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Robert Boyd, Blogger

January 12, 2012

4 Min Read

On January 4th, we decided to drop the price of Cthulhu Saves the World on the Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) platform from 240 MS points ($3 USD) to 80 MS points ($1 USD). The game had been out for just over a year, Microsoft had just relaxed pricing restrictions on the platform, but mostly I was just curious as to what would happen.

For a baseline, before the price drop, we were selling about 20-21 copies of Cthulhu Saves the World a day on average on the XBLIG platform.

Here's the first week of sales since the price drop (I left out the 4th because the price drop was only in effect for a short period of time that day). I've also posted a couple notes on relevant events that happened on specific days.

Jan 5 - 220 sales (96 trials) - First full day at 80 MS points

Jan 6 - 317 sales (106 trials) - Brief mention on Major Nelson's podcast by e

Jan 7 - 188 sales (93 trials)

Jan 8 - 139 sales (85 trials)

Jan 9 -  97 sales (64 trials)

Jan 10- 127 sales (100 trials) - First day that the game is in the top 30 Top Daily Downloads for XBLIG since the price drop

Jan 11- 229 sales (152 trials)

And now for some thoughts.

Since the price drop, we've been getting more sales a day than trial downloads. The game has gotten good reviews from a number of sites and from user ratings and it's only a dollar so it's understandable than many people would decide to buy it without trying it out first. It's also possible that some people may have downloaded the demo in the past and with the price drop finally decided to buy it.

Although it wasn't always like this in the past, now a game's position on the Top Downloads chart is an average of a week and not just the most recent day. Hopefully, what this means is that it's much harder to get in the Top Downloads list but once you're in, it's more likely that you'll stay in. Cthulhu Saves the World was at about #100 before the price drop and started improving with each new day. With January 11th sales data in, we now have a full week of sales since the price drop and our rank is at #18. EDIT: I was just told that the Top Downloads chart is a day behind the most recent data we receive directly on our sales which means that our rank should go up tomorrow since that will be the first day that the chart reflects a full week at the lower price.

Top Downloads ranking is determined by adding sales & trial downloads together. Not sure why they do this - basing it just on sales seems like it would reward the higher quality games more. Note: this is just an educated guess based on data I've seen since becoming an XBLIG developer; Microsoft hasn't actually come out and said that the ranking is sales + trials.

If you assume an average of 20-21 games sold a day before the price drop, the price drop has increased our average daily revenue on XBLIG by about x3 so far.

The price drop doesn't seem to be affecting our sales of our games on Steam or the XBLIG version of Breath of Death VII either positively or negatively. Both are about what they were before the CSTW XBLIG price drop.

Not sure why our stats jumped so much on the 11th. It was a jump for all countries so I don't think it was a specific website. Maybe we passed some sort of critical milestone and now we're more visible or being offered as more recommendations on xbox.com or the Xbox dashboard.

So all in all, it's been a big success so far. Keep in mind that we were able to get a fair bit of media coverage on the price drop (the fact that we bundled in an announcement about upcoming ports didn't hurt things) - just dropping your game's price won't do much good if nobody knows about it. Hopefully, sales will continue to do well over the coming weeks and months and this won't just be a short-term boost

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