1. Well seeing as how the system we currently have has games go down in price as time goes by, I say we stick with it.

    Could you imagine a time where games never go down in price?

    If we had to pay a certain amount for only part of a game, I could see that happening. Since the only way to get that game would be from one place, so they’d have no reason to lower prices, as they’d have a monopoly.

    Which is also way I do not want a freemium, or “free to play” future, since many of those games cost more then 60 bucks to get everything out of them.

    1. I’m not sure I follow your reasoning. The price paid for each part and the whole games could drop in the same way games do now.

      The sales would only ever sell whole games, so that doesn’t need to be considered.

      1. Yeah, but with our current system, there’s plenty of competition, with games being sold in many different places.

        How would that work, if we had to play a certain amount of money for certain parts of games? Why would the developers and publishers of these types of games need to let anyone else sell them? So it seems if we got to that point, the only way to get the game/s would be from the developer and publishers only, no where else. So what reason would they have to lower prices if they didn’t want to, as they would have zero competition?

        Makes me think of the PSP GO, you could only buy the games from Sony, and no one else. Luckily that failed.

        And now with EA’s Origin, the only way to get newer PC EA games is through them(That I know of anyway, I could be wrong on that point), and they’ve already said they don’t like sales, or lowering prices, since they think it cheapens the IPs. Seems part of my fear is somewhat coming true.

        1. I’m just suggesting this for Steam. Not every pricing system works for all delivery systems.

          We don’t expect a box when we buy from Steam, so users couldn’t buy the parts from shops.

          1. AH, for Steam then? I’d make an exception form Steam then, since Valve is one of the best game companies out there.

  2. The rise of flight WWI flight sim is a free 100% working game. The catch is you only get to fly two planes. If you purchase the game, you can fly like 15 and buy field modifications for them or you can just buy individual planes if you like.

    DDO dungeon and dragons online, is free and after the first town you will have to play coopt ,with no one does. however, you can buy points to get hirelings or items. The exchange rate is very generous (cash to gold aka points).

    I have often wondered how long before steam incorporates something like I have listed above.

  3. 2muchvideogames

    Isn’t it already happening? You’re paying a part of the price for Episode 1, then a part for Episode 2, and so on

  4. Blue Lightning

    Wrong-o. It is much different than buying Ep1 and then Ep2. Rise of Flight charges for DLC (downloadable content) to get players to buy new toys they can pilot for the game. Many of the railroad sims do the same thing. Similar to what Phillip is saying, but done with items and vehicles instead of chapters. I do like the “chapters idea” though. 🙂

    I actually made the DLC suggestion on the 2K forums after Bioshock 2 was announced. My plan called for a cheap game price for Bioshock 2 (say 10 bucks), but during the game the “Gatherer’s Garden” machines (plasmid and tonic machines) would display 2 basic plasmids you can have, but several plasmids that are locked that you cannot have unless you pay for them on 2K’s website for about 5 dollars per plasmid, and unlock. The player can have as many (or as little) plasmids as he wants.

    Well, the 2K players promptly shot that idea down, as they really dont want to pay for much of anything over there. I thought it would of made things interesting though.

    Additionaly, a player could find up to 3 “plasmid keys” hidden in secret places throughout the game. With these secret keys the player could unlock any plasmid he wanted, but only up to 3 (since there are only 3 keys). I thought that would do 2 things: it would force players to search for secret places, and it would mabye give them more incentive to buy and unlock more plasmids.

    How about this for an idea: you get the demo for free. If you can make it through on medium difficulty without dying, the full game is unlocked, for free! 🙂

  5. You know this is no different than shareware schemes in the 90s. FPSs back then were often distributed as shareware (think Doom) where you could complete the first chapter then it would advertise the game in some sort of splash screen and you had the option to buy it fully.

    Obviously Phillip goes a bit further with his incremental pay scaling which is very interesting, but none the less a good idea! I like it.

    1. Doom was originally released as shareware? That’s cool.

      1. Blue Lightning

        Yep. Back then the full game was divided into episodes (and each episode had a certain amount of levels). Doom had 4 episodes, each roughly 1/4 of the game…Duke 3D had 3 episodes, each roughly 1/3 of the game. Anyway, “Shareware” was the first episode of the game, which was free. If you liked the first episode, then you could buy the “full version” which gives you the entire game, all episodes.

  6. Hec

    Well I have the hard conssumer’s head, you know, I am mostly motivated by prices, instead of pay-plans, so if they offer discounts for great games i’ll buy them complete. That’s how I purchased DOD, and CS1 in a bunddle and a superb discount I only paid like 4 USD for them in steam.

    Toght the purchase in parts, sound good for undecided players.

  7. Andrew Stiltman

    This doesn’t sound like a financially viable idea for Valve. As you said, only 50% of people finish the game.
    Let’s say that 100 people buy a game (in the current payment system) and the game is $50. This would mean that Valve gets $5000.
    With your system (assuming no-one pays full price and there are 6 chapters), Valve gets nothing for the first chapter. 90% purchase the next chapter for $10, 80% purchase the next, and so on until you get 50% paying for the last chapter. This would mean valve gets $3500, a 30% loss. That’s a lot of lost profits.
    I know “Valve thinks of the consumer” and etc etc, but people are happy enough paying full price for a game even when they won’t finish it, so why risk so much?

    1. I can’t argue with your logic and I agree with it. But how long will people keep paying full price for games they don’t finish? Maybe forever, and maybe not.

      I honestly think that things will change with pricing in much the same way they have with digital distribution.

      Perhaps in the long term this would increase the number of purchases for the second chapters but more than they would loose from the last chapters.

      This was really just thinking allowed, even if it’s clear that it’s a terrible idea.

      1. Andrew Stiltman

        Oh, I was fully aware you were thinking aloud, I simply noticed everyone was posting from a player’s perspective rather than from Valve’s perspective.

        In my opinion, I think this new way of paying leads to 2 situations:
        1. More people make it through to the end. This would be posible if valve made players really want to see what happenned next (by say ending on a cliff hanger). The only problem with this is that the game will kind of become divided into mini-episodes, each with its own arc, which would mean it would be more difficult to tell a coherent overall story (if you had to make mini-arcs across every 2 hours of the game). On the plus side, this would encourage people to play over a longer period of time (e.g. play 2 hours now, come back tomorrow, etc).
        2. Less people will make it through. This would happen if people came up to a paywall, which would instantly break immersion, and decide that they could be doing something else. I also think that paying a whole bunch of smaller amounts of money makes it feel as if you are paying more (but that’s just me).

        I don’t want to shoot you down with this, or anything. Just providing a counter-point.
        I do think that in the near future we will encounter an influx of new methods of paying for games, some of which will succeed. I just don’t think this one will.

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