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Rock Star Pricing

I had a discussion today regarding Rock Star's pricing. It has only come up within FSS a few times, and we'd mostly decided that $19 was a fair price. After all, it's a multi-/single-player game with an Internet high scores board.

My friend said "how bout $9.99?" We don't like the odd "cents" at the end - it's a silly ploy that tries to trick people into thinking $9.99 is "less than ten bucks!" (Granted, it IS, but you know what I mean.) So, anyway, he thinks $9 or $10 is fair and accurate.

We want to price Rock Star appropriately. We want paid for the work we've done, but we don't want to overcharge either. It's software, and our costs (bandwidth included) are largely static, so a lower price works out very nicely if we can make up for it in volume. 500 copies of a $20 game nets the same income as 1000 copies of a $10 game.

Outside of the realms of first-grade math, pricing a product is a crapshoot. It's a SWAG - scientific wild-assed guess. FTPeel was priced at $19 because, at 1.0, it didn't do everything (specifically SFTP) that other, more expensive FTP apps did. Version 1.1 added SFTP, so now we consider $19 a tad low (but still comfortable). Rock Star isn't a huge game ($49), but it's not some goofy little throw-away game either ($5, free).

What do you think? Please resist the temptation to say "free!" just because you're a cheapass. 🙂 What is a fair and accurate price that should give us a good income (to further develop both Rock Star and other products).

Please also resist the urge to lecture us on the greediness of corporations - we ain't one, but we do like to eat and, y'know, have shelter from the elements now and then. We do what we can for free anyway.

What do you think? $9? $19? Something else?

19 Responses to "Rock Star Pricing"

  1. I downloaded the demo and played around with it. I think $20 is reasonable for this app. In addition, I think you could add additional features/games to this app later for an additional fee (Rock Star Pro?).

  2. $14, right in the middle.

  3. I think it is worth $19, but it would be cool to have a $9 single player edition and a $14 Multiplayer edition or sell an edition that has both for $19.

    I don't think any of my friends would like to play the multiplayer game with me so I would opt for the $9 one but people who do throw parties (instead of the once in a while birthday thing) would go for a $19 version that would do both.

  4. Also, you are talking volume. I see 1000 $10 games rake in less than 500 $20 games because bandwidth and credit card processing would cut deeper in to the 1000 $10 downloads and purchases. (unless your processor changes only a flat % of the total purchase amount and not a flat fee but a smaller %)

  5. Jonathan: Three versions is a good thought, but goes against the "KISS" principle we try to apply to our software and our management (i.e. managing lists of customers, etc.). Still, it's a curious enough idea that we'll give it some thought.

    And FWIW, we're charged a flat % and our bandwidth costs aren't affected. We have a high ceiling. Besides, I'm not sure the initial "demo" download is affected by price much, and that's where the bandwidth hit is the largest.

  6. i say the 10-12$ range is more appropriate for RockStar.

    And the price of FTPeel should likely go up if it has more features now!

  7. I'd say $14-$19, depending on the level on Network Play support. From the demo, Rock Star seems pretty seems like something I could waste a lot of time playing (certainly a better interface than the iPod version).

    However, I also wasted a lot of time playing iConquer. It's got network play, but I was never able to find anyone to play against because there's no central server or GameRanger support.

    Make it easy to find (not just start or join) a network game and I'd have no problem problem paying out the higher price tag.

  8. 19 gives you the opportunity to go to 9 later to get another bump of subscribers in six months. 9, you don't have much downward flexibility. Besides, $9 games sound bargain-basement cheap. If it's only worth $9, it's probably not worth playing.

  9. I would say $12 is an appropriate price. The reason I say that is that Enigmo is $20 as well, and for the price I feel it offers a lot more in terms of gameplay, etc.

  10. I also think $12 (or so) is a good price. I might buy it for $12, but I doubt I will for $20. And $3 is not really that much more for people (compared to $9), but it adds up for you..

  11. Personally, I subscribe to the WalMart theory: make it cheap, and sell a lot. In my opinion, people are a lot more likely to register shareware if they can just say "Oh, what the hell--I spend more than that on lunch!"

  12. I don't see how network play would work unless it was within the subnet so itunes could stream the music (sorry if it was stated in the rock star article) and I agree with buzz about making it so cheap folks won't think about it. (for the price of a hour long album, you'll have 100s of hours of fun).

    Personally I wouldn't spend more than $9 on the game because as I said, I know no one to really play a good game with and I could always just play the music quiz game on the ipod.

  13. I may been inserting features into Erik's product (it's the marketing equivalent of putting words into somebody else's mouth) - I think I read Multiplayer and assumed Network play.

  14. 9$ is a great price to pay for a game.

    I'm confused what is so great about this game -- I mean, it's lots of fun, but I can buy StarCraft at CompUSA for like 15$ now. StarCraft is better =]

  15. I think between $9 and $15, that is about what it is worth to me. I think it is a fun game, but it is like iConquer in that I pick it up play it for a little while and then don't play it for a day or week or so. Every now and then I play a multiplayer game, it is rare, but still an appreciated feature.

  16. I wouldn't price it too high--it's a really simple game. Fun, but all the entertainment comes from your own music. If you charge too much, you'll spawn someone else to make something similar and charge half (That IS the Walmart way).

    I am a fan of the .99 thing... But if you don't like it, $10 would be fair. I register $10 apps quickly, $20 ones not nearly as often.

  17. I'd say $10-12 was fair. Also, because I'm in Canada, that works out to about (or should I say, aboot) $13-18, depending on the exchange rate.

  18. i'm very picky about buying shareware, i only buy it if i truly can't live without it AND is reasonably priced. i have, to-date, not bought any shareware games, it usually turns out not to be worth it. This is a very nice game. However, I can tell you this, i will not pay for it. It will not bring me the oodles of joy promised, and i'll end up only playing it a couple of times. But i'm not everyone. I suggest a ten dollar price tag, or something around there.

  19. You're not everyone. I won't be buying your game either. So… thanks for stopping by? I don't know what kind of response you want.