First off, a huge thank you to everyone that has purchased Letter Quest so far! We really appreciate your support, and we hope that you’ve been enjoying the game!
As some of you may have noticed, we recently decreased the price of Letter Quest. We put a lot of time and effort into this decision, and have been stressing over it for many days. And before the initial release, we put a ton of time into choosing what we thought was a fair price. I can honestly say that I’ve been losing sleep over the decision for a few days. Let me explain how we’ve approached pricing (and if you’d like to know what we’re doing/offering for people that already bought the game at $7.99, please scroll down to the bottom of the article).
When we decided upon our original price of $9.99 for the PC and Mac version (which no one has ever paid, the game has been on sale for $7.99 since day 1), we looked at many factors, including:
- Letter Quest was a mobile game first, and is free on iOS and Android, with a $2.99 purchase to unlock all of the additional weapons, tilesets, and Rose (ie: the “full game”)
- For the desktop release, we made a huge amount of changes.
- What are other indie games like ours charging?
- What are other games charging that also were originally mobile games?
All of the desktop changes took nearly 4 months of full-time work. We think that Letter Quest on desktop feels like a desktop game now, not a mobile port. So we felt justified in asking $9.99 for the game, and did a lot of research into other indie titles that released in the last 6 months, looking at the quality of their artwork, length of the game, how long the dev time was, etc. – basically anything we could use to gather info and help us with our decision. We found that $9.99 was a very common and seemingly fair price for a game like ours.
Unfortunately we have realized that (based on some people’s feedback and the fact that the mobile version exists) Letter Quest will always be seen as a “mobile port brought to desktop”, even though it barely resembles the mobile version anymore. And so a lot of people see it that way, and can’t justify paying the $9.99 price (or even the $7.99 sale price). Add to that the fact that “word games” in general seem to be a hard sell these days, and it started to become clear that our price point just wasn’t going to work.
Also, I personally emailed over 40 members of the press about the Letter Quest release, most of which I emailed two weeks before the game’s release (I would have loved to have given them more notice, but the truth is that I’m out of money, and couldn’t afford to sit on a finished game for any longer without any sales revenue), and ended up getting zero coverage. Not a single mention anywhere. No reviews. No news posts. No previews. Nothing. We’re not sure what happened, maybe my email wasn’t very good (although I also emailed tons of press about Letter Quest on mobile back in February and got a lot of coverage, and people even mentioning that they loved how I pitched the game), maybe most PC and Mac sites really don’t care about word games, maybe the price was too high? We have no idea honestly. Maybe it was a combination of things? We also realized that we’re still not a very well-known company – most players out there have no idea who we are yet.
Because of all of the above things, we made the difficult decision to permanently and significantly lower the price of the game on desktop. Letter Quest is now $4.99 regular price on desktop, and is currently on sale for $3.99 for the first week. This is much cheaper than we wanted, but we’re really, really hoping that it’s low enough for people to give it a shot even if it’s not normally their thing (we’ve had people compare it’s addictiveness and upgrade style to both 10000000 and Knightmare Tower, which we feel is really high praise!). We also noticed that 10000000 is $4.99 on desktop, Knightmare Tower is $3.99 on desktop, and Bardbarian is $4.99 on desktop…and they were all originally mobile games that were later brought to desktop. We can say without a doubt that there is a lot more game play time in Letter Quest than any of those titles, but we still feel that most players will end up comparing Letter Quest to them, so it makes more sense to be in line with their prices. Bardbarian, interestingly enough, was $6.99 on Steam since it’s release, but recently changed to $4.99, possibly for similar reasons to why we did.
Options For People That Paid $7.99
So what happens for people that already bought the game at the higher price? We want to keep everyone happy, and will do anything and everything that we can to make sure that happens. Right now we’re suggesting that you drop us a line and tell us your email address that you bought the game with, and once we confirm that you purchased the game before the price change, we will give you your choice of the following:
- We’ll refund $4 (the price difference from what you paid at $7.99 to the current sale price of $3.99) to the PayPal account that you bought the game with, OR
- We’ll give you a free gift code for another copy of Letter Quest that you can give to a friend, family member, or to pay it forward with and give away to someone random on the internet or on some forums, etc.
If you choose not to take a refund, we want to say thank you in advance. The truth is that we spent 4 months of full-time work on the desktop version (and around a year and a half on Letter Quest in total), and to date we’ve had under 40 sales at $7.99 – when you factor in the fees, etc. that leaves us with just over $300 total.
So what’s next for us? Well, we recently got onto the Humble Store, so we’re hoping that gets us a bit more visibility. Also we’d like to give a huge shout out to the fine folks at the Humble Store / Humble Widgets, fantastic people to deal with – they’ve been very accommodating and amazingly helpful and just great people overall – thank you! We’re also looking to get onto a few more stores such as IndieGameStand and itch.io. Then of course if we can get enough votes on Steam Greenlight, we’ll sell Letter Quest on Steam too!
Thank you to everyone that has played, helped support, talked about, and otherwise been involved with Letter Quest. This has been a pretty wild ride so far, and we’re hoping that we can turn things around here and get enough sales so that we can make more games and keep doing what we love! The Bandits aren’t giving up! Cheers!
You can get more details and buy Letter Quest via Humble widget at www.letterquestgame.com, or buy it in the Humble Store.
I also hope that the style of this post is okay, it's my first time posting on Gamasutra - I've been reading blogs and articles on here for years (amazingly helpful site!), but just recently decided to start writing my own blog on here! In a few months I'll be doing a full post-mortem of Letter Quest, and hopefully will be able to mention how we got some coverage and a bunch of sales (have to stay positive!!).