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Friday, November 30, 2007

Alec has announced that Bit Blot's debut release Aquaria will be available for purchase starting next Friday, 7th of December 2007. Fans can expect daily updates to Bit Blot's web site, up to the day Aquaria is released. A demo will be made available for download on the same Friday; the (roughly) 200 MB full version for PC retails at USD $30.

- Aquaria release date announcement
- Derek Yu's web site
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 11/30/2007 01:57:00 PM:  
$30, yeowch. I'll buy it anyway though.
Blogger oranda said at 11/30/2007 02:14:00 PM:  
Holy crap, I was beginning to wonder if it would ever be done. A definite buy for me!
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 02:59:00 PM:  
Ah, that's like €20 these days. Seems fair enough. Looking forward to trying out the demo.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 04:03:00 PM:  
People in the UK are willing to pay £25-30 ($50-60) for a Nintendo DS game, many of which are under 32mb of content, and developed on a shoestring budget. £15 for Aquaria, which looks to be a lengthy, incredibly professionally produced game sounds pretty much fair to me.

Odd that you say 'Yeowch' here, Paul. What with selling Immmortal Defense - an undeniably simpler, smaller and lower-budget game - for $23.
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 11/30/2007 04:22:00 PM:  
I'm not sure it's undeniably simpler; we don't know how long Aquaria is in game time, how much story it has, what its budget was, etc. In team size, at least, Aquaria is simpler; we had a team of five, they have (I believe) a team of three. Though one thing I do know is that it took several years to make, whereas ID took less than a year.

But, I think all those factors are irrelevant for pricing. Pricing isn't usually based on how much it cost to make it or how much the game is worth to buy, it's usually based on other factors.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 04:41:00 PM:  
I'm interested to see if this pricing strategy works, at first it seems shockingly high, but at the same time most niche products are more expensive simply because that's the only way to make them feasible given the tiny market.

To me it says "this is a downloadable game, but it's not a casual clone, hence it's not priced like one".

Of course, according to my argument the price is probably still far too low.. it's only 2x that of a casual downloadable game, but the target audience is orders of magnitude lower. This is a super rough guess based on typical sales of good indie games, i.e 4 digits, and casual games, which considering how stupid 99% of the population is, would be 6-7 digits.

And I guess no one is going to play a $4000 game.. or will they??:
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 04:52:00 PM:  
Ouch! I won't be buying that. Sure it's probably a good game, but that's quite high for indie games.

I paid the same price for my imported DS games, for Orange Box et al. No ta! I'll stick with them :)
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 04:55:00 PM:  
Wow, imagine how many penises Derek could buy with $30?
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 06:38:00 PM:  
Oh? What's that? You say the game Aquaria is tied with pirates? Oh, why thank you!
Blogger Shih Tzu said at 11/30/2007 07:30:00 PM:  
Del Duio: Mine, twice.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 07:47:00 PM:  
The price is right. $30 is well worth it. $50 would be well worth it! This game is ALL content, extremely polished and professional, with the length of a mainstream game.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 07:56:00 PM:  
"...with the length of a mainstream game."

wait, is that a good thing?

Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/30/2007 11:54:00 PM:  
Hey woot! I can't wait.
Blogger JS said at 12/01/2007 07:26:00 AM:  
30$ is high for a game without media. I'd be more than happy to shell that money if I get a boxed CD to go along with it, but it seems that I won't.

For example, and it might be a bad one, but I'm taking a break from playing Mario Party DS with my gf to write this. Did I mention that the game support fully multi-DS play with only 1 cart? How much did I pay for it? 24.95 at Costco.

In a world where all the commercial video game houses are trying to lower theirs prices, a raise of about 10$ from the average indie is weird to me.

I love indie games, but that's because I love video games. Yes I am a little older than the average male casual gamers (I'm 31), so maybe Aquaria doesn't target me, but even with my above average disposable income, I won't shell out 30$ for a downloadable game.

"older" non-casual gamers will rather spend that money on the Orange Box than some obscur indie game.
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 12/01/2007 08:38:00 AM:  
What is "orange box"? I've never heard of that game, so that is much more obscure to me than Aquaria.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 12/01/2007 09:08:00 AM:  
in 3rd world countries like mine you have to pay for that 200mb bandwith as well.
not that i was going to buy it anyway.
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 12/01/2007 09:20:00 AM:  
Ah, I hate FPS games, I can't play them for any length of time before becoming vaguely dizzy, so that's probably why I never heard of it. Valve should try making something besides FPS games.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 12/01/2007 12:38:00 PM:  
Screw this "for an indie game" crap. Times are changing, folks.

Jean-Sebastien: You are wrong.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 12/01/2007 01:40:00 PM:  
30 bucks is a bit "yeowch", yes, but I'll buy the game eventually if it's good regardless. Can't wait for the demo.
Blogger JS said at 12/01/2007 02:29:00 PM:  
BMcC : I was waiting for retort of the derek's penis kind, but this is even better. Not even the slightess hint of why I am wrong, beside probably blind adoration(which I do not suffer from)

30$ for an 2D commercial (see? no "indie". Lets compare it to commercial offering) game is a mistake, especially around Christmas where everyone and their uncles have deals on their games. Put it at 20$ until January as a promotion for supporters and early adopters, and 30$ after, but otherwise I do believe it is a mistake.

Yes, they won a prestigeous award, but for the casual gamers those awards aren't more impressive than the "specialized press" excerpt that commercial game manufacturer placade their ads with. They can only ride that award for so long, especially around chritmas time.

I have no doubt that they will make tons of cash, heck, I live of my games and they are far more crappy than Aquaria on every level, but I wouldn't live from my games if they were 50% more than every other comparable products out there. (No, this is not bitterness due to fearing that they will steal any money from my "customer", I do mobile games, not PC games)
Anonymous Anonymous said at 12/01/2007 07:56:00 PM:  
$30 is certainly fair. The average consumer is able to pay low prices for commercial games because they go through enormous distributors that buy in bulk. The companies that make commercial games pump huge amounts of cash into their productions and make it back by selling on volume, using heavy advertising to get the word out. Independent game studios can't afford that, so the price is going to be higher.

Just think of it as a donation to the quality independent game culture that we're a part of. To make money off of this game, that might inspire the developers of all independent games to make more games, that we then spend more money on, so they can make more games, ad infinitum
Blogger Alec said at 12/01/2007 10:02:00 PM:  
BMCC's played the game a few times, so he's definitely not blind. :)

I also don't think we're "riding an award". I'd much rather ride a good game.
Blogger Unknown said at 12/02/2007 05:05:00 AM:  
I would also be much happier to pay this amount for a physical copy than for a download.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 12/02/2007 07:21:00 AM:  
Yeah a CD and a booklet would totally be worth the $30 tag no question.

The problem is, these poor guys would have to spend every day down at the post office trying to send Aquaria out en masse to their customers. It sounds like it'd be worth it for maybe the first 25 or so, but if this thing sells into the thousands it'd be a royal pain in the ass I'm sure.
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 12/02/2007 09:04:00 AM:  
There are companies that handle the mailing of games for you; you ship them 100 or 500 copies and then send them mailing addresses as people order it and they send the copies to people. I'm not sure how much they charge, but I don't think that much.
Anonymous Anonymous said at 12/02/2007 09:53:00 AM:  
30$ is pretty expensive for a download.

I'm sure the game would be more successful if it was released a la Radiohead (i mean the whole "choose your price" philosophy).
Blogger miyamoto-SAN said at 12/02/2007 12:11:00 PM:  
Almost everyone always picks "one cent" for that type of thing, though.