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Desura Starts A Race To The Bottom For Indie Games

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Desura starting this weekend will launch a big sale called "Cheap End", it will run monthly on the lasy weekend of every month and promises plenty of cheap games.

Developers can lower their price any time to try to rise the ranks of the Cheap End deal. The main thing is all the developers will be lowering their prices to try to hit Desura's front-page. Desura allows developers to run their own sales any time outside of this too.

Desura have no part in the sales other than displaying them, this is all up to the developers.

For some reason some sites have claimed Desura at times requires games to be free, this is not true and has never happened it seems some editors are getting their information wrong and Desura are keen to stress that's never been the case.

It's good for Desura to try to start doing more for their store, for too long they have been sitting on their hands and not engaging the community or developers with different runs like this.

Desura still haven't decided on what they are doing with their Linux client yet, I've spoken with the client developer and he has put my thoughts forward to the Desura web team to remove the very dated and buggy Linux client download link to give people the standalone downloads instead, a good compromise until they either decide to officially carry on their Linux client or drop it altogether and just keep standalone downloads like most other stores have.

There seems to be no press release other than an article at Gamasutra.

What are your thoughts on this? How do you feel about Desura? Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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16 comments
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FireFlower Games 29 May 2014 at 12:10 pm UTC
I honestly don't think a race to the bottom campaign is good for the industry even if it's an innovative campaign. It just makes people think games should be priced lower than they are and they are already priced low.
They could probably have come up with something better that would benefit the indie game scene more in the long run.
rudeboyskunk 29 May 2014 at 12:23 pm UTC
FireFlower Gamesthey are already priced low.

as a poor person, i disagree
Anonymous 29 May 2014 at 12:31 pm UTC
FireFlower GamesI honestly don't think a race to the bottom campaign is good for the industry even if it's an innovative campaign. It just makes people think games should be priced lower than they are and they are already priced low.
They could probably have come up with something better that would benefit the indie game scene more in the long run.

While I hear what you are saying, most of the games that go on sale are older titles, so you get to sell your game to people who would other wise never have bought it, or were sitting on the fence.

I can't tell you how many games I've bought that I would never have given a second glance, just because they were cheap and I had nothing to lose. Now I would happily pay full price for their sequels. I also end up spreading the word to all my friends who in turn may pick up one or two items and tell their friends etc.

I personally haven't bought a single title from Desura, but if I can get some bargains I will definitely check it out.
Mike 29 May 2014 at 12:44 pm UTC
I see a bubble waiting to burst with indie games. Not because there isn't demand or the games are low quality like in the Atari video game crash (quite the opposite), but because there is always a sale somewhere, which means no one ever pays full price and they will continue to get lower. It's a shame because this is kind of a golden age in gaming.
pb 29 May 2014 at 2:58 pm UTC
I bought a whole lot of indie games from bundles, sales, and sometimes just from the store, for the normal price. And honestly I think that quite many of them were not worth the listing price of 9,99, not to mention 14,99 or 19,99. Most of the titles I played should be priced in 1-2 dollar range, so it's rather obvious that they are put in the store for 5-10 dollars just to do the discounts (because a lot of people only buy games at sales). So the thinking seems to be: "I want to sell my game for $2, so I'm setting the $8 price tag so that I can do a -75% discount.".

Moreover, I tend to think that if games were priced right, they would sell easier and not end up in bundles and on deep sales shortly after launch. I mean, at $2 I could buy every new Linux release and never look back even if most of them turn out crappy. On the other hand, there are also games that are well worth their listing price of $10, $20 or more, so I'm not saying that *every* game should cost $1 or $2. It's just that the devs seem to have no clue (you can even see them on the Greenlight pages stating that they have no idea how much the game will cost).

Anyway, what I was meaning to say is that sales are sometimes the only way to buy a given game at the *right* price. :-)
Anonymous 29 May 2014 at 3:14 pm UTC
FireFlower GamesI honestly don't think a race to the bottom campaign is good for the industry even if it's an innovative campaign. It just makes people think games should be priced lower than they are and they are already priced low.
They could probably have come up with something better that would benefit the indie game scene more in the long run.
That's not true. Most of the developers now days re lazy; most of them use engines developed by other company and engine developers have lowered their price, so why wouldn't they. Also if they lower price to e.g 5$ a lot of people will buy it. Times have changed games that cost more than 10$ have greedy developers. Before game devs were forced to set higher price since not a lot of people had PC. It's better that 10000 people buy game for 5 $ than to 1000 people buy game for 50$
FireFlower Games 29 May 2014 at 3:15 pm UTC
I agree that some games probably should be priced lower (and perhaps some higher?). But who decides how much a game is worth? One person might think a game is worth €15 another could think the same game is worth €10 and a third €5.

Would probably be interesting to do a survey on the subject. Like choose 5 games and let 100 people set prices for them, or something like that. Anyone interested in being part of something like that?
Speedster 29 May 2014 at 3:28 pm UTC
FireFlower GamesWould probably be interesting to do a survey on the subject. Like choose 5 games and let 100 people set prices for them, or something like that. Anyone interested in being part of something like that?

Yes, assuming the list is known ahead of time so I can make sure they have topics and genres I might actually consider buying. No point in getting ridiculous input from somebody who wouldn't ever buy the game, e.g. -$10 for a Civ-like game (you'd have to pay *me* to play anything that close to those World Civ college classes that I despised)
stan 29 May 2014 at 5:23 pm UTC
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I’m still avoiding Desura because they obviously don’t care the slightest bit about Linux users and their client crashes all the time.
Liam Dawe 29 May 2014 at 5:26 pm UTC
stanI’m still avoiding Desura because they obviously don’t care the slightest bit about Linux users and their client crashes all the time.

This is why I have suggested to them to just remove the client link and stick to standalone downloads for Linux until they decide what to do for the client.

Desura are usually quite responsive.
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