Posted by Rampant Coyote on March 10, 2017
I went to the nickle arcade a couple of weeks ago with my family. We had a great time, playing a bunch of classic arcade games. Some of the more popular games required two, three, or even four nickles to play. Which is still a lot less than the $0.25 they were originally slotted for (which, for the older machines, was worth closer to $0.50 in today’s money.) The arcade pretty much made it’s money on the entrance fee… I imagine the money earned by the machines pretty much covers maintenance and not much else.
But although I have many of these games – in many cases in their fully emulated splendor – at home, there’s something different about playing Dance Dance Revolution at the arcade, or shooting aliens in Galaga with the actual controls. So… it’s fun. I definitely enjoyed it.
Even that pittance that I plunked into the machines that day is way more than any of these games in this bundle… it’s 46 indie games for $1. The “Dollar Ultra Bundle” at BundleStars.com. So, we’re talking a little over $0.02 a game. After Bundle and the publisher take their cut, we’re probably talking maybe $0.01 per sale going to the developers per game.
Now, I like cheap games as much as the next person, but I really have to scratch my head at this one. I mean, I totally see the value of bundles, and of deep discounts for marketing efforts, and all that good stuff. But I can’t figure this one out. Marketing-wise… with 45 competing games, how do you even make sure you game gets noticed here? With so many sequels included in the list, it’s not like giving a game away for free to encourage sales of the sequels. Even if the bundle sells amazingly well, the income for the developers is tiny.
All I can think (especially given the $0.99 base price of the games) is that this is shovelware in the extreme. Or that the publisher is going out of business and is shooting for one last hurrah to squeeze out a few extra hundred dollars… if they are very lucky.
So yeah, I’m baffled. And I’m amazed that the “race to the bottom” in indie games has not yet hit rock bottom. They just pulled out a shovel and dug a hole to go deeper, I guess. Maybe there’s a strategy here I don’t understand. Or maybe the developers are FREAKING AWESOME and each of these games took 1 guy only 1 day to make them, and this is a low-pressure way to pay for the small pizza for the next game-in-a-day competition. Or maybe they all have malware or spyware in them and are making their money that way. I don’t know.
Filed Under: Indie Evangelism - Comments: 5 Comments to Read