I think Prison Architect and Kerbal Space Program are taking indie dev & alpha funding to the wrong direction.
(originally posted on my blog: The Price of Alpha)
The Price of Alpha - or How Much We Should Pay for Indie Games and/or Alpha Versions?
As of 21st of March 2013, Kerbal Space Program costs €22 (~$28) and Prison Architect costs €26 (~$33) via Steam Early Access)
When KPS costs nearly as much as ArmA 3 Alpha and Prison Architect more than (!) ArmA 3, I think the alpha funding and indie developers are taking turn for the worse.
But on the other hand: it's not the fool who asks...
And Introversion made a million with Prison Architect already :/
Steam's ingeniousness with currency conversion $1 = €1 makes things even more expensive for us using Euro; 25 dollar game costs €25 for us = over 32 dollars.
This makes KSP €22 in Steam, which kinda kicks it in the leg when in reality it "only" costs $23 (~€18). Luckily most games are sold directly by the developers too. But still.
Is 23 dollars (or 18 Euros) too much for unfinished (indie) game?
Indie Games Should Be Cheaper?
With the more reasonably priced *finished* Indie titles like Minecraft ($20), Legend of Grimrock ($15) or Driftmoon ($15), FTL ($10, or even $5) - I don't think Kerbal Space Program's or Prison Architect's price is right.
Among the first games in Steam Early Access is also Gnomoria. €7. - Perfect. There's something I could vouch for, even if I knew nothing about it.
Cart Life on Steam? Five euros - Awesome. Almost full version is free from Cart Life website. I love it.
It's Not About the Money
The most interesting thing is that I don't mind paying for something that's good, or something I want to support. I've backed up several projects in Kickstarter for much more than the finished game will cost when it's out.
I've donated over $50 for Dwarf Fortress - and that game is free.
I backed up Factorio's Indiegogo project with $50.
I've bought Cart Life two times for $5 just because I like it so so much and I want to support the developer.
I would've probably been happy to throw $20 or more to FTL if I'd happened to see their Kickstarter.
While I haven't played either title... From what I've seen, I think I'd like KSP and Prison Architect as much as those I mentioned above. I might even be happy to voluntarely back them up with $30 or $50 or more, but when that's the low price point - I don't.
Now I almost feel like boycotting them.
Human mind works in strange ways
So yeah, I think Gordon Gecko was wrong - Greed is not good.
What Do You Think?
What do you think? Have you played/payed for KPS or Prison Architect? Worth the money?
What's the right price for an indie game in development, if sold as alpha version?
What's the right price for finished indie game?
Should indie games cost the same as "AAA-titles"?
Like you said, some games are worth it and some aren't, I was one of the poor souls who brought The WarZ on the first day alpha purchase was up ... After that I only back alphas/kickstarters with gameplay footage or a demo.
Alas, it is 5:45am and I should get some sleep before trying to type all my thoughts on the subject.