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When figuring out a price to set a commercial RPG game made using RPG Maker, it seems logical to consider that when it comes to the general audience for RPGs, the competition is not only other RPG Maker games but also all other RPGs. It might be interesting to look at how big company RPGs and indie RPGs are priced when mulling over how much to set the price for one's own game.

Here are some examples from Steam (for the purpose of generalization, only SFW games are listed):

Baldur's Gate 3 --- $59.99
Dragon Quest Heroes II --- $59.99
Octopath Traveler --- $59.99
Final Fantasy XII - The Zodiac Age --- $49.99
Tales of Zestiria --- $49.99
Secret of Mana --- $39.99
Battle Chasers: Nightwar --- $29.99
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster --- $29.99
Final Fantasy Type-0 HD --- $29.99
Final Fantasy XI Ultimate Collection --- $29.99 ---> $9.89 on current sale
World of Final Fantasy --- $24.99
Final Fantasy IX --- $20.99
***Orangeblood (RPG MAKER) --- $19.99
Final Fantasy XIV Online --- $19.99
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered --- $19.99
Final Fantasy XIII-2 --- $19.99
Lightning Returns - Final Fantasy XIII --- $19.99
Epic Battle Fantasy 5 --- $19.99
Tales of Symphonia --- $19.99
Siralim Ultimate --- $19.99
Geneforge 1 - Mutation --- $19.99
***The Great Gaias (RPG MAKER) --- $19.99 (originally $29.99)
Dead Age 2 --- $17.99
***The Rising of the Shield Hero (RPG MAKER) --- $15.99
Final Fantasy XIII --- $15.99
Final Fantasy IV --- $15.99
Final Fantasy VI --- $15.99
Final Fantasy III --- $15.99
Final Fantasy V --- $15.99
Final Fantasy IV - The After Years --- $15.99
***Aveyond 4: Shadow of the Mist (RPG MAKER) --- $14.99
Chrono Trigger --- $14.99
***Skyborn (RPG MAKER) --- $14.99
Shadows of Adam --- $14.99
***Ara Fell - Enhanced Edition (originally RPG Maker 2003, remade in Unity) --- $14.99
***The Book of Shadows --- $14.99 ---> $10.49 on current sale
Final Fantasy VII (original) --- $11.99
Final Fantasy VIII (original) --- $11.99
Epic Battle Fantasy 4 --- $11.99
***Gaia's Melody: Echoed Melodies (RPG MAKER) --- $10.99
MARDEK --- $9.99
***Aveyond 3-1: Lord of Twilight (RPG MAKER) --- $9.99
Shadowrun Returns --- $9.99
Light Fairytale Episode 2 --- $9.99 ---> $7.49 on current sale
***Radiant Arc (RPG MAKER) --- $5.99

It's worth noting that a lot of the big company RPGs listed here may go on discount for as much as 50%-75% off.

Some other things to consider:

The amount of content in the game.
The quality of graphics, sound, writing, and gameplay.
The current state of currency inflation.
The prior work, accreditation, or reputation of the developer.
The marketing of the game.

The amount of time and work spent making a game seems to not be a good factor in pricing, since the buyer probably won't care if the developer spent X amount of time in development or spent their life savings to develop their project.

The appearance of potential asset flipping is a source of stigma that the buyer might (not necessarily will) consider when deciding whether to buy a game.
 

orochi2k

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I don't think how others set prices even matters.
It's ultimately just how you want to set the price.

Here is an extreme example.
I will likely set the game price to $199...
in a few decades if the world is not ended by then. :kaojoy:
But, for the first year, it's going to be $3.99
 

bgillisp

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Yeah using how others set prices is a bad way to do things as we sadly have a race to the bottom going on. No matter what you charge someone will say it is too expensive unless it is free.

As it is my game is $14.99 on Steam. It's sold decently (over 100 units) at that price even. And I remember The Great Gaias asking $29.99 on Steam and it was an RPGMaker game and it did really well (its now $19.99 last time I checked so they did lower the price over time).

Edit: Saw you had mine on the list too above when I read it again in more detail.
 

WingedHares

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Yeah, I agree with @bgillisp . Nothing's better than free. Genshin Impact is a huge example. Sure, it has microtransactions, but thanks to it being able to be enjoyed as a free product, its popularity pretty much skyrocketed. Ofc, other factors are to be considered too x'D

For me, since I want my games to be enjoyed by a lot of people regardless of their background ( remember that games are luxury product ), I've decided all my base games would be free and only putting paywall for nsfw DLCs.

Ofc, that won't really be viable in the long run, so I'mma go the ads route, but make 'em as non-intrusive as possible x'D

A high-quality game + free + non-intrusive ads = success!

That's the hella optimistic plan, anyway x'D
 

saintivan

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The competition is beyond fierce....studios put their older RPG games for sale at huge discounts. So, we are competing with the very best RPG's of today....and yesterday....going all the way back for thirty years at steep discounts. Most people wait for Steam sales in any case, so whatever you price your game at, it will be 50% less before long. I'm debating between $7.99 and $8.99 for my upcoming title....about the price of a book which seems reasonable to me.
 

Conflictx3

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this is something i sit with constantly, i'm very happy to say i have done commerce business before and have a strong understanding of marketing and sales, i always tell myself to do either a workshop or just a thread about some innovative ways to market but i want to test them with my own project first, NOT TO REAP THE BENEFITS, but for something in marketing known as "proof of concept", its easier to tell someone what works vs what doesn't when you have a product and the analytics to go with it.

but before i get ahead of myself i will say this, OP isn't entirely wrong it is SUPER IMPORTANT to know what the competition listing their games at, you don't what to list your game at 83.99 because its just...well uncommon. but in this day and age prices have become pretty streamlined and instead of knowing other titles just know the category you fall in:

$59.99 for your standard edition AAA game,
$49.99 for top tier IP,
$29.99 for standard Indie games and big company small projects,
$14.99 for a simple indie that promises at least 3-5 hours of fresh content/fun.
$9.99 for bargain bin stuff where its mostly junk but you might find a hidden gem. anything below $10 is viewed as junk nobody wants OR an up and coming developer with a small but awesome project.

games listed at price points in between like 39.99 basically say they offer more than a $30 game but not as much as a $50 game, simple as that.

Also you need to understand return on investment. how much did it cost you in time AND money?
add it ALL UP from that $1.99 plugin to that $45 cover art you scraped for. figure out a selling price and a rational number of sales to recoup all of that. my BIGGEST PET PEEVE with rpg maker devs, don't sell your game for $0.99 because you think a lower price will net you more sales (its actually the opposite people believe more money = better quality and more worthwhile) when you spent $300 to make that game, even if you sold 300 copies your not breaking even.

if you for example spent $1000 on your game, and your gonna try your hardest to sell it to 100 people, sell your game for 14.99, and put it on steam sale every other month for $9.99, the word sale will always excite people until the end of time, and if 50 buy it on sale and the other 50 buy it at 14.99 you'll see a profit of $150-$300 ($1150-$1300 in total net profit after taxes and fees). in this scenario you made back the $1000 you spent to make your game and can use toward another game and you got a profit of $150-$300 that pays for your TIME, the time you spent putting that game together, this example doesn't say much but i'll tell you that feeling of waking up to extra money from sales you made WHILE you were asleep is MAGICAL. Doesn't matter if its $10 or $500 making money in your sleep is lovely.

Finally, the consumer isn't dumb, their not going to look at an RPG Maker Game and automatically go "THIS IS GARBAGE AND NOT WORTH 14.99", yes they'll be IMMEDIATELY turned off by the price but the consumer will investigate. i.e they'll look at the games presentation:

lets think steam: if its a title they know they wont think twice for a "tales of" or "Persona", they want it they'll pay.

For an indie title its a complete mystery for the consumer. They look at the game title first, they look at the price, they look at the images and the trailer to convince them, your presentation is key.

so if that logo, that clip of the battle and story, and screenshot of that world don't line up. then they'll
A. Add it to their wish list for later review with discount. Possibly never buying.
B. google it for any let's play, ratings, and review videos.
C. pass on it altogether.

figure out your ROI (return on investment), pick a price point that MAKES sense, and make your presentation RIGHT and don't be so focused on what price will make them buy, cuz its not about price alone.
 

orochi2k

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$59.99 for your standard edition AAA game,
$49.99 for top tier IP,
$29.99 for standard Indie games and big company small projects,
$14.99 for a simple indie that promises at least 3-5 hours of fresh content/fun.
$9.99 for bargain bin stuff where its mostly junk but you might find a hidden gem. anything below $10 is viewed as junk nobody wants OR an up and coming developer with a small but awesome project.
Not so, if you put it into a global market.
You can find games made in Japan that may have a ridiculously high price because of tax.
For example, uncharted waters IV HD is above $100 https://steamdb.info/sub/561572/

You can also find some games made in China that may have a relatively lower price because of some unspeakable reasons.
For example, Dyson Sphere Program is $19.99 https://steamdb.info/app/1366540/

In addition to that, as Steam is a global market, you will also find Valve suggest you sell your game at a relatively lower price in some regions such as Turkey, Russia, and Argentina. If you convert those prices back to USD, you will likely find the price is halved if not even lower.
That effectively makes ROI quite hard to calculate if based on raw copies sold.
 

Conflictx3

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@orochi2k

your right, I was mainly focused on America as the US and MAYBE the UK are the only markets I'm concerned with as i have no interest in language translations. However you are right there are devs who care about the global market. But i still stand by my previous statement as far as the US goes.
 

saintivan

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Persuasive: "$14.99 for a simple Indie that promises at least 3-5 hours of fresh content/fun". I am inclined to agree; however, Steam sales are ubiquitous, and even top AAA games of yesteryear are at that price or lower.

Also persuasive: "... anything below $10 is viewed as junk nobody wants OR an up and coming developer with a small but awesome project.

Conclusion: I am now debating between $9.99 and $14.99 :LZScat:
 
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$9.99 for bargain bin stuff where its mostly junk but you might find a hidden gem. anything below $10 is viewed as junk nobody wants OR an up and coming developer with a small but awesome project.

It's worth noting that $9.99 and lower is where a huge chunk of the competition is, so there may actually be more hurdles of difficulty for marketing one's game if selling in this range than at higher ranges.

Marketing can make or break the sales of a game, and it's not just how many people one reaches with marketing but also how well the marketing presents a "perceived value" to potential customers. A mediocre game might still get decent sales if the marketing for it makes people have better feelings about making a purchase. A great game might fail to sell enough to make profit if the marketing for it makes people wonder if it should have been sold for much less than its current price.

It's one thing to sell a game at the price that you as the developer believe it deserves; it's another thing to actually convince other people that the game deserves the price you chose for it.
 

Conflictx3

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It's one thing to sell a game at the price that you as the developer believe it deserves; it's another thing to actually convince other people that the game deserves the price you chose for it.

Yes, yes YES! YOUR ABSOLUTELY CORRECT!! this post made me smile cuz I like these type of topics lol, yes marketing is literally the art of making a product or service seem amazing enough to warrant the price.

You are quite honestly selling "the hype", I love hanging out on crowdfunding sites, looking at the presentation and the audience reception

I've seen game devs with GREAT presentation and people throwing money at them but when the game comes out its NOTHIN LIKE THEY PROMISED. While o find that a bit too underhanded for my tastes I understand the hustle.

All is fair in love and gaming
 

rue669

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I would only add that -- regardless of what you price your game at, no one is buying it unless it is on sale. That is because Steam users (and if you are thinking commercial, Steam is a must), always buy games on sale, especially indie titles. I have never bought a full priced PC game on Steam. Never. And I am not unique in that regard.
 

WingedHares

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I would only add that -- regardless of what you price your game at, no one is buying it unless it is on sale. That is because Steam users (and if you are thinking commercial, Steam is a must), always buy games on sale, especially indie titles. I have never bought a full priced PC game on Steam. Never. And I am not unique in that regard.
Well, no one is a bit of a stretch, but I get what you mean xD

I tend to just buy things I'm interested in regardless of sales, but wait for sales for the ones I'm unsure of.

Have an interesting game and market it properly are the major points, really. Unless you're lucky, your game will never be found without good marketing, no matter how good the game is :'D
 

Pots Talos

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I would just like to point out that I shouldn't have lowered the price of The Great Gaias from $29.99 to $19.99.

This is my first title and I know it is worth the $29.99 not only because of my own opinion but there are now reviews and other sources saying it is worth the price. I only lowered it because I'm still learning and wanted to see if it would translate into more sales.

I had originally planned on releasing it at $19.99 but while at a game convention where I was trying to build hype before release people were telling me I was selling it for too little after they had tried the demo.

Now, the reason I should never have lowered the price is because lowering the price to $19.99 affected sales by 0% I didn't sell anymore or any less than normal. Not only that but while having it priced at $29.99 people were talking about it and wondering why an RPG Maker game thought it deserved such a high price. I don't know if people talking about the price lead to sales but talking about the game is good no matter what.

Ah well, live and learn. :D
 
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I would just like to point out that I shouldn't have lowered the price of The Great Gaias from $29.99 to $19.99.

This is my first title and I know it is worth the $29.99 not only because of my own opinion but there are now reviews and other sources saying it is worth the price. I only lowered it because I'm still learning and wanted to see if it would translate into more sales.

I had originally planned on releasing it at $19.99 but while at a game convention where I was trying to build hype before release people were telling me I was selling it for too little after they had tried the demo.

Now, the reason I should never have lowered the price is because lowering the price to $19.99 affected sales by 0% I didn't sell anymore or any less than normal. Not only that but while having it priced at $29.99 people were talking about it and wondering why an RPG Maker game thought it deserved such a high price. I don't know if people talking about the price lead to sales but talking about the game is good no matter what.

Ah well, live and learn. :D

The problem with that logic is that then you have to compare your reviews with the reviews of other games. For example, the reviews of Final Fantasy games, which are far more numerous and trustworthy because so many more people have played and reviewed Final Fantasy games.

It is because Square Enix put so much into marketing its Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest brands that many indie RPGs on the market WILL be compared to them on some level if selling at the same price range.

If The Great Gaias were kept at $29.99, then it would be $10-15 more than older Final Fantasy games that are also still sold, and has much higher bars to hit if the game is to increase sales.

A customer will still wonder why they should buy The Great Gaias at $19.99 when they can get a Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest game at the same price range, and their own time for gameplay may be limited, especially if they're working adults.

For example, I'd recommend looking at the store page for Final Fantasy IV 3D remake on Steam and compare their trailer(s) with the trailer for The Great Gaias. The challenge of marketing to customers is made much more difficult for indie devs when they are competing with big dev companies in the same price range, because of how strong the marketing is for big dev company games.
 

Pots Talos

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@Storyteller-Hero
There is no competing with a big dev company like Square Enix so why even compare? The Great Gaias is there for someone who wants an experience similar or better than a FF game. I have no delusions in thinking if some new player is looking at an FF game and my game that they would choose mine over FF (even though they should) ;).
 

orochi2k

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Review is an interesting thing.
I don't think anyone here can get a worse review score than Johan's "Expansion - Europa Universalis IV: Leviathan" on Steam. (Only 8% positive review right now.)
However, a big reason for people to bomb it with negative reviews is they care about the game. They love it so much that one flawed DLC can bring such a flood of negative reviews.

Such is the story of people's love and hatred about games. :kaojoy:
 

jkweath

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I would just like to point out that I shouldn't have lowered the price of The Great Gaias from $29.99 to $19.99.

This is my first title and I know it is worth the $29.99 not only because of my own opinion but there are now reviews and other sources saying it is worth the price. I only lowered it because I'm still learning and wanted to see if it would translate into more sales.

I had originally planned on releasing it at $19.99 but while at a game convention where I was trying to build hype before release people were telling me I was selling it for too little after they had tried the demo.

Now, the reason I should never have lowered the price is because lowering the price to $19.99 affected sales by 0% I didn't sell anymore or any less than normal. Not only that but while having it priced at $29.99 people were talking about it and wondering why an RPG Maker game thought it deserved such a high price. I don't know if people talking about the price lead to sales but talking about the game is good no matter what.

Ah well, live and learn. :D

Thanks for sharing!

I've also lowered the price of a couple of my games before--nothing nearly as major as your price change, but regardless my experience was about the same. Lowering my prices didn't result in any extra sales.

I assume this is because my games rarely sell copies at full price anyway, so lowering the price wasn't going to change that. The majority of my sales come from discounts. May also be worth mentioning that wishlists are notified with a discount, but I'm not sure the same happens with a permanent price drop--so some people might not even notice it.

In your particular case, I don't know how steep you run your discounts, but I'd wager you'd have sold more copies overall if you kept your price at $29.99 and ran steeper discounts. But like you said, live and learn!
 

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