A few days back, Jeff Vogel posted on his blog that indie developers should Charge More for their games. Now Brad Wardell comes along and says indies should charge less.

That was one of the comments he made in his interview with gamebiz, which I linked to in yesterday’s Stardock: Mea Culpa post. Brad believes independents can sell far more if their products are priced low.

He cites an old game that was marked down considerably: “…we came out and marked Space Rangers 2 down to $4 [from $40]. We sold something like 10,000 copies over the weekend.”

Not bad for an old title. Then again, the original price might have been a little steep to begin with. It isn’t much different from finding last month’s hot title in a bargin bin. Or buying “golden oldies” from GOG at low prices.

Brad continues by saying that markdowns need to be steep, so that a lot of copies can be sold to offset the low price:

But going from $40 and marking a title down to $30, you won’t get appreciably more sales than you would have got at $35–not enough to justify the revenue loss. Similarly, if you mark it down to $25, it’s not worth it. But mark it down to 10 bucks, it suddenly sells so many copies that it generates more revenue than it would have otherwise.

He does realize, however, that this doesn’t apply to every game. And let’s not forget that Sins Of A Solar Empire wasn’t selling for any five or ten dollars. Had he knocked the price down to $10, would the game have sold as well?

And there’s still that “indie = cheap” mindset. People complain about paying $28 for a Spiderweb game, yet they plunk down $50-$60 for an “A” title that may not be half as good. Yes, they mutter about the high price of that “A” game, but they still buy it.

The “more/less” debate could probably go on forever. Unless, that is, people really come around to realize that indie products (or at least some of them) are, in fact, worth just as much as any “A” title.