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Indie developers unhappy with pricing change

by on10 August 2009


Some suggest that it will be a race to the bottom

On August 11th when Microsoft officially launches the next batch of updates for the Xbox 360, the Microsoft Xbox Live Community Games will be getting an overhaul, as we have told you about previously. While the name will chance to Xbox Live Indie Games, so too will the pricing structure, which will now feature lower price points ranging from $1 to $5 with the new structure.

While Microsoft claims that they are responding to the requests of developers who are saying that sales will be higher if they prices are lower, it seems that not all hobbyist/amateur/bedroom developers seem to feel that the new pricing structure will actually benefit all developers. Some might now actually be discouraged from using the Xbox Live Indie Games program to distribute the programs that they develop because simply the new pricing structure could lead to nothing more than a race to see who can sell the highest quality titles for the least amount of money.

Some Indie developers are already saying that the new pricing strategy, which caps the highest possible price at $5, is too low. Some have commented that while they don’t see a problem with offering lower price points, they think that higher end and high quality titles will not be developed if they can only be sold for $5 on the high end. Some developers suggest that some titles that have been released offer content that is simply worth more than $5.

It seems that the debate between different factions of Indie developers over this very issue has been very heated. Some are suggesting that some developers want the lower prices to make up for poor sales of titles that were “marginal” to begin with.

Other developers claim that some blame the old pricing scheme for their lack of sales and they are not actually interpreting the sales data correctly to draw the right conclusions on what the cause for lack of sales actually is.

We suspect that the discussion over pricing will not go away anytime soon, but we hate to think that some developers will be scared off from putting a product out because they just don’t think there is any money to be made because of the pricing scheme that will be in place going forward. Only time will tell how this will shake out.

Last modified on 10 August 2009
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