I really, really admire your journals, there is so much useful informations, that I don’t how to thank you
I’m probably not exactly your target, but I’m very interested in the game since it’s created in Defold and because I don’t have a laptop to play (only business laptop) I’m getting more convinced to buy it for a mobile.
I was a gamer playing on a PC. Most of games I bought were on sale 1-2 year after a release. The prices of games are like 2-3 times more expensive for polish people comparing earnings to US, though players are buying them anyway, but, as you noticed, on sales
Being a twin dad changed everything - I want to take care of my family, job and hobby, a gamedev, so there is no time for PC. Here comes a smartphone - I play rather small, free casual games or sometimes engaging productions, which I’ll describe.
When it comes to mobile games Play store changed everything. You know, people (including me ofc too) got used to free games, they watch ads and rich people are making some microtransactions, so they think that’s enough for a developer. I bought without hesitation some popular premium games like (RPGs:) Crashlands, Baldur’s Gate II, Exiles, Ravensword, (Adventure:) Fahrenheit, Monument Valley 1 and 2, Amanita games, Lumino City, Old Man’s Journey and This War of Mine. Most of them were around ~3-10 zł (~1-3 $), the highest was 19 zł (~5 $)so you can see how some, not so rich, people are shopping - popular and checked games or indie games with a great reviews at low price.
There is of course one obvious conclusion - that 10$ is too much. I can’t understand why do you think it would be easier to sell one game for 10$, instead of 10 games for 1$? I’m not the best person to give advices, but I thought, that those 1-3$ games are selling very well (watching store’s charts), so the revenue is higher than for those more expensive, isn’t it?
When it comes to mobile games prizes, there is an argument that regards the market and its prize capabilities - so PC Life is Strange is about 5$ and Android version is free (first episode). GTA:SA is 17$ on Steam, while 8.5$ on Play Store.
I know it’s not fair, I agree with you that, how gamers value games is really, really weird, but that’s how it is, and as we can see even Rockstar or Square Enix won’t change it. We, as developers, need to adapt. Some people making and selling shoes try to sell them, so they earn for new materials and own salary, while big brands sell shoes made in China factory for so much money… I don’t believe the world is going to change, so we can only adapt. In our market, we can only blame free games on the store that, paradoxically, wasting the market, enlarged it, making games available for all, dads with responsibilities and no time, students with no salaries and a lot of time, women who didn’t understood PC gaming but liked Match 3, even grannies in trams who like gambling
What I’m trying to make is to convince you to promote your game at all cost, even if it seems unprofitable at the beginning - the only chance to get more money is to convince players, that your game is awesome, so more of them would buy it and recommend it to others
I respect you have chosen premium model without IAP and ads, but I think, for that model you need to have many good reviews and excellent marketing, so people will have more arguments to buy it