There was a remark in Jeff’s post the other day (Jeff Vogel Gives Numbers) that I’d like to discuss. He wrote about the $28 price for Geneforge 4: “That might seem very expensive for an Indie title.”

Why? Just because a huge team of programmers, artists, musicians, voice talent, and whatnot, didn’t work on a game? To me, that $28 price tag seems low.

Quickly browsing some back issues (really early ones) of CGW, I noted that the prices of computer games back then ran from $29.95 – $49.95. A few were a bit less, some were higher, but most were in that range, with $39.95 being the median.

Many of those products were from small companies that would be considered “indie” these days. No one was an “indie” back then; they were all just game companies, even if the company was two guys in a garage.

I see no reason why an “indie” product (a quality product) should automatically have a low price. “Low price” often equates to “cheap” in the minds of many people.

For that matter, I have the feeling that for too many, “indie game” means a “cheap game” in terms of quality. How can you have a good game without that huge team doing the work?

It takes as much time and effort to make a good indie game as any “A” title (and “A” games would probably be done sooner if there weren’t so much retrenching and redesigning). Why shouldn’t the author(s) be adequately compensated for the work?

Independent products typically sell far fewer copies than any “big title”. So why quibble over a price that is low in comparison already? I think it goes back to what I said above: that people equate “indie” with “cheap”.

So no, I don’t think Jeff’s price point is too high. His games are worth the money. And I suspect there are plenty of other “indie” games out there that are worth more, too. Sell yourself too cheaply, and no one will think of highly of you.