Discalibur

VN pricing

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It seems like popular VNs in the west are getting priced not too far from current top selling titles. The newly released Clannad at $50 and G senjou and Grisaia at $40. As a VN reader I would say these are fairly priced, but for those unfamiliar with the series, it's unlikely that they would pick it up over a top selling game that they know they would enjoy.

This kind of keeps the niche genre niche, since its catering to the fans who are familiar and willing to pay whatever price. The ML kickstarter shows this pretty well as there were a good number of backers that put in several hundreds to thousands. Compare it to the Indivisible crowd fund which has over twice as many backers but earned 150k less.

This seems to be the trend for VNs in Japan and the West. To be able to make money from less copies sold due to a smaller audience. Which makes sense from a business standpoint.

However, I hope Muv Luv is able to deviate from these trends a become a cult hit. Degica themselves said they wanted to market ML to the wider audience as well as the fans, and I think it has the potential to break through the niche and reach a much larger playerbase. VNs will never have the same reach as mainstream titles, but I believe Muv Luv is different and can get it's proper recognition if people are willing to give it a shot.

The kickstarter prices were at 25 and 35 for extra and alternative, which is a good deal cheaper than the current top tier VNs but we'll see how big the franchise expands in the future. Hopefully they keep these prices for the official release.

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My copy of Deus Machina Demonbane was about $30, I'd have to ask my bf what our other games were

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What is surprising me somewhat is that Clannad is doing well (top 5 in Steam), though that may be due to Clannad having a 15% off sale at launch and having a somewhat more reasonable price at about 42 dollars. 

While I would hardly mind if the prices were kept the same as in the Kickstarter, I would guess that the eventual Steam release will have a $5 or $10 increase in price to give the original backers a bit of a discount. $30 and $40 would be a bargain; $35 and $45 would still be very reasonable considering the technical advantages Muv Luv has over most visual novels despite the age. That said, these prices would still be very daunting for people new to visual novels; even the original KS prices to a large extent. 

The problem with a KS is that the launch cannot have a drastic discount, otherwise it would be somewhat insulting to the people who backed the game during the KS. 

Arguably, the best way to introduce the Muv Luv universe is to either release TDA as an episodic release (probably not a good idea to read it before the trilogy, but TDA 00 only spoils the ending of Unlimited and the appearance of the BETA, which are close enough to the Zerg that people could roll with it,) or release Schwarzesmarken with a 30-50% discount (this is assuming it does get an English release). 

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34 minutes ago, encrypted12345 said:

Arguably, the best way to introduce the Muv Luv universe is to either release TDA as an episodic release (probably not a good idea to read it before the trilogy, but TDA 00 only spoils the ending of Unlimited and the appearance of the BETA, which are close enough to the Zerg that people could roll with it,) or release Schwarzesmarken with a 30-50% discount (this is assuming it does get an English release). 

Personally I think going in blind and knowing nothing is the best way to experience Muv Luv, which is hard to do because the premise of Unlimited and Alternative already spoil what happens.

I was lucky enough to play it without even knowing Unlimited existed. It was a nice 'Woah' moment when the title screen changed when you unlocked unlimited.

 

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44 minutes ago, encrypted12345 said:

Arguably, the best way to introduce the Muv Luv universe is to either release TDA as an episodic release (probably not a good idea to read it before the trilogy, but TDA 00 only spoils the ending of Unlimited and the appearance of the BETA, which are close enough to the Zerg that people could roll with it,) or release Schwarzesmarken with a 30-50% discount (this is assuming it does get an English release). 

Personally, i think TDA might not stand out well by itself without the initial worldbuilding on Unlimited and Alternative. I enjoyed it as an expansion to the BETA world because the experience in the previous works allows me to build up that feelings and ties to how the characters feel. I'd say the Muv Luv original VNs will do a better job in bringing new readers to the universe. Also, TDA is still unfinished, so that might leave some bad taste for some readers.

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5 hours ago, Svenhent said:

Personally, i think TDA might not stand out well by itself without the initial worldbuilding on Unlimited and Alternative. I enjoyed it as an expansion to the BETA world because the experience in the previous works allows me to build up that feelings and ties to how the characters feel. I'd say the Muv Luv original VNs will do a better job in bringing new readers to the universe. Also, TDA is still unfinished, so that might leave some bad taste for some readers.

I agree with you, but I also see how price-sensitivity could be an issue in drawing newer fans in. Maybe they'll release the original VNs at full-price at launch, and then hitch on to the nearest Steam sale to bring the price down without offending the KS backer crowd too much.

And I must confess, this is how I often buy my games. I usually wait for a few months to pass (as the pricing usually drops by then), or for an attractive discount to pop up.

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4 hours ago, PulakK said:

I agree with you, but I also see how price-sensitivity could be an issue in drawing newer fans in. Maybe they'll release the original VNs at full-price at launch, and then hitch on to the nearest Steam sale to bring the price down without offending the KS backer crowd too much.

And I must confess, this is how I often buy my games. I usually wait for a few months to pass (as the pricing usually drops by then), or for an attractive discount to pop up.

Assuming it does come out in March or very soon after, I could see Degica baiting people with half price Muv Luv during the Summer Sale, so they'll eventually buy Alternative at full price or near full price when it comes out late summer/early fall.

Of course, this will work best if we do our jobs as fans and fill the store page up with positive reviews. I wonder how many it needs to be overwhelmingly positive?

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1 minute ago, encrypted12345 said:

Assuming it does come out in March or very soon after, I could see Degica baiting people with half price Muv Luv during the Summer Sale, so they'll eventually buy Alternative at full price or near full price when it comes out late summer/early fall.

Of course, this will work best if we do our jobs as fans and fill the store page up with positive reviews. I wonder how many it needs to be overwhelmingly positive?

Don't worry about that. Just play the VN and give your honest opinion. The fandom will eventually speak up for itself, and people will notice.

Edited by PulakK

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3 minutes ago, encrypted12345 said:

Of course, this will work best if we do our jobs as fans and fill the store page up with positive reviews. I wonder how many it needs to be overwhelmingly positive?

Don't worry, VNs usually get very high review ratings because many of those who bother writing one already read the VN before the official steam release. For reference, Clannad is at 100% positive out of 100 reviewss and G-senjou no Maou, while less popular, is sitting at 100% as well.

Even if there are some people disliking MLE (understandably), it will take quite a lot of them to significantly drag the rating down.

 

Just one small petition to all of you: It makes most sense to either recommend the triology as a whole even if you didn't like certain parts (MLE) or don't recommend it at all. Giving Muv-Luv a thumbs-down and saying that it will become worth it if you take MLA into account will only confuse people and potentially deter them from buying it. Rather than that, give it a thumps-up and explain why they'll like it in the end and what they should expect of each of the 3 parts.

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3 hours ago, encrypted12345 said:

I could see Degica baiting people

Did you mean BETAing ? 【Chomp !】

*runs far away* :P

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When extra releases I imagine it'll leave a lukewarm to bad impression to newcomers and what hooks you to continue the series further is the very end of unlimited, but that doesn't change the initial overall experience of being sluggish and leaving a bad aftertaste. I don't imagine people are going to want to purchase the more expensive sequel to a game that leaves an average at best impression on the player. Personally I think it would've been better to release both games at the same time or closer together since players will essentially be left with an unfinished game for about 8 to 9 months.

The format of Muv Luv really contradicts what most games do today, which is getting the player hooked and interested from the beginning. ML purposely hides what it really has to offer and it does so for a very long time. It demands a lot of trust and commitment from the player and doesn't reward them until the second game. Which is why I think it has transcended the medium and can be regarded as a work of art. Unfortunately this doesn't exactly entice new players into trying the game out since it presents itself as a high school romcom.

I've got no doubts that it will be highly rated and have a lot of fan hype when it officially releases, but new players will be left high and dry until Alternative hits.

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VNs are niche, a lot. And Muv-luv is not going to change that, not with Extra as its starting point (as good as it is later, and as necessary as it was to get you to "feel" for Extra's charatcters, the truth is that it was chosen to be done in the way of an extremely regular-average-to-the-point-of-joking VN). It's an excellent VN for those wanting an epic story and already like VNs, but anybody who hates "anime squeaky voices" or "graceless infodumping" (the latter is kind of legitimate though), is not going to like it. And contrarily to Japan, the Western VN market has a lot healthier ratio of VNs focused a lot more on action that simply romance, so that point is also moot (though Muv-Luv has very hight production value, so maybe we could go for that)

Price is always a very delicate side with Steam: I for one feel that one of the things that denigrate VNs themselves are the prices; if they have the same work and give the same entertainment that normal games, let them stand side-by-side of other games. This culture of giving games the "superior place" is perpetuated directly by the Steam prices, and I think it doesn't help the situation (and this comes from a gamer that loves games as much or even more than VNs!)

Of course, that has the rather bad consequence of lowering your number of sales, and as VN themselves are still a niche within a niche of a niche the market needs to expand to be profitable. So we'll have to do with patchworks. Something like what Sekai Project did with G-Senjou, that was actually very smart in my opinion.

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2 hours ago, Marx-93 said:

VNs are niche, a lot. And Muv-luv is not going to change that, not with Extra as its starting point (as good as it is later, and as necessary as it was to get you to "feel" for Extra's charatcters, the truth is that it was chosen to be done in the way of an extremely regular-average-to-the-point-of-joking VN). It's an excellent VN for those wanting an epic story and already like VNs, but anybody who hates "anime squeaky voices" or "graceless infodumping" (the latter is kind of legitimate though), is not going to like it. And contrarily to Japan, the Western VN market has a lot healthier ratio of VNs focused a lot more on action that simply romance, so that point is also moot (though Muv-Luv has very hight production value, so maybe we could go for that)

Price is always a very delicate side with Steam: I for one feel that one of the things that denigrate VNs themselves are the prices; if they have the same work and give the same entertainment that normal games, let them stand side-by-side of other games. This culture of giving games the "superior place" is perpetuated directly by the Steam prices, and I think it doesn't help the situation (and this comes from a gamer that loves games as much or even more than VNs!)

Of course, that has the rather bad consequence of lowering your number of sales, and as VN themselves are still a niche within a niche of a niche the market needs to expand to be profitable. So we'll have to do with patchworks. Something like what Sekai Project did with G-Senjou, that was actually very smart in my opinion.

The thing is, there's already this widely held belief (heck, even I subscribe to it to an extent) that VNs require less effort from the player to experience, and have lower production values than AAA titles (what are static images compared to 3D environments and fully-animated character models?), and hence they shouldn't be priced on the level of AAA titles. People who have a better knowledge of how game development actually works may think otherwise, but that's exactly what the average Steam customer is likely to believe, and God forbid VNs start getting negative reviews from people who feel "ripped-off" by the pricing. I find that the value people put on things like games or movies can be highly subjective, so I'd actually encourage flexible and regional pricing because it makes a lot of sense from a pragmatic perspective. (and because it allows me to make off like a bandit. Clannad in India is INR 989, full-price. That's less than $20, no joke.)

And as for Sekai Project's trick with G-Senjou, I have to disagree with you there. Pricing tactics like that are more likely to raise eyebrows than anything else. VN loyalists will be upset that voice-acting's being relegated to a paid DLC, and non-VN fans are just going to scratch their heads and wonder what the fuck is going on. Sure, some people may end up buying the VN due to its lower priced edition, but there will be just as many, if not more people who will perceive Sekai Project's tactics as something akin to price-gouging.

Personally, I don't even agree with the idea that the pricing of a product reflects its value. For me, the only reason to put a price on entertainment or intellectual property is so that the producers can make a profit off it. As long as that happens, it shouldn't matter how much people are paying for it, or even if they're paying for it at all.

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9 hours ago, PulakK said:

The thing is, there's already this widely held belief (heck, even I subscribe to it to an extent) that VNs require less effort from the player to experience, and have lower production values than AAA titles (what are static images compared to 3D environments and fully-animated character models?), and hence they shouldn't be priced on the level of AAA titles. People who have a better knowledge of how game development actually works may think otherwise, but that's exactly what the average Steam customer is likely to believe, and God forbid VNs start getting negative reviews from people who feel "ripped-off" by the pricing. I find that the value people put on things like games or movies can be highly subjective, so I'd actually encourage flexible and regional pricing because it makes a lot of sense from a pragmatic perspective. (and because it allows me to make off like a bandit. Clannad in India is INR 989, full-price. That's less than $20, no joke.)

And as for Sekai Project's trick with G-Senjou, I have to disagree with you there. Pricing tactics like that are more likely to raise eyebrows than anything else. VN loyalists will be upset that voice-acting's being relegated to a paid DLC, and non-VN fans are just going to scratch their heads and wonder what the fuck is going on. Sure, some people may end up buying the VN due to its lower priced edition, but there will be just as many, if not more people who will perceive Sekai Project's tactics as something akin to price-gouging.

Personally, I don't even agree with the idea that the pricing of a product reflects its value. For me, the only reason to put a price on entertainment or intellectual property is so that the producers can make a profit off it. As long as that happens, it shouldn't matter how much people are paying for it, or even if they're paying for it at all.

Well, then allow me to disagree in turn (I actually agree with you on the first paragraph, which is why I think some patch-work is needed instead of simply raising the prices). And yeah, G-Senjou was price-gouging in a way, just like what MangaGamer does with its adult releases (around 5-10$ more expensive) and not selling physical copies until later, and JAST with everything it releases almost skipping QA and getting more delayed than Duke Nukem Forever. VN's are a market so tiny that every Call of Duty sells more than all the VNs sold since 2000 together, so there's need to get more of out that market without at the same time falling on Japan's tactics of overpricing everything. While rebelling against things like what Moenovel did is fine, we also need to have the flexibility to know that this market is extremely fragile, and that if we start demanding everything from it it may die before we know it. Of course, we all hope Muv-luv's release improves things, but the situation is what it is right now.

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14 minutes ago, Marx-93 said:

Well, then allow me to disagree in turn (I actually agree with you on the first paragraph, which is why I think some patch-work is needed instead of simply raising the prices). And yeah, G-Senjou was price-gouging in a way, just like what MangaGamer does with its adult releases (around 5-10$ more expensive) and not selling physical copies until later, and JAST with everything it releases almost skipping QA and getting more delayed than Duke Nukem Forever. VN's are a market so tiny that every Call of Duty sells more than all the VNs sold since 2000 together, so there's need to get more of out that market without at the same time falling on Japan's tactics of overpricing everything. While rebelling against things like what Moenovel did is fine, we also need to have the flexibility to know that this market is extremely fragile, and that if we start demanding everything from it it may die before we know it. Of course, we all hope Muv-luv's release improves things, but the situation is what it is right now.

I see that Moenovel has a pretty terrible reputation amongst the community. I haven't really heard much about them, so I'd be interested in knowing why.

And my logic for favoring regional and pragmatic pricing is simple: it's better to have 500 people buy something for $10 than it is for 5 people to buy something for $50. Pricing should be determined by exactly what each demographic is willing to pay, and ideally giving them some leeway in deciding what price they themselves want to pay. Economics can be complicated business, and depending on country and region, people's income brackets also vary widely.

The other important thing that VN publishers should take notice of is building a loyal fanbase and allowing it to grow. Degica's done an exemplary job of that with their updates and this community forum, and I think other publishers should follow their example. Fan engagement and pragmatic pricing may not be so important in Japan because VNs already have an established base there, but when you're trying to solidify your position in a new market, you owe it to yourself to understand the market as well as you possibly can, and adapt accordingly.

There's no one perfect formula that'll work for everyone when it comes to marketing, distributing and selling intellectual property, and it's important for publishers to realize that.

Edited by PulakK

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1 hour ago, PulakK said:

And my logic for favoring regional and pragmatic pricing is simple: it's better to have 500 people buy something for $10 than it is for 5 people to buy something for $50. Pricing should be determined by exactly what each demographic is willing to pay, and ideally giving them some leeway in deciding what price they themselves want to pay. Economics can be complicated business, and depending on country and region, people's income brackets also vary widely.

For the current visual novels on Steam (Clannad, Grisaia, G Senjou), I would say the pricing is what it should be, since the general appeal and plot of the games themselves are pretty limiting. Even if they were available for $10, there probably wouldn't be too huge of a difference in people willing to purchase them.

Muv Luv however has quite a bit more potential since it has a wide reaching plot and high production value. I know a few people who weren't familiar with VNs but became interested in Muv Luv because of the mecha designs. ML is also a good deal more cinematic than most VNs, conveying action through kinetic animations instead of static imagery. IMO, it's one of the few VNs that can appeal to those who have absolutely no interest in the medium, which is why I think it can get away with being priced lower. Problem is it doesn't convey any of that til post-Extra.

I don't see Muv Luv's release impacting the market for VNs, it's always going to be niche, but the game itself has the potential to become an anomaly (something like what Heavy Rain was for the PS3) and achieve some mainstream acclaim. It did after all inspire AoT.

Edited by Discalibur

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1 hour ago, PulakK said:

I see that Moenovel has a pretty terrible reputation amongst the community. I haven't really heard much about them, so I'd be interested in knowing why.

And my logic for favoring regional and pragmatic pricing is simple: it's better to have 500 people buy something for $10 than it is for 5 people to buy something for $50. Pricing should be determined by exactly what each demographic is willing to pay, and ideally giving them some leeway in deciding what price they themselves want to pay. Economics can be complicated business, and depending on country and region, people's income brackets also vary widely.

The other important thing that VN publishers should take notice of is building a loyal fanbase and allowing it to grow. Degica's done an exemplary job of that with their updates and this community forum, and I think other publishers should follow their example. Fan engagement and pragmatic pricing may not be so important in Japan because VNs already have an established base there, but when you're trying to solidify your position in a new market, you owe it to yourself to understand the market as well as you possibly can, and adapt accordingly.

There's no one perfect formula that'll work for everyone when it comes to marketing, distributing and selling intellectual property, and it's important for publishers to realize that.

The problem here is precisely that this is not simple. Mangagamer released GoGoNippon at slightly less than 10$ I think, and it bombed hard. Yet, 2 years later is released on Steam and it becomes the one of the not-free VN with most sales. The regular market is extremely tiny (most people who bought it later it was as a simple curiosity), and the profit is always an important point: As all VN publisher simply don't have the money to cover a simple upfront license they always go with royalties, this more or less sets up a price if the publisher wants to have any profit.

This means that we have big VNs with big license costs that require higher prices to make a profit, while the shorter (and frankly, mostly worse) VNs get very cheap and are bought en masse, but their lack of quality only devalues VNs further. If we looked at the worth of the money, undoubtedly all the bigger tittle will win overwhelmingly: Clannad, Grisaia and soon Muv-Luv have crazy length and cost around 40-50$, while most other VNs with less than a tenth in size cost 10-20$. But, things are not so simple: the VN Market simply doesn't have the size to accommodate a cheaper price and pray that it becomes one of the rare hits. In Japan the reaction to the tiny fanbase was to ramp up the prices, but in the West doing so simply encourages Piracy (well, and in Japan too, but there things are fairly more complex).

Oh, and on Moenovel, well, they basically butchered (as in, not censoring, but erasing even normal kissing scenes) a VN. If that's only what it was, then they wouldn't be so bad, but they also did so completely gracelessly (it's very clear when a scene was supposed to continue but they simply cut) and their translation was bad and the editing worse: one entire route was almost as bad as machine TL.

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The replies are too long.

 

On 2015/11/24 13:26:58, WS Eule said:

For reference, Clannad is at 100% positive out of 100 reviewss and G-senjou no Maou, while less popular, is sitting at 100% as well.

Clannad has 98.28% (229 Pos / 4 Neg)
 

You know what's wrong with Clannad? the bastards sell it a lower prices for other countries. We, that use USD/€, get ripped off with full price while the bastards living in the next country can buy it at 24 USD.
Imagine being a backer and spending 40 USD for a digital copy, and then, at launch, finding the game being sold at 21 USD.
I hope Degica doesn't do that shit.

 

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53 minutes ago, FaceEater said:

Clannad has 98.28% (229 Pos / 4 Neg)
 

You know what's wrong with Clannad? the bastards sell it a lower prices for other countries. We, that use USD/€, get ripped off with full price while the bastards living in the next country can buy it at 24 USD.
Imagine being a backer and spending 40 USD for a digital copy, and then, at launch, finding the game being sold at 21 USD.
I hope Degica doesn't do that shit.

Where do they sell it for $21?

Also I agree, 50€ (~$53) is too much. I could stomach the 39€ prizetag on release but I certainly wouldn't have bought it at fullprize.

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7 minutes ago, WS Eule said:

Where do they sell it for $21?

Also I agree, 50€ (~$53) is too much. I could stomach the 39€ prizetag on release but I certainly wouldn't have bought it at fullprize.

I think in Russia it was around that prize.

It's a little unfair to ramp on that; in the same Russia the average wage is at least 5 times smaller , so the value of those 21$ are obviously different there. Ditto for countries outside the Americas and Western Europe. While for us it may look unfair it's really the only way those countries can get the VNs: Who would buy Clannad if it was at around 250$? You're asking them that.

All in all, different prices are always good for games because it shows the developers care about the situation of that country. It's also very standard. Clannad was simply the first VN to do that I think, and it's surprising because contrarily to the AAA games that retailed there (and so had a "standard price" before steam) all (important) VNs until now were mostly uni-price.

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40 minutes ago, Marx-93 said:

I think in Russia it was around that prize.

It's a little unfair to ramp on that; in the same Russia the average wage is at least 5 times smaller , so the value of those 21$ are obviously different there. Ditto for countries outside the Americas and Western Europe. While for us it may look unfair it's really the only way those countries can get the VNs: Who would buy Clannad if it was at around 250$? You're asking them that.

All in all, different prices are always good for games because it shows the developers care about the situation of that country. It's also very standard. Clannad was simply the first VN to do that I think, and it's surprising because contrarily to the AAA games that retailed there (and so had a "standard price" before steam) all (important) VNs until now were mostly uni-price.

Well, that's what I was saying about regional pricing from the start. I myself happen to be one of the "bastards" who got the VN for less than $20 (you'd be surprised at how much easier it is to convince your parents to buy something when its price is lower). If you folks still have a problem with that, you can suck it.

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1 hour ago, Marx-93 said:

I think in Russia it was around that prize.

It's a little unfair to ramp on that; in the same Russia the average wage is at least 5 times smaller , so the value of those 21$ are obviously different there. Ditto for countries outside the Americas and Western Europe. While for us it may look unfair it's really the only way those countries can get the VNs: Who would buy Clannad if it was at around 250$? You're asking them that.

All in all, different prices are always good for games because it shows the developers care about the situation of that country. It's also very standard. Clannad was simply the first VN to do that I think, and it's surprising because contrarily to the AAA games that retailed there (and so had a "standard price" before steam) all (important) VNs until now were mostly uni-price.

Yep that's exactly what I was thinking when he talked about it being $21 in some contries, but I didn't want to jump the gun there. Also Russia is a particularily bad comparison because those keys usually are region-locked so there's no way for people outside Russia to take advantage of the lower prizes.

Also backing a Kickstarter project =/= buying a product. Many people don't get that fact.

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12 hours ago, Marx-93 said:

I think in Russia it was around that prize.

It's a little unfair to ramp on that; in the same Russia the average wage is at least 5 times smaller , so the value of those 21$ are obviously different there. Ditto for countries outside the Americas and Western Europe. While for us it may look unfair it's really the only way those countries can get the VNs: Who would buy Clannad if it was at around 250$? You're asking them that.

All in all, different prices are always good for games because it shows the developers care about the situation of that country. It's also very standard. Clannad was simply the first VN to do that I think, and it's surprising because contrarily to the AAA games that retailed there (and so had a "standard price" before steam) all (important) VNs until now were mostly uni-price.

They care about Russia, but what about other countries? The economy in Russia in better than us, but we have to pay 50 USD, how is that fair? not only Russia, the lower price is for a lot of countries. If they care for some countries but are an asshole for the orthers, of course people for those other countries would not like it.

Look at the prices for Fallout 4, only 3 countries has a big difference (more than10%)

https://steamdb.info/app/377160/

Now look at the prices of Clannad:

https://steamdb.info/app/324160/

Only €, Franc and Won are close to the USD (less than 10%).

With sales and shit, there is no reason to make the price cheaper in some countries, other than pissing off those who use USD and €.

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34 minutes ago, FaceEater said:

They care about Russia, but what about other countries? The economy in Russia in better than us, but we have to pay 50 USD, how is that fair? not only Russia, the lower price is for a lot of countries. If they care for some countries but are an asshole for the orthers, of course people for those other countries would not like it.

Look at the prices for Fallout 4, only 3 countries has a big difference (more than10%)

https://steamdb.info/app/377160/

Now look at the prices of Clannad:

https://steamdb.info/app/324160/

Only €, Franc and Won are close to the USD (less than 10%).

With sales and shit, there is no reason to make the price cheaper in some countries, other than pissing off those who use USD and €.

The reason pricing is done the way it's done is simple; people in the US can always be relied on to pay more for stuff than people of other countries. With niche titles like VNs, it's understandable that publishers would want to break into less receptive markets by pricing their products pragmatically. If you really hate the system so much, you might as well start boycotting or pirating the VNs, because the only reason this system is in place is because it works. This has nothing to do with you being persecuted, and nobody's trying to piss you off. It's business, plain and simple.

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I don't know how much of this is true, although believable, but I've heard that software prices were low in Russia because piracy was widespread.

This is just an attempt at reducing the number of pirated copies in circulation. If a game is cheap, people often don't bother downloading a dubious version and buy the original product instead.

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