Pricing: An eXposition

I think that one of the most difficult decisions a developer has to make is determining what to charge for their game. It is just as difficult for those of us who comment on video games (like me) to advise developers on pricing. There are so many factors to consider. For instance, do I have any right to tell a company what their hard work is worth?? Even if I did, is it appropriate for an eXplorminate staff member to include that recommendation in a review or forum post? I’ve wanted to address this aspect of gaming for a while, but wasn’t sure how.


The idea for this article was sparked by a conversation in our Polaris Sector launch thread. It seemed that there were some people who recognized that PS was a decent game, but not at the price SoftWarWare and Slitherine were charging for it. PS isn’t alone. Other games such as Worlds of Magic and Sorcerer King were likewise chastised for their prices. I’m not going to take a stand in this article on whether any of those comments were right or wrong. But after reading them, I felt the issue should be addressed somehow.

So what I’m going to do is go through the 4X genre and describe exemplary games at every major price mark as listed currently on Steam. Companies making games and customers buying games could, if they wanted, use this list as a yardstick to judge whether a particular game is worth that level of investment. They could also gauge what type of competition a new title might be up against at various price points.

I’m not going to tell people what to do with this. Price is such a touchy subject that I’m not sure I’m in any position to make a prescription to fledgling 4X designers. I do, however, believe that information empowers people to make good decisions, and I hope by posting it all in one place some helpful discussions will be sparked.

[NOTE: All the prices listed below are the regular asking price from Steam as of 4/11/16]

$10 or Less Age of Wonders II, Sword of the Stars 1

02 SotS

At ten bucks, we have some older classics. While these games are venerable, they are quite dated. As far as newer 4X games go, the only titles at this price point are Arcane Sorcery and Apollo4X which earned a Beware and Avoid, respectively. I would rate competition at this level as very low.

$20 – Thea: The Awakening, Galactic Civilizations II, Warlock 2, Civilization IV

03 Thea

The $20 mark gives us a mix of older and newer games. All three major genres (space, fantasy, and historical) are represented here along with what could be considered the two best titles from the Civ and GalCiv franchises. Warlock 2 hasn’t gone over well since its launch in 2014, but Thea won our Game of the Year Award for 2015. Competition here is still pretty minimal. Twenty bucks isn’t much to spend on a game nowadays, so anything that gets released here stands a good chance of getting noticed.

$25 – Star Ruler 2, Sorcerer King

04 SK

There aren’t too many 4X games on Steam for $25, but what is here is pretty innovative. SR2 and SK break all kinds of conventions, but once you get past those two games, there isn’t much to choose from. Competition here is low. SK is an interesting case, however. It started out as a $40 game and sold fewer than 15k copies according to SteamSpy. As soon as Stardock dropped the price below $30, the sales took off.

$30 – StarDrive 2, Endless Legend, Civilization V, Age of Wonders III

05 Endless Legend

At $30, competition is incredibly high – new games are up against an all-star lineup. We can begin with our 2014 Game of the Year winner, Endless Legend, and the runner-up that year, Age of Wonders III. We also have the best-selling “indie” game from 2015 in SD2 and the behemoth that is Civ 5. Granted, these games are starting to show some age, but they’re all still terrific choices. Customers will rightly wonder what a new title at this level offers that isn’t already out there.

$40 – Galactic Civilizations III, Civilization: Beyond Earth

06 GC3

There are a couple of  titles with big sales numbers at this level. GalCiv3 is approaching a quarter million games sold on Steam, but that’s nothing next to its neighbor at this price point. Civilization: Beyond Earth has sales numbers (1.4 million copies sold or there about) that eclipse almost every other recently released 4X, but might still be considered disappointing for Firaxis – just goes to show that expectations are often as important as actual data. Polaris Sector and Worlds of Magic, on the other hand, are also available at $40, but they’re hardly breaking any sales records. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Endless Space 2 and Stellaris come in at this price point, but that’s just speculation. Competition at this specific level is moderate at the moment, but recall that for $10 less, you can get some best-in-class games.

$50 – Master of Orion: CtS, Civilization V Complete

07 NuMoo

Two behemoths currently occupy this price point: Civ V Complete (the $30 version with all the DLC) and the new MoO game (which also includes the original three Master of Orion titles). MoO: Conquer the Stars hasn’t been met with rave reviews yet, but we’d be kidding ourselves if we believe that it won’t sell a lot of copies. Civ V still ranks in the top 10 games played on Steam every single day. Competition here is very high.

$60 and up – Distant Worlds: Universe

08 DWU

There’s only one game with the jewels to charge sixty bucks for itself. I’m not even going to debate Matrix’s decision to charge so much for this game. It’s immaterial. DW:U is an amazing 4X game; I think we can acknowledge that. Any game that prices itself here must be a genre-defining game of great importance, in my opinion.


There were several things I didn’t mention in this list. For instance, I didn’t discuss where these games were priced when they were launched. I also didn’t include price promotions (a term I use instead of “sales” to avoid confusion). I’ll save these for a future article. Developers launching games into the 2016 4X maelstrom have to deal with things as they are, not as they were or could have been or should be.

So what does this eXamination tell us? Naturally, it says that the further you go up the price scale, the tougher the competition gets since you generally compete against games with higher production values, as well as all the games priced below that mark. We can also see that competition at $25 and under is fairly sparse – anything released in the last two years that’s sold more than 100k+ copies is priced higher. Finally, I think we can see that price doesn’t always equate to quality. With the exception of DW:U, the games that have received the most praise from eXplorminate are priced right in the middle of the spectrum at $30.

Writing this article wasn’t easy. Talking about money never is. The purpose I had in mind was to break the ice about the topic of sales price and get the conversation going.

I’m not going to tell any studio to take any specific action when it comes to pricing their game in this piece. One of my personal passions is seeing smaller studios succeed, and it kills me inside when I see a new game get priced out of its market by a well-meaning but overly ambitious new studio. If they see this article, I sincerely hope it helps them make the right decision for their game. For fans of these small studios, I hope it informs them so they can discuss price from an informed position.

36 replies »

  1. In the case of Matrix / Slitherine games it seems a deliberate decision by the company to release at high prices and sacrifice market share for more profit per unit. It was even more the case before Matrix / Slitherine started releasing on Steam as well. I think it is partly because they are a niche market with a limited number of potential sales. I am not saying this is right or wrong but I own numerous games from them which I consider of equal quality to other games from other publishers. Most of the time I bought the competing games for about half of the Matrix games yet I consider them equally good or bad.

    All that said I bought Order of Battle Pacific from them for 10% off last year and have played it for well over 500 hours – more than all my other (hundreds of ) games combined last year. So high price or no I think I got a good deal.

    Thank You for an interesting article Troy,

    On Steam I am I’m Spartacus

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very true, and we discussed this behind the scenes, but here is the question to me: Since they ARE on steam now, is their pricing scheme outdated? Can they survive being in a larger market. Since people will now expect constant sales, will it alienate their existing customer base that is used to paying more. Once you pay less, are you as likely to pay more again?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Matrix/Slitherine are slowly warming up to discounts it would seem.

      Please correct me if I’m wrong, but a few years ago they only gave ~10% discounts on Christmas.
      Now they seem to do discounts every season, the last one during the weekend of Easter when they discounted all*(?) their games by 30%!

      Getting some of their games on Steam (like Distant Worlds : Universe and Pandora) might have had an impact?

      * except the two newly released games, Polaris Sector among them.


  2. oh man…pricing….as you said it, pricing is realy a touchy thing to discuss.
    discussions on that topic gets heated very fast.
    also comparing prices is very hard as it depends highly on personal preferences.

    so, nice article as you try to just give some informations out to everybody to thinks about.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, that was my whole intent with this article. Let’s just form a common understanding of the current market situation and go from there. In future articles, I hope to do some more analysis and evaluation – which, no doubt, will be far more controversial! :D


    • Bluetemplar85

      They would go 30 to 50% depending on age and popularity – but only once per year at the xmas sale and then only on games over a year old. Newer or more popular games would be only 10% if at all as you mentioned. And you could not pick up the complete Distant Worlds for under S100 US even during the sales – if I remember right.

      The only other thing they did do was have a game of the week – one game on sale for about 30% off for the week – but it was usually older.

      For whatever it is worth I still see lots of complaints in both the Steam forums and Matrix forums that they are releasing games for $40 to $50 that have obsolete graphics and are felt these would be more appropriate in the $10 to $20 price range.

      On Steam I’m Spartacus


  3. I think the article is just a start of a debate about pricing.
    There is so much more involved in pricing that one article about isn’t enough.
    I think you have to make a series about it.

    For example a 5 euro game with 10 dlc’s priced at 10 euro a piece is a 105 euro game.

    What about third party rights? I see some Warhammer games priced high because of Games Workshop rights to use ingame content. Is that fair?

    How is pricing compared to twenty years ago? I see all my twenty year old boxed games are prices at 99,99 fl (now changed to 39,99 euro aprx.) so that’s no price change in twenty years for the enduser. But I don’t get the paper box, paper manual, distribution, shoprent etc etc anymore.

    And one but not less important aspect. What do developers at the end earn for their years of work?
    I think companies aren’t very open on this aspect in this market. At least I don’t know and I never investigated.

    Do they turn profit into development of new titles? Is it a one day fly to become millionaire? Do they support students new projects? Are they open about what are the costs of developing a game? And are they open about the profit made?

    There is only one developer last year (and also a publisher) who was very open about some aspects of the whole development cycle. We know Thea was made by just 4 people, we know the price they asked for the game, we know how much copies they sold on Steam, we know they offered the DLC free on Steam and invest a certain amount of the profit for localization is different languages, voice actors etc to improve the game and the DLC. It’s fair that way and it makes me buy a game again just to gift it to a friend because I really love to support them.

    For most companies I don’t have any idea what the cost and the profit is in the end.

    In journalism most of the time we see the extremities. We see and read about it when a company went bankrupt because of bad business practice or dissapointed sales and we read about companies earning billions with mobile apps like Tank Wars. But we never read what is in between.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. One might wonder, why do games even go *down* in price as they get older?
    (And especially those the early access games which now make people pay for beta-testing, when it used to be the other way around.)
    By all logic, since the games get better as they are developed : new content is added and bugs fixed, they should go *up* in price, not down!
    Yet even taking DownLoadable Content into account, when you consider that games also get discounted more as they get older, someone that bought the new content plus the original game often seems to pay less (or about the same) than someone that someone that only bought the original game…

    Well, it’s because this is not about how “good” the game is, but rather about maximizing the profit for the company!


  5. The regular asking price on Steam doesn’t seem to be really meaningful.

    Ideally, you would need the average price paid (including freebies, bundles and discounts) over all distribution channels and currencies…

    I wonder how close to that Steam Spy could get?


    • The creator of SteamSpy does an end of year summary that attempts to take some of that into account for the top selling games on Steam. It’s a monumental task and he has software that helps him get those numbers. I don’t think it’s something I could personally attempt without significant help from Sergey. But, you can check out how he does it here:

      View at Medium.com



      Liked by 1 person

  6. @ Cablenexus:

    “How is pricing compared to twenty years ago? I see all my twenty year old boxed games are prices at 99,99 fl (now changed to 39,99 euro aprx.) so that’s no price change in twenty years for the enduser. But I don’t get the paper box, paper manual, distribution, shoprent etc etc anymore.”

    I believe the cost of producing the same level games has gone up. Developers still need to pay rent on premises, various bills, and to pay their programmers etc, and they are not cheap.

    Also, I think you actually tend to get more for your money now, ut that’s just me comparing games I play now to their direct ancestors, e.g. Age of Wonders 1–>2–>3.

    Against that though is the ubiquity of easy to use tools like Unity, which push availability of games up, increasing competition, decreasing the price.

    Those 2 would seem to balance each other out?

    It seems to me that it’s become easier than ever to create a game, but harder than ever to create a GOOD (interesting, engaging etc) game.

    It’s like the entrance bar is really low, but the mastery bar is higher than ever.

    Plus, the general standard of games, and the sensibility of gamers, seems to be getting higher. Imagine if Worlds of Magic had released in 2010 – it would have been very well received, now it’s trashed constantly. GalCiv 3 has been criticised for being more of the same etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I was going to go research Steam price zones to add regional prices to the discussion when I found out the EU2 zone doesn’t exist anymore.
    So, the only way we can get games at reasonable prices in poorer EU countries is no longer steam sales but key resellers or a return to piracy – nice one steam, I’m sure developers will be happy with that. Risk 40€ on GC3 or CIV:BE (or CIV5, for that matter)? lol, no.


    • That the price isn’t changed in twenty years for most triple A titles isn’t really a complain. It’s just something I wonder how it’s possible. You point out some balances. Thank you for that.


      • I think that wasn’t for me, but I’ll add something, the market is much, much bigger than it was 20 years ago. Also wages have mostly stagnated in all developed countries for those 20 years as well (which explains part of the reason why there has been little recovery since 2008).


  8. there is a value in a high price in giving yourself room to discount later. Paradox does a good job of cycling discounts regularly to induce sales. older stuff is usually 75-80% off every month at some point – and always after a new expansion.

    I don’t like the music / art being it’s own little package at launch but it is a interesting technique to unbundle part of what might have been part of a bigger price without it making some of the content optional.

    it’s a interesting debate with alot of market forces in play for any developer.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. @ Cable, my bad, i read it as a complaint. Apologies.

    @ all, at some point someone is going to expand the discussion by trying to factor in ‘value’ (so very subjective), relative income etc.

    I think a great thing to consider also is trust in the company selling. For example, when Creative Assembly announced Total Warhammer, I decided to keep a very close eye on it, but my perception is very negatively slanted because of past actions, so *whatever* price they decided to charge for TWH, I’d have been very dubious. Ofcourse they didn’t help themselves with the Chaos issue, so, fo me, no sale – AT RELEASE.

    Give it 6 months and I’ll probably get it, and I’ll probably play alot of it, like with Rome 2 (100 hr approx) and Attila (70).

    Contrast that with Stellaris, which I’ll get probably as soon as it releases. Why? Well I feel I know exactly what I’m getting with Paradox, and I enjoyed CK2 immensely, and I’m starting to learn EU4.

    Also, Muha Games (the Thea people) did a great job and seem like a very decent group of people. I’ve gotten ‘only’ 20 hrs out of that so far, and I paid full price, but I feel I got a good deal because I know for sure I’ll be back soon.

    So, alot of it comes down to price perception, company trust etc. It’s common practice in retail shops to place a higher priced item next to a more ‘normal’ priced one, in order to boost sales of the latter.

    For example, you see a coffee machine at £300, looking shiny, next to one at £150, looking less shiny but just as capable. Now £300 is anchored in your mind as the higher end, and £150 looks very reasonable (even if it really costs £30 to make and market etc).

    That’s relevant to games because people follow the same mental shortcuts when making snap decisions. For example, my anchoring is to be quite the cheapskate, buying stuff after release usually, and sinking lots of hrs into it. If I play less than 50 hrs in a game, it is for me distinctly casual, and if I’e paid £25 + then I feel a bit let down. Not cheated as such, just disappointed. For example, Planetary Annihilation and Grey Goo, bought at full price, just didn’t hold my attention, despite not being terrible games as such.

    I bought Sorceror King at release, got maybe 15 hrs out of it, but I don’t recall paying alot for it, so I felt I got what I paid for, if that makes sense. I didn’t feel elated, but I didn’t feel like I’d been conned.

    Hrs played is a deeply flawed yardstick though, but so too is fun, and unfortunately for studios, games get judged by that.

    Anyway, I consider myself an informed gamer and I do lots of research before committing to a game, because I like to commit.

    I’m well aware that most people are casuals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Excellent insights, BloodyBattleBrain. I think writing this article was worth just for the comments that have resulted, which are far better than anything I put in the body of my piece. Thanks for sharing! :)




  10. One more thing we haven’t mentioned is available time.

    It’s the downside of being in a golden age, that there is so much good choice, but not any more hrs to pursue them.

    Put basically, the question it comes down to is:

    Is this worth my time?

    Whatever metric you use (fun, hrs played etc) when there are several other games on the market, flaws in any one game get highlighted and the perception of that game, and therefore the value and price, suffer.

    Imho that’s why Creative Assembly are still around – they simply have no competitors doing the same thing, so they can afford to ‘lower’ their quality so to speak, and cut corners and paywall factions etc etc, and a hundred other things that seem to piss their fans off, and yet we all know Total Warhammer is going to be a huge success, and Rome 2 was a huge success. Caveat, I’m parroting what people say about CA, don’t read this as an indepth analysis of their behaviour.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh yes, I am sure Troy is taking notes now in preparation for how much it costs to game in time. If I were to actually count how much time I played and how much it costs me, I would probably never play a game again.

      So.. I don’t. Problem solved.


  11. It’s all about the money ;-) Never saw so much comments on day 1 of an article which is not even about a game…

    Really like the comments of BloodyBattleBrain as I consider myself as a well informed gamer as well.
    I’m also very much into CKII at the moment and want to learn to lay EUIV which I have in my library with all DLC still untouched.
    I agree that Paradox does a great job with reasonable priced DLC’s and disount on the base game when new DLC is released. But I think they have to add the cosmetic unit models in the base DLC.
    CKII is not really a game where the unit models are very important and still I feel I miss something when I don’t add them to my DLC list. For music it’s different and acceptable imho because their are some third party editors involved who get some fee as well.
    At least they offer support and quality for a long running series and I like to see them keeping the game fresh for many years instead of releasing CKIII in 2010 and CKIV in 2012 and CKV in 2014.
    Time is a factor here as well. I love to come back to CKII once in a while and discover some new content instead of learning to play a whole new game.
    Imho it’s just a user/gamer friendly subscription service for many years worth of value.

    Actually I think that Civilization V made a huge mistake here. I know there are many mods for the game, but they don’t work all that well together. If they were making some more DLC the last two years I’m sure that a lot of people would buy them. In a game like Civilization I really don’t understand why they don’t add some actual real world conflicts and new civilizations in the game and a more advanced dimplomacy system while learning from popular mods.

    I disagree with the CA way. I choose not to buy Total War Warhammer and deleted it even from my wishlist as a kind of protest. They go to far imo with day one DLC.
    A DLC for me is a present to the community for a succesfull game. A way to show the devs that you love the game and a way for the devs to show some love for a fanbase who loves their game.
    A day one DLC doesn’t fit into this system. It’s a kind of micro transaction now even before release and it doesn’t show any love to the community.

    Muha is the opposite of being greedy in many ways. They released their Linux version for free for people to test it, they release the DLC for free and use their profit for filling the basegame with the community wishlist like voiceovers and language localization.
    I think a lot of people who did not bought the game yet will do it when they get some free advertisement for the new DLC and people who really want to support them will buy a copy for a friend.

    Another aspect of value for money and time investement I’m surprised I don’t see any comment about is the replay value of a game.
    For me a huge 4x game with many factions and a random map every time you play or a dynamic world map like in CKII/EUIV is part of the replay value.
    Endless Legend, Age of Wonders III does it right I think. Homm VI and VII and the later Disciples games did it wrong. Few factions, few maps, no random maps, no replay value…

    For example the Banner Saga is a nice tactical turnbased game but after playing it once I never return to it when I know the story. For me that is a big part of my choice to pay more or less then 20 Euro for a game. A game consisting of one chapter and without any randomization (replay value for me) isn’t worth more then 10 Euro while a game like Homm III I spend 50 euro for a collectors edition in 1998 I still play sometimes because of random maps.

    As an older gamer I’m not easy to fool anymore when a game is released for 50 Euro and I have to buy a map pack after two month to have some replay value.

    So it depends also on the genre for what I want to pay. Their are a lot of rogue like games with some tactical turn based combat for 10 euro and they have almost infinite replay value.

    I think after twenty years of gaming I managed to make an algorithm for myself about what I want to spend for games and DLC:

    Base strategy/4x game, many factions, random maps, many victory conditions on release: 40 euro max.
    (But still waiting for a 50% discount because my 400+ games backlog).

    Base strategy/4x game, many factions, random maps, many victory conditions on EA: 20 euro max.

    Map pack/faction pack: 5/10 euro max.

    DLC with new game mechanism/new playstyles: 10/15 euro max.

    pre order/micro transaction/subscription service/day one DLC: never.

    One chapter games/fixed stories/streamlined/casual and rogue games: 10 euro max.

    HD Rereleases of old games: 10 euro max.


    • “Actually I think that Civilization V made a huge mistake here. I know there are many mods for the game, but they don’t work all that well together. If they were making some more DLC the last two years I’m sure that a lot of people would buy them.”

      It could be they haven’t released any more expansions for Civ 5 because they are working on Civ 6 :)


  12. Sorry about my last post. You have to make a limit for the amount of text you can put in your comments here ;-) And sorry for my English. I’m Dutch myself.


  13. I don’t have an algorithm perse, but what I tend to do is use Steams explore function quite regularly, then ‘follow’ whatever catches my eye, and then occasionally wishlist something if I am very interested in it, and then, when I feel the urge for something new, I’ll check my wishlist and then end up spending an hr deliberating whether or not to buy anything.

    My latest purchase was all of EL’s expansions for £15. I knew what I was getting, and while it doesn’t fix what i feel are the core problems with EL, it does add enough that I can at least complete a game, and will probably complete at least one with each faction (I’m half way through that).

    Cablenexus is correct to discuss replayability, which I would count as part of value of a game. I suppose another way of asking “Is it worth my time?” would be “Will I have fun with this, how much fun will I have, and at what point will I be bored?”

    Now there are some very specific answers to those questions depending on what genre you like. Now, here we’re all 4x fans, so we all have an idea of what the weaknesses are of 4xs, for example:

    a) what you do in a turn (or minute by minute if it is real time) i.e. your typical actions per turn. For example, in EL there’s a bit too much waiting for me, e.g. set city to produce a unit, click end turn 5 times in a row to get that unit. YMMV wildly here.

    b) How do the early, mid and late game link together, and how tedious is the end game management (this could vary from having too many cities to enjoyably use, to the game being ‘over’ long before it is actually over etc.)

    These are the things I look at when I consider a new 4x game, and I’ve been spoilt by AoW3 where every turn presents interesting decisions, and (dependent on map settings, namely for me Seals) you can get some intense in game pressure right up to the last turn (I like Seals). You also have a huge variety of starting options that change the game (in Endless Legend and Civ, you will always start with a Settler, Always) and varied starting factions. It’s a modular design and I like it.

    Some people (alot actually it would appear) prefer the EL model of set factions that have more upfront distinction but imho less in game replayability. In other words, if you’ve played Phages once, why play them again, and what can you do differently? You’ll always need to eat stuff so you are tied in to a certain playstyle. I’m calling this ‘set design’.

    If you pick Elf Sorceror however, that is very different to Elf Warlord. I’m using these 2 games as examples of differing design choices, it is not my intent to start a debate about them specifically, or their relative merits, outside of using them as a reference to price.

    So, getting back to price, and how it links in, if I watch a LP of a game on my wishlist, I can usually get a sense of what to expect. Let’s use TW Warhammer as an example.

    + The campaign map looks very slick
    + Fantasy total war is something I’ve wanted for a long time
    + There are more constraints on managing your cities, so painting the map your colour won’t work (I like this change, some people hate it)
    + Each race has some differences, e.g. book of grudges, imperial offices
    + Quests will provide gameplay direction, so it’s not just conquer, conquer, conquer

    – tactical battles look too quick and seem to be a wild mashup of units
    – city siege battles look to be very immersion breaking
    – You get 2 leader choices within each faction, but it seems that you always start in the same position, regardless. I think this is a huge missed opportunity. Imagine starting as an Elector Count, instead of the Emperor, or as one of the other Dwarven Karaks (not just Thorgrim) or Orc holds.

    Basically, it looks like it will be fun to take each faction, complete the quest line, and win, precisely once, whilst lamenting the repetitiveness of siege battles. As Karl Franz, my firstplaythrough might be to smash the Vampires, placate the Dwarves to use as a buffer against the Orcs. Next time I’ll go straight after the Orcs. However, it seems that eventually, no matter what, I’ll have my hands full with Chaos. Given that there are 4 factions, which all follow a set design, and this puts me firmly on the fence for pre-ordering.

    Now, throw in CA’s past performance, and the strange nature of their forums (yeah, matters to me, believe it or not) and the inevitable dlc train, that becomes a ‘buy after reviews and maybe 6 months down the line’. If I was a rabid Warhammer guy then that could be different.

    Let’s look at Stellaris as another example. I’ve been following the Blorg videos, and they had me laughing. Your start faction is modular (pick ethos, traits, habitable world, racial picture etc) and I can see myself exhausting all those options quite thoroughly, and playing the game for a long long time. Downside is that combat looks a bit boring, but then again, Paradox don’t excel at that. Judging by the LP, it seems there is always a plate to spin and something to do. I knew I was going to get this game when I started researching their traits (http://www.stellariswiki.com/Traits) and planning my first empire (Humans, Industrious, weak – to gain an extra trait point – and rapid breeders. Plan is to leverage extra minerals per planet, and to have more planets :)) I’ll also be militarist, to negate my weakness, and either spiritual (happiness boost) or materialistic (research boost).

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’m waiting for someone to make a really high-quality AAA game and charge $100 for it, with no sales or discounts.

    Not only selling a good game, but selling exclusivity. Pretty sure that would make a fortune.


  15. Fantastic topic. I think there are two distinct camps here:

    1. People with more time than money. Pricing is very important.
    2. People with more money than time. Pricing is a secondary or even tertiary consideration.

    Personally I fall into the second, so I’m more concerned with enjoying the time I put into the game than how much I paid for it.

    A company that promises good value for your time investment, which usually means they have a history of releasing quality titles and/or following up with patching and polish, is going to have a lot more flexibility in the pricing when it comes to this second group.

    Lots of other great comments here too.



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