How Do You Sell Your Video Game If It's Not Doing Great On Steam?
If you use these pricing strategies I'm about to teach you, you'll learn...
- How to market your price so gamers don't get sticker shock and not buy
- How to raise your price so gamers think it's worth every penny and buy it no matter how much more expensive it is than other video games
- Why raising your price means you could get MORE sales not less
- You're not going to get a boring explanation about economics and supply and demand
- You'll get insights on the psychology of pricing and see how big companies like EA and Apple "frame" expensive products to make it seem worth it
If you don't understand how pricing strategy works, then you'll do what most game devs do... They look at what other games are priced at. And they copy that price, not thinking about how they are devaluing their video game.
So, grab your favourite drink. Put on a video game soundtrack (right now I've been listening to the Destiny soundtrack). Sit back. And let's learn something new about video game marketing and how to price your game so you can sell at high prices without loss in sales...
How Big Companies Like EA Use The "Goldilocks" Price Strategy To Sell Games at Higher Prices Without Loss In Sales
Here's an interesting fact that will help you correctly price your video game...
Most people believe that we all compare prices to find the cheapest one. On the surface, this is what it looks like.
But if you look a bit closer, what's really going on is NOT price shopping for the cheapest item. It's something more irrational. Let me show you...
People have NO idea what something is worth. That's because they have no idea how much time, money, resources, people was put into making a product or even a video game. In fact, they don't care. They don't care that something is $100 bucks because it took $90 to make it.
Because people have no idea what something is worth, they will compare items and their prices.
This is where I want to talk about "Goldilocks Pricing Strategies".
How Goldilocks Pricing Works To Sell Items At Higher Prices Without Loss In Sales
Let's start with a simple example, and then I'll show you how EA uses Goldilocks Pricing. And then I'll show you how YOU can use this price strategy with a 3 step action plan you can easily follow along with.
Here's what you need to know about the "Goldilocks Pricing Strategy".
Let's pretend you're buying eggs at the grocery store.
Are a dozen eggs at $3 cheap? When compared to the higher priced $6 eggs, the $3 eggs seem worth it. Not a lot of people will question if $3 is a cheap price. Compared to the $6 eggs, it is cheap.
But say you didn't have the option to compare the $3 eggs with the $6 eggs. Let's say you walked in, and all the eggs cost $3. All of a sudden, $3 seems a bit high for 12 eggs. And maybe you'll just wait for a sale.
You see what's going on here? You're comparing prices to see if $3 eggs are worth it. When compared to the $6 eggs, the $3 eggs are "juuuuuust" right. (That's where Goldilocks comes from, the fairy tail where the middle porridge was just right.).
Let's keep moving. Let me show you how Apple masterly uses the Goldilocks price strategy. too.
How Apple Uses Goldilocks Pricing To Sell At High Prices Without Loss In Sales
Let's say you're going to buy an iPad. Most people will compare models, before they decide on which is the best option.
Here's exactly how the Goldilocks Pricing Strategy works... and works to influence you in buying a more expensive model...
Have a look at the high-end model, and the price. The 12ich iPod with 32gb costs over $1000 bucks. This price is called the "Anchor Price". It's the "hot porridge".
What the Anchor Price does, is it establishes what the product is worth. It's almost meant to give you a sticker shock -- on purpose. They want to get a jolt out of you, and make you think, "whoa, that's a lot".
Why? Because when you look at the other models, then the prices seem fair. For example, the 9inch model with 32gb for $800 seems worth it.
Now, let's pretend they didn't have the high-end model up there to compare. Let's pretend that the most expensive price was the $800 model.
Then THAT $800 model will become the Anchor Price, and give you a sticker shock. The iPadAir2 at $499 will be then, "juuuuust" right. It's the "middle porridge" that is just right.
One more point. You see the little iPad mini 2? Why is that there? That's the "Base Price". They want to show you what the base model is worth. Most people don't buy this, they'll often go one model higher. But the reason it's there is because it gives somebody an easy way to compare everything. This is the "cold porridge".
You see what's going on here?
Apple is "framing" their price in a way to show the consumer what something is worth. And it makes it easy for people to compare, and see if any option is worth it.
Again, people have no idea what a tablet is worth. So they compare prices. Not to find the cheapest one. But to see if what they want is worth it.
A $800 item is worth it when it's compared to a $1000 item. The $300 base item is the cheap-o model, and it's not worth it. This price strategy frames it so that a $300 item looks cheap, and the more expensive models look "juuuust right".
How EA Uses The Goldilocks Price Strategy To Sell Video Games Successfully at $100
Mass Effect is coming out pretty soon. And if you look at their prices, it looks very confusing. But now that you know something about "Goldilocks Pricing", you'll spot exactly what they're doing here...
Their most expensive edition costs $260. Yeah, you get a toy and some books along with the game. That's not the point. The point here is to frame the price.
This is the "Anchor Price".
They want you to think, "whoa, that's a lot".
It's the sticker shock price. Again, they want this price to be "too hot". Some people will buy this some won't. But this price is important because what it does next...
Let's look at the "Base Price".
The least expensive edition is just the game. It costs $60. Compared to $260, the $60 price looks good. But this price is cheap-o price. It's the "too cold" price. It's just the base game. You'll be missing some gameplay and content if you buy this edition.
Let's look at the middle, "juussst right". The next price is the $70 deluxe edition. All of a sudden, $70 doesn't sound so much. And what's another $10 more if you're going to get the deluxe edition with more gameplay and content, compared to the base edition for $60.
You see what's going on here?
These prices are framing how much this game is worth. A few years ago, you'd pay around $30 to $50 bucks. Now all of a sudden, a $70 video game seems fair.
"But! These Are AAA Games..."
I know what you're thinking...
"But I'm making an indie game. I can't charge those prices. AAA games have to charge more because they have more people and resources to put out a more polished game!."
Let me show you how this directly applies to you even if you're making indie games and you don't have the budget and people like AAA games do.
In the next section, you'll get a 3 step action plan that will help you price your indie video game so you can sell it at higher prices, without scaring off gamers and losing sales.
Let's go and do that right now...
Step 1: Don't Copy The Price Of What Other Game Devs Are Charging
Your first step is to stop looking at what other indie game devs are charging for their game. I know it's tempting to want to do some research, and see other games that are similar to yours, and check out what others are charging.
The reason why not is, because if you copy, you're always reactionary. You're always following a leader. You have no real price strategy. You're just following what another game dev is doing, and have no idea WHY they priced their game that way.
A better strategy is to emulate what Apple, EA and thousands of other companies do to sell products at higher prices without loss in sales.
How? That's step 2...
Step 2: Set Your Anchor Price
Remember, this price is the "high-end" price. This will include the base game, plus any other bells and whistles. For example, this price can include an mp3 album of your game's OST. Or an artbook. Or a video of how the game was made.
The point of the Anchor Price is to establish what your game is worth. And it will make any other price look "juuuuust right".
Step 3: Set Your "Juuuuust Right" Price
This is the actual cost of your game. So, for example, say you want to get paid $25 for your game. That will be your "juuuust right" price. Then have your "Anchor Price" at $35.
This is important, because now $25 won't seem so much compared to $35.
But if you just put up your game for $25, then the gamer has no way to compare your game, and will see that $25 is too expensive. They'll see other indie games for less, and think you're ripping them off.
But you include an "Anchor Price", you're framing your price in a way that makes $25 a good value.
Do This Video Game Price Strategy Exercise Right Now
You just learned a lot. And the best way to remember what you just learned is to put your new knowledge into action.
So, do this right now.
Go to steam, GOG, or Humble Bundle. Do some windows shopping. You'll start noticing the "Goldilocks Price Strategy" happening a lot. Well, the smart games use this.
Here, let me do this right now, too. I've opened Steam, and found a game that does this...
Knowing what you know now, you understand what they're doing here, hey?
They're not just trying to sell more stuff with DLC and art books and mp3's. They're trying to frame their price.
Remember, a gamer has no idea what your game is worth. In my example, if a gamer just sees $10 for the game, they don't know if it's worth it. But, by having an "Anchor", and when they see that the deluxe edition is $15, then the $10 option looks "juuuust right".
Do do this right now, and go window shopping. It's important that you take action right now, so your brain remembers how this price strategy works.
And next time you go shopping, you'll never forget this lesson. You'll start seeing "Goldilocks Pricing" everywhere.