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Capy Games: Downloadable Pricing Should Be Driven By Game

Toronto indie studio Capy Games charged $6.99 for the PlayStation Network version of its Critter Crunch game; co-founders Nathan Vella and Kris Piotrowski weigh in on the thorny issue of setting a cost for games.
Toronto indie studio Capy Games charged $6.99 for the PlayStation Network version of its Critter Crunch game; co-founders Nathan Vella and Kris Piotrowski weigh in on the thorny issue of setting a cost for games. As part of Gamasutra's latest feature-length interview, The Rise Of Capy Games, Piotrowski and Vella share their decision-making process behind this pricing decision, and philosophize about the issue in general. While Vella says that pricing was influenced by the fact that the team "wanted to do everything we could to make sure that as many people as possible could play it," he also feels that the game couldn't stand up to the prices of other, more robust downloadable offerings such as Flower and Braid. "We were very conscious that there are levels of digital download games." "Flower is a $10 game -- fuck, I'd pay 20 bucks for that. I'd pay a full retail price for that game. There are certain games on digital distribution platforms that are very worthy of that $10, $15 price-point, and I don't know if Critter Crunch provides the same experience that those games do," said Vella. Vella also noted that Sony didn't exert pressure on the team to price the game, which is currently exclusive to PlayStation Network in the console space. "It's good that we can define a price-point -- that Capy can actually say, 'Here's how much our game costs.' We talked to Sony a bunch about it, but, in the end, they just kind of said, 'Your project. You made it the way you want to make it; you price it the way you want to price it.'" However, Piotrowski points out that you have to think of the bigger picture when choosing a price point. "I think it's mostly about just being honest about what kind of game you're making, but also I think it's important to make sure you're not devaluing games in general by saying, 'Here's my awesome game! It's going to be 99 cents!' That does no good for anybody." The full interview, The Rise Of Capy Games, which contains details about Capy's next unannounced project, the Toronto indie scene, and more, is live now.

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