Who should set the price of a game? It seems intuitive that the group creating a work should have the right to sell it for whatever price they feel is fair. Yet in many cases the price of a game depends on the platform its sold through more than the desires of its creators.
A group of developers have joined together under the banner Because We May to fight back against this phenomenon, allowing the game makers to set their own game prices.
We believe that developers should have the freedom to price their games how they like, without interference from the online stores that sell the games. Why? Because it allows us to promote our games more freely, as we are doing here! We rely on the ability to promote our games for our livelihood and control over pricing is an important tool for this purpose.
For the last week of May (May 24 through June 1) our games will be deeply discounted to celebrate online stores that give us control over pricing: The App Store, Google Play, Steam, and a few others.
The importance of pricing and sales has become hard to ignore in the last several years. Valve has spoken of their ability to dramatically increase a game’s sales by temporarily lowering the price. Retailers like Amazon and Wal-Mart have famously cut prices on games without consulting publishers to get customers into stores with a tantalizing loss leader.
Sadly, it’s often the developers who have the least amount of say in this chain of influence. Because We May seeks to reset that power balance. The first wave of games sold at developer-determined prices include Braid, World of Goo, And Yet It Moves, Lugaru HD, and S.H.M.U.P.