World Of Goo Tries A Donation Model, Publishes Results

from the people-don't-pay-based-on-value dept

We've mentioned the video game World of Goo a couple times in the past. First, when its creators got upset about silly regional restrictions that were put on the sale of the game, and later when they noted that releasing a game without DRM showed no change in the piracy rate. Yes, the game was widely shared, but at no different a rate than when they'd offered games with DRM. Recently, they decided to try a name your own price experiment to see what would happen. While I'm still not enamored by such pure "give it away and pray" type models, we do keep hearing success stories of people who have used them, combined with a strong and loyal fanbase.

Now they've released some preliminary data, showing that they got about 57,000 new sales, with an average price of about $2 (so, over $100,000 sales in a week -- though, that's the gross number, the net is less, due to Paypal transaction fees). They also added a survey, and found a key point:
Few people chose their price based on the perceived value of the game. How much the person feels they can afford seems to play a much larger role in the decision than how much the game is worth.
This is another good point that highlights the separation between price and value -- which too many falsely assume are the same thing. There were also a significant number of people who said they paid because they liked the "pay what you want model, and wanted to support it." So they were paying to support the model, rather than the game itself, which is interesting. I wonder if that component would fade over time as these sorts of models become more popular.

Either way, another case study in business model experimentation.

Filed Under: pay what you want, world of goo

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  1. icon
    Phillip (profile), 21 Oct 2009 @ 6:14am

    I bought the game, but only paid a dollar. Not because it was what I could afford though. I played the demo and it was pretty good but not something I'd likely play much. So I figured I'd donate a dollar and have a game lying around if I ever get stuck somewhere and need something to do to kill some time. For 20.00 there is no way I'd have bought it, but for only a dollar I'll shelve it for some day in the future and they get a dollar (minus fees) regardless of whether or not I actually ever do play it.

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