a computer game is a little ridiculous. Especially games that are 5+ years old. Add to that the fact that most of the Slitherine/Matrix catalog are works in progress and it makes it even more ridiculous. I have games that I bought at least 3 years ago that are still being patched for bugs (EiA, WiTE, WiTP AE just to name a few). Patches that add features or allow the games to work with new video cards or OS'es are understandable. But you would think bugs could be found and fixed in a reasonable amount of time. I'm not saying I expect 100% bugfree software when I make a purchase. That's impossible. But I don't want to be a guinea pig or paying beta tester either.
The last thing I'd like to point out is that just because one pay's a higher price for something doesn't mean they hold it in higher value. Case in point WiTP and WiTE. $80 games. I almost feel obligated to play them just so I won't feel as though I wasted my money. EiA is a different story. $70 game. And in my opinion it's junk. I wasted my money. Almost 6 years after release and it's still buggy. PON, which started this whole uproar, released 3 years ago and I still can't get it to play at a reasonable speed even with a quad core system. I thought it was a bad game 3 years ago and got banned from Paradox forums for saying so. I really think I'm done with computer gaming. Prices are too high for something that won't last 20 or 30 years. I seriously doubt I'll be able to play any current computer game 20 or 30 years from now. It almost seems like a waste of good money. On the other hand, books and boardgames if kept in good condition can last a lifetime. I wish Slitherine/Matrix the best of luck but they've got their last dime from me. High prices and works in progress are enough for me to walk away.
No, I say again, the point is not being missed.
Firstly though let me get out of the way the point about the value of a game to a player and the amount paid. I think that is an unwelcome distraction from the core source of disagreement. For the record I do not buy that argument - I don't care how much I pay, I am not going to like a game more or invest more time in a game just because I paid more for it. If its good and has my interest I will play it - if its rubbish - like EIA - then I will not play it regardless of the fact it was not cheap.
But anyway back to the pricing issue. Suppose a second hand car dealer buys a second hand Mercedes from a customer as part of a trade-in. The car dealer will weigh up what he thinks he can sell that car for in the future and thus what profit there is in it for him in deciding the price.
Having bought that car he now puts it on the forecourt at the price he believes it will sell at. THAT IS HIS CHOICE, and having ownership of the vehicle, HIS RIGHT. He might choose to put a premium on the car (compared to what others are selling similar vintage/marque cars at) because of his company's after sales service is better or because he has a quality reputation or just because he thinks he can. But that's FOR HIM to decide - its his business, his money that paid for it in the first place, his risk.
Now I might want that Mercedes (I probably do) but I might decide its too much. If so then sure, I can go up to the dealer and complain till I'm blue in the face that he should sell it cheaper because its 3-years old and I think Mercedes have a few issues I'm not happy with. What do you think his response would be?
Selling a game that is known to be buggy without a clear warning is a pretty questionable business practice, though.
If that is true then all software developers (not just game developers) stand guilty as charged. I agree though that all software developers should carry the warning - This Software May Not Be Perfect.
Besides, it is my understanding (and again, I could be wrong) that AGEOD intends to resume development of PON and it was the ultra low prices and the low income from the game that caused development to stop in the first place.
I love the smell of TOAW in the morning...