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MonstaMunch: 70/30 isn't an "industry standard", it's just what that particular developer thinks. Sounds like it's probably a developer who's coming from a mobile gaming background.
I gotta agree, it's only an industry standard if you consider Steam to be the industry. Maybe there's something I don't know, but Indies seem to do everything they can to be present everywhere, including in indie bundles where even if their split is higher, they get way less total. Don't forget Steam can put you on sale even if you don't want it, GOG doesn't do that nearly so much and their prices seem to stay higher, all in all, higher prices with a small split might even out, so maybe the devs in question are just bad at math?
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SimonG: ...
I could be wrong, but I believe Steam contracts are just like Amazon, they can put you on sale whenever they want with very few restrictions.
Post edited September 15, 2012 by orcishgamer
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jamyskis: Are people actually still believing this? Incredible...

(For the record, it's actually about the same share. Retailers make around 30-35% at best on units they receive at cost price. There is an additional cost incurred for the manufacture of the physical media, as it's usually outsourced to a third-party company, but as far I as know this and shipping account for only a very small proportion. Physical units are usually acquired on a sale-or-return basis).
Have you ever worked in a retail store? I know the prices those retailers pay for the games and they are never higher than 50% of the suggested price. That means of a 50$ game, already 25$ are gone for the devs. Sometime even lower. Especially those big chains.

That leaves 25$ at best from which you have to subtract all manufacturing, shipping, etc ... Not really that much money for the dev. Especially if a pub gets a cut.

That means a 20$ digital game is usually a better cut for the dev than a 50$ retail game. Especially if he uses the Humble Store.
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orcishgamer: I could be wrong, but I believe Steam contracts are just like Amazon, they can put you on sale whenever they want with very few restrictions.
Are you sure? I'm pretty sure they can't do that. There are a lot of competition laws and contractual obligations to be aware of. ONLY if a game is Amazon/Steam exclusive (not steamworks, but only sold there) that you could write that into the distribution contract.

Remember when Botanicula was released PWYW without giving any notice to GOG. That can kill a fledgling dev legally if somebody is out for blood.
Post edited September 15, 2012 by SimonG
Honestly, I don't think this is any of our business. And even if it were, there just isn't enough data publicly available to make any kind of statement about it as an outsider. This is not something you'd just blindly follow your gut feeling for; you need hard numbers. GOG has them. We don't.
I have no interest in telling GOG what to do, but after reading this thread and discovering the huge profit margins on dd sales being verified, I am now more inclined to never pay full price for a game again, unless it's a classic GOG I really want.

Those guys can bitch about piracy and lack of sales all they want, but SOMEONE is making money off digital distribution, and I cannot believe it's all going to Steam and other platforms. Even a mediocre selling game via DD methods is looking to recoup development costs and create a substantial profit.

BTW you guys should be grateful for Steam. Without it, DD services would have taken a radically different turn with limited downloads. That alone would have been enough to keep me from buying almost exclusively digitally nowadays.
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CymTyr: I have no interest in telling GOG what to do, but after reading this thread and discovering the huge profit margins on dd sales being verified, I am now more inclined to never pay full price for a game again, unless it's a classic GOG I really want.
soooo, your answer to this is to let developers get 70% of $1 instead of 70% of $10?

or in other words, for ease of counting:

No sale - developer gets $7 distributor gets $3
Sale - developer gets $0.7 distributor gets $0.3
difference developer $6.3 , distributor $2.7.

So by buying on sale only you hurt developers more then distributor....
Post edited September 15, 2012 by amok
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SimonG: Oh, there is. I no longer buy any indies on GG because of their shitty "everybody welcome catalogue".
Why ? You are not forced to buy every game released there or you can spend 1 or 2 minutes on the Net to check if the game is any good or not...

Not to mention that Steam is full of shitty Indy games, from the flood of low quality iPhone ports to the clones of clones of clones of other once somewhat successful indy games, there is no shortage of it.
Post edited September 15, 2012 by Gersen
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Gersen: Why ? You are not forced to buy every game released there or you can spend 1 or 2 minutes on the Net to check if the game is any good or not...

Not to mention that Steam is full of shitty Indy games, from the flood of low quality iPhone ports to the clones of clones of clones of other once somewhat successful indy games, there is no shortage of it.
I stopped checking the games on GG because most of them where shitty. With Steam I'm still bothered to check. Same with most bundles. The indie bubble has burst. I'm no longer buying any bundles apart from the HiB and even there I check.

If bundles and stores would have done a little quality control instead of "give me all you have", "indie" could still be a term used to identify quality.
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pH7: I'm not trying to change anything, but please tell me where I went wrong with my reasoning - I can't "escape my little bubble" as long as I'm blind to the world outside of it.
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SimonG: Very simple. To make Steam look bad on a non issue (really, better dev cut can't be worse) you are bringing a whole new different set of valuable into it. The range of sales.
You are assuming way too much regarding me. I don't care if Steam looks bad or not. To me they do look bad, or more to the point; worse than GOG, but I don't have some anti-Steam agenda. You on the other hand seems to get your panties twisted every time someone says something that might be taken as critisism of Steam, regardless of setting.

A "better" dev cut (in percentages) really can be worse, both if the selling price is too high and if it's too low. The former results in less sales, the latter in smaller profits per item sold - both money and demand are finite. You don't have to know much about economics to know that, yet you insist that a better dev cut can't be worse. What the "right" selling price is will vary, and one can only speculate what it might be, but this "different set of valuable" is required to get the picture we should be interested in: How much money do the devs actually receive.

This is ridicoulus because of (not limited to) three reasons:

1. GOG also make huge sales occasionally. The Gem promos started of with 75% off.
I know GOG do - I even said as much - but we both know it's not on the same scale as Steam. I don't know how many Gem promos have been 75% off - I can't remember a single one, but my memory isn't too good - but it's besides the point anyway; it's not common, and you know it. You don't have to browse the forums here for long to see multiple posts about people getting the same games that are offered here for less on Steam. Some of those posts are by you if I remember correctly (new release threads for instance).

You indicate that there might be more reasons, yet this is apparently the first that springs to mind; that GOG also have sales? I find that extremely weak.

2. Publisher set the prices for discounts, not Steam or GOG. If the dev (how is also publisher in indies) doesn't want to have a game at a lower discount then say 50%, the game won't see a bigger discount.
I don't know if that's always the case, usually the case, or rarely the case, but I do know that there are several games on GOG that are also offered on Steam. And, I also know that some of these games sometimes are sold at bigger discounts at Steam. I don't know how accurate it is, but several people seem to share the notion that more or less every game on Steam will at one point be sold with a discount larger than what is to be expected here at GOG. Regardless of the level of truth, people have expectations, and GOG/Steam will - if the discount price is set by the publisher - likely try to get the publisher to fulfill said expectations, at least to some degree. Expectations are after all a major part of what makes customers stay.

Regardless of if it's up to the dev/publisher or not, empirically speaking, Steam sales are different from GOG sales. Unused potential never filled any stomach.

3. And the biggest flaw, you make it sound like there is a finite number of games being sold no matter the price and because evil dewevil Steam is making a discount for their overhead, pubs suffer (Which is also pointless, because good Steam overhead is a good pub overhead). But the reality is that most game are sold that much, because of the low discount. In the end, a high discount is extremely good for a game because the added sales are bigger than the lost discount amount. And after the discount phase a renewed interest in the game is sparked for people willing to pay full price.

Therefore your example is not only contrived, but beyond ridiculous.
The number of games sold is finite, although it's less about the number of games and more about the time each takes to "consume"; time is definitely a finite resource. Yes, lowering prices (usually) increases sales, as buyers (generally) try to get value for their money, but it's not the only factor. $3 for a given game may well be great value for the money spent for me, but what if I have a backlog with dozens of games that offers better value for the time spent? Unless you're a "collector", chances are you'll pass even if the price is "right" if enough games are available for the "right" price.

I'm not sure how you can read what I wrote as I'm saying the price is irrelevant in regards to the number of items sold as I even made a point out of (some) Steam customers waiting for a sale before buying. Nor do I know what "evil dewevil Steam" is supposed to mean. I'll just chalk it up to you reading what you think I write ("as a Steam hater") instead of what I write.

Yes, looking at the big picture, good Steam overhead is a good publisher overhead, and since Steam is such a major player, it's the big picture that counts. Indie devs are not big players, however, and the big picture isn't necessarily that signifcant to them. It's like with taxes; the government may make changes that result in the exact same tax revenue, yet will affect different people differently; like significantly hurt a few, while the majority is insignificantly better off. I'm not saying that this is the case with Steam and indies - even though it makes sense for Steam to use sales on (cheap) indie titles to attract more customers who in turn might also buy some of the titles they make more money on - but I do object to your simplification of this.

All in all I find none of your cited reasons sufficient to label my statement ridiculous, so I guess I'll stay in my little bubble (that is oddly more detailed than your huge bubble).

If you still think I'm trying to make Steam look bad, that I think Steam is evil, or whatever anti-Steam sentiments you may want to assign to me, do yourself a favour and re-read what I've read with less prejudice - imagine you wrote it yourself if that helps (I do that myself sometimes; it's actually quite effective).
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MonstaMunch: ... So GOG takes a chance with an obscure developer, and in the event that they score a big hit, the percentage of their revenue share drops? Don't think so somehow.
Percentage drops but absolute number still increase. And when obscure developer hear about it they will stop courting Steam and stand in long lines in front of the GOG doors.

The value of GOG for the devs is simply its outreach or in other words us. Apart from that every 10 year old can start a web shop and download services nowadays. And there is competition in the market, so the services taking the lowest cut might gain more exclusive/better deals. That's what the OP is suggesting in a way.

It's by far not so easy as you say it is.
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amok: ...
No sale - developer gets $7 distributor gets $3
Sale - developer gets $0.7 distributor gets $0.3
difference developer $6.3 , distributor $2.7.

So by buying on sale only you hurt developers more then distributor....
This cannot be calculated that simple. Maybe some customers would never ever buy a game except during a sale. So there might be no difference to calculate.

I always thought the idea of a sale is to sell additional units to people who otherwise don't really want the game.
Post edited September 15, 2012 by Trilarion
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amok: ...
No sale - developer gets $7 distributor gets $3
Sale - developer gets $0.7 distributor gets $0.3
difference developer $6.3 , distributor $2.7.

So by buying on sale only you hurt developers more then distributor....
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Trilarion: This cannot be calculated that simple. Maybe some customers would never ever buy a game except during a sale. So there might be no difference to calculate.

I always thought the idea of a sale is to sell additional units to people who otherwise don't really want the game.
I know it is not that simple, it was a response to CymTyr saying that he will not buy games on DD sites any more unless they are on sale, and for some reason this will not hurt developers but the DD sites (like Steam). I was not sure how he came to this, so I put it very much on the point. I know sales are good for developers also, it was his logic I was questioning (in a round-about way)
Post edited September 15, 2012 by amok
Can't we just let GOG do the business? I am sure that they are more qualified in this aspect than any community member here and being the successful company that they (apparently) are they can probably figure this kind of problems out by themselves. Sheesh, what is it that people always feel like telling GOG how to do business? Focus on telling them what services you as a consumer want instead of telling them how to do their jobs.
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CymTyr: I have no interest in telling GOG what to do, but after reading this thread and discovering the huge profit margins on dd sales being verified, I am now more inclined to never pay full price for a game again, unless it's a classic GOG I really want.
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amok: soooo, your answer to this is to let developers get 70% of $1 instead of 70% of $10?

or in other words, for ease of counting:

No sale - developer gets $7 distributor gets $3
Sale - developer gets $0.7 distributor gets $0.3
difference developer $6.3 , distributor $2.7.

So by buying on sale only you hurt developers more then distributor....
My answer is I don't buy the whole "making pc games costs us money" BS and they all make enough profit off sales from people who can't wait for a sale that I don't feel bad about saving my meager spending money on most games until they are cheap enough to be worth buying.

The only games I've paid full price for within the past 2 1/2 years, that were worth full purchase price, were Guild Wars 2 and Fallout: New Vegas.

I do not reward the majority of the industry with a full paycheck when they ALL cut corners and many release sub par games.

So to answer your question, yes, yes I will wait for major sales before making most of my gaming purchases.
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Trilarion: This cannot be calculated that simple. Maybe some customers would never ever buy a game except during a sale. So there might be no difference to calculate.

I always thought the idea of a sale is to sell additional units to people who otherwise don't really want the game.
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amok: I know it is not that simple, it was a response to CymTyr saying that he will not buy games on DD sites any more unless they are on sale, and for some reason this will not hurt developers but the DD sites (like Steam). I was not sure how he came to this, so I put it very much on the point. I know sales are good for developers also, it was his logic I was questioning (in a round-about way)
Forgive me, but where did I say the DD sites gather most of the profits and I was wishing to take away from those? I specifically stated I DO NOT think the distributors get the bulk of the profit and therefore I am less inclined to pay full price for a game out of some consumerist twisted guilt that some gamers have by buying everything as soon as it comes out.

You might want to re-read my initial post. I will break it down for you: if developers, and therefore everyone else across the board are generating roughly 700% increase in profits per sale per unit through digital distribution, I do not buy the "piracy is evil and hurts our profits" as well as the "we have to charge $60 USD to recoup costs" arguments.

Think about it. $3 profit compared to $20. That's virtually 700% increase in profit per unit, which means they have to sell 6.5 times less the units they would have had to before DD took off, to make the same money.

EDIT: Just to be clear, if we were relegated to brick and mortar with their paltry sales outside of the clearance rack having killer offers, I wouldn't be able to afford gaming. I rely on sales to get titles I could otherwise not afford, and I don't pirate. So for me, I was stating I have no guilt about only buying during sales as that's all I can afford, whereas before I felt certain devs were entitled to a higher cut.
Post edited September 15, 2012 by CymTyr
I don't see any sense discussing it if we don't know who said it and we don't have any proof. I can say that Steam ordered me to give them my kidney or they won't publish my game. Any anonymous statement is worthless for me.
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CymTyr: Think about it. $3 profit compared to $20. That's virtually 700% increase in profit per unit, which means they have to sell 6.5 times less the units they would have had to before DD took off, to make the same money.
ok - that's fine.

more completely wrong calculations. Lets say one person needs what? $20.000 year salary to live? lets say he is a single indie develop with no other expenses then living expenses. So he makes a game and for him to be able to live he needs to sell for at least $20.000, just to survive. So, for $20 he needs to sell 1000 copies, or for $3 he needs to sell 6667 copies. that's OK, but not all indie games sell that many copies in a year.

Now suppose he was not alone, but they are two, a coder and an artist, they now need to sell 2000 copies or 13334 copies. This is still just to survive, cost of equipment, possible licenses and so on is not even in the picture, nor renting some space, hosting etc. God forbid they are hiring in a musician....

If we now get close to AA titles, with a team, lets say a small one of 15 men each drawing a equal salary of 20.000, you now need to sell 100.005 copies at $3 or 15.000 copies at $20. This is still just to cover salary costs for the team,and the distributor takes 0%, other expanses do add up very quick.... not sure where you expect them to get the money from?

Edit - if your point was that you felt guilty about buying on sale, but can't afford to, that perfectly fine. Sales are there to capture more money from those who did not want the game enough first time around, or could not afford it then. But it is a difference between buying on sale because of this and some sort of social justice / not lining the pockets of the fat cats etc., which I think is based on a false premise.
Post edited September 15, 2012 by amok
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CymTyr: Think about it. $3 profit compared to $20. That's virtually 700% increase in profit per unit, which means they have to sell 6.5 times less the units they would have had to before DD took off, to make the same money.
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amok: ok - that's fine.

more completely wrong calculations. Lets say one person needs what? $20.000 year salary to live? lets say he is a single indie develop with no other expenses then living expenses. So he makes a game and for him to be able to live he needs to sell for at least $20.000, just to survive. So, for $20 he needs to sell 1000 copies, or for $3 he needs to sell 6667 copies. that's OK, but not all indie games sell that many copies in a year.

Now suppose he was not alone, but they are two, a coder and an artist, they now need to sell 2000 copies or 13334 copies. This is still just to survive, cost of equipment, possible licenses and so on is not even in the picture, nor renting some space, hosting etc. God forbid they are hiring in a musician....

If we now get close to AA titles, with a team, lets say a small one of 15 men each drawing a equal salary of 20.000, you now need to sell 100.005 copies at $3 or 15.000 copies at $20. This is still just to cover salary costs for the team,and the distributor takes 0%, other expanses do add up very quick.... not sure where you expect them to get the money from?
What part of "I CANNOT AFFORD FULL PRICED GAMES" did you not get? I stated in my previous post I no longer feel badly for buying games on sale. Are you trying to start an internet fight, or just being obtuse on purpose, or had too many pints tonight?
Post edited September 15, 2012 by CymTyr