14 votes

Factorio will increase in price next week "to account for the level of inflation"

22 comments

  1. [7]
    spit-evil-olive-tips
    Link
    for some important context, Factorio doesn't participate in Steam sales. from the company founder / lead developer, in 2016: the response to this news seems to have been pretty polarizing. most...

    for some important context, Factorio doesn't participate in Steam sales. from the company founder / lead developer, in 2016:

    Not having a sale ever is part of our philosophy. In short term, they are good and bring extra money, but we are targeting long term. I believe that searching for sales is wasted time, and people should decide on the price and value, but putting option of wasting time to search for deals or waiting seems like bad part of the equation.

    the response to this news seems to have been pretty polarizing. most existing players, including myself, seem to be shrugging and saying it's no big deal (typified by this "always has been" post on the /r/factoriohno meme subreddit). I have over 1000 hours in the game, which works out to 3 cents per hour. Factorio is by at least an order of magnitude the most cost-effective form of entertainment I've ever bought.

    meanwhile, the backlash that I've seen has been mostly among people who don't own the game, and it has seemed outsized relative to a $5 increase (a 16.7% increase in 7 years since the launch amounts to 2.2% annualized increase, well below the rate of inflation).

    reading between the lines, I think there's a lot of people who've been conditioned by Steam sales to think that all games follow that model, and that you can get any game for 50-95% off if you just wait long enough. I think they may have had Factorio sitting on their wishlist, possibly for years, and the news disappointed them because it's not a difference between $30 and $35 but between a hypothetical $5 or $10 sale price and $35.

    the standard practice in most of the games industry has become pretty extreme market segmentation - if you want to play the game on launch day, you'll pay full price, typically $60 or $70 for a AAA game. if you don't mind waiting a few years (and paying attention to your Steam "a game on your wishlist is on sale" notifications...) you can probably pick it up for 90% off. and then on top of that there's the panoply of DLC, microtransactions, skins only available with the pre-order edition, pay-to-win items, etc etc. Alice and Bob could play what is functionally the exact same game, except Alice paid $200 and Bob paid $2.

    Factorio rejects all that, and just says that the price is the price, and it never goes on sale. there's no DLC or microtransactions, ever. they sell a handful of shirts but AFAIK, their only other revenue is actual full game purchases. Alice bought the game 5 years ago and has several thousand hours, Bob bought the game a month ago. they both paid $30.

    Wube also gave a week of advance notice about the price increase, something they're not at all obligated to do. so anyone who thought it was fairly priced at $30 but overpriced at $35 has a chance to buy it at the old price.

    15 votes
    1. kfwyre
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I’m someone who loves game deals. In fact, Buying Discounted Games is pretty much my favorite and most played game. I’ve been doing it for so long that my Steam account has enough to last me more...

      meanwhile, the backlash that I've seen has been mostly among people who don't own the game, and it has seemed outsized relative to a $5 increase (a 16.7% increase in 7 years since the launch amounts to 2.2% annualized increase, well below the rate of inflation).

      I’m someone who loves game deals. In fact, Buying Discounted Games is pretty much my favorite and most played game. I’ve been doing it for so long that my Steam account has enough to last me more than my lifetime, but I keep doing it because I find it fun and interesting.

      People like me are an odd bunch.

      Some of the absolute best game rundowns and reviews I’ve ever read have come from r/gamedeals, where there’s often a complete lack of pretension or hype regarding particular titles. Because we’re talking about games that have already been out for a while and have gone on steep discount, it’s often less “is this game worth your money?” and instead “is this game worth playing?” The games are cheap enough that money considerations kind of vanish and you get frank and often illuminating assessments of the game apart from their price tags.

      On the other hand, some of the stingiest, most unappreciative people I have ever seen are in these circles. When price does factor into our thoughts, it often happens in the worst way possible. Extreme nickel-and-dining and entitlement from us is inverted into accusations of “greed” from developers and publishers. That game that was 75% off last sale is only 75% off again?! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE AVARICE. A bundle will come out with several well-known, well-reviewed games. The total bundle cost will be less than a standard AA indie title, and the per-game cost will often be $2 or less, and people will still pitch a fit about how expensive it is. They will act personally insulted or outright harmed — as if this bundle is out there actively kicking them in the shins or something.

      I suspect these are at least some of the kinds of people who are complaining about Factorio (the others are likely just those types of internet people who are always looking for something to be mad about). There was a game called The Castle Doctrine many years back, and its developer, Jason Rohrer, famously refused to put it on sale, much like the Factorio devs have done. At the time I remember reading hateful, spiteful comments toward Rohrer in my game deals circles. It wasn’t enough to just not buy the game or ignore it — people were actively wishing ill of him and his game simply because he didn’t want to discount his game (which cost $16, by the way). That was in 2014, so it sounds like, unfortunately, not a lot has changed in eight years.

      In general, I think money tends to bring out the worst in people, and I definitely think you’re right that gamers are now entirely habituated to sales.

      In fact, and this is embarrassing to admit, but I know you’re right because this news made me purchase Factorio.

      Not because I intend to play it any time soon, mind you (cue all of Tildes telling me I need to). The game has sat on my wishlist for years and very likely didn’t get bought because it didn’t go on sale. Other similar games, like Mindustry, Satisfactory, and shapez, did go on sale but now they’ve just sat in my library for years. I haven’t played them either.

      But, because the notification of an upcoming price hike meant that this was my last chance of getting it “at a discount”, for some reason my miswired brain went “SALE!” and pulled the trigger on the purchase.

      Whose fault is this? Those greedy devs, of course! Look at what they made me do! 😆

      7 votes
    2. [4]
      Wes
      Link Parent
      That's actually not the case. They're working on a paid expansion now, and have been posting (rare) updates for the last year or so. Though to be clear, they never said they were against creating...

      there's no DLC or microtransactions, ever.

      That's actually not the case. They're working on a paid expansion now, and have been posting (rare) updates for the last year or so.

      Though to be clear, they never said they were against creating DLC content. So it's not as if they're going back on an earlier claim.

      Personally I have no problem with the price increase, or their "no sale" policy. I do think it's strange timing with an expansion coming up though.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        spit-evil-olive-tips
        Link Parent
        there's always one OK, would you be satisfied if I phrased it as "there haven't been any DLC or microtransactions in the past 7 years, but there is an upcoming expansion announced"

        there's no DLC or microtransactions, ever.

        That's actually not the case.

        there's always one

        OK, would you be satisfied if I phrased it as "there haven't been any DLC or microtransactions in the past 7 years, but there is an upcoming expansion announced"

        2 votes
        1. Wes
          Link Parent
          I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to be confrontational. I just wanted to clarify that point in your otherwise comprehensive comment.

          I'm sorry, I wasn't trying to be confrontational. I just wanted to clarify that point in your otherwise comprehensive comment.

          11 votes
      2. Don_Camillo
        Link Parent
        the way they are operating, maybe the old "expansion" word might be worth using im this context ;-)

        the way they are operating, maybe the old "expansion" word might be worth using im this context ;-)

        1 vote
    3. vegai
      Link Parent
      From my POV, that's an admirable position. Personally, I have wasted probably hundreds of euros buying games from sale that I never play and then miss the refund date when I finally try them the...

      From my POV, that's an admirable position. Personally, I have wasted probably hundreds of euros buying games from sale that I never play and then miss the refund date when I finally try them the first time.

      1 vote
  2. [6]
    lou
    (edited )
    Link
    I don't plan on purchasing Factorio, but if you think your game is worth 35 bucks, by all means charge 35 bucks. At least it's not some freemium nonsense. One problem with the lack of deals is...

    I don't plan on purchasing Factorio, but if you think your game is worth 35 bucks, by all means charge 35 bucks. At least it's not some freemium nonsense.

    One problem with the lack of deals is that the game will remain legally limited to countries were 35 US dollars is roughly the value of 35 dollars. If I convert this to my currency, suddenly Factorio becomes an extremely expensive luxury purchase. I never buy games at full price, or even with a slight 20% discount. It has to be 60% down or more, and even then it's not always that cheap for me.

    I'm not saying they have an obligation to discount their game, just bringing some perspective.

    EDIT: regional pricing does help, though.

    8 votes
    1. [4]
      ThatFanficGuy
      Link Parent
      So, I've recently found out that games on Steam are so much cheaper in rubles than they are in euro. On average, it's about a third of the price in Russia, but to give you more specific examples...

      So, I've recently found out that games on Steam are so much cheaper in rubles than they are in euro. On average, it's about a third of the price in Russia, but to give you more specific examples from my list:

      • RimWorld: 33 EUR, 10.57 EUR when converted from RUB
      • Disco Elysium: 40 EUR, 9.77 EUR when converted from RUB
      • Cities: Skylines: 28 EUR, 6.68 EUR when converted from RUB

      For me – someone who's never even considered the economic implications of moving to Western Europe – that's nuts.

      There's a loophole I can (maybe?) use: because my Steam account is still set to RUB (I tried setting it to EUR multilple times, and it didn't budge), and because I still have a Russian RUB card with a bit of cash on it, I might be able to buy Steam games at what is essentially a double discount if I wait for sales.

      (I'm not positive it's a loophole I want to use, because [a.] I'm in a good position, financially, [b.] any taxes Valve has to pay for sales in Russia will go to funding the war, [c.] game dev is hard, and some of those devs deserve triple the price they're asking for the incredible games they put out.)

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Adys
        Link Parent
        FYI - Marla's SteamDB has all that info for the worldwide rates. https://steamdb.info/app/427520/ This is called Purchasing power parity, by the way....

        FYI - Marla's SteamDB has all that info for the worldwide rates.

        https://steamdb.info/app/427520/

        This is called Purchasing power parity, by the way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity

        6 votes
        1. hkc
          Link Parent
          Being from a developing third-world country, I wish more developers/platforms followed the PPP model.

          Being from a developing third-world country, I wish more developers/platforms followed the PPP model.

          3 votes
      2. Don_Camillo
        Link Parent
        I do something like that, as I'm living part of the year in a much cheaper country. I just charge my steam wallet with the store bought codes if i'm not in said cheap country

        I do something like that, as I'm living part of the year in a much cheaper country. I just charge my steam wallet with the store bought codes if i'm not in said cheap country

    2. vord
      Link Parent
      Much like Nintendo, Factorio has a pretty good sense of where they sit in the market. I haven't bought, but I've touched some titles in nearby genres (Oxygen Not Included is gripping me) and its...

      Much like Nintendo, Factorio has a pretty good sense of where they sit in the market.

      I haven't bought, but I've touched some titles in nearby genres (Oxygen Not Included is gripping me) and its becoming more and more attractive as time goes on.

      It helps it's not quite like the games of yesteryear that get published, maybe patched once, then never again.

      3 votes
  3. [8]
    Octofox
    Link
    People have surprisingly tough expectations for the price of games. They will go out and spend $50 on a single night out but freak out over $35 spent on endless hours of entertainment over many...

    People have surprisingly tough expectations for the price of games. They will go out and spend $50 on a single night out but freak out over $35 spent on endless hours of entertainment over many nights if that entertainment comes from a game.

    5 votes
    1. [6]
      hungariantoast
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I have spent more time thinking about that than I would like to admit and I still don't even know how to pose the issue as a question. Closest thing I have is: "Why are games so undervalued as a...

      I have spent more time thinking about that than I would like to admit and I still don't even know how to pose the issue as a question.

      Closest thing I have is: "Why are games so undervalued as a form of entertainment?"

      But "undervalued" is the problematic word here. I'm not sure games actually are undervalued.

      Every time I really consider the value of games and why people seem so "stingy" with spending their money on them, compared to, like you said, something else like a night out, I come to the same conclusion:

      Games are not undervalued. They actually just don't provide as much value, for entertainment or anything else, as we think they do. Very few games (for any given person) offer the same distinguishable feelings of joy and adventure as a single night out can offer the average person.

      You can replace "a night out" with just about any other not-digital media and I think the idea generally holds true. Just going anywhere with friends and having a good time provides a lot more "emotional value" than any video game... right?

      I mean, it takes one or two hours with friends to have a lot of fun, laugh, etc. Getting that sort of entertainment out of a game usually takes several hours though, if you're playing alone (and by "playing alone", I mean singleplayer or multiplayer, but you're like, the only person physically present playing the game in your space).

      Playing games, with other people present, changes everything though. Games suddenly become a multiplier of joy and entertainment.

      But as a single source of entertainment... games aren't that great?

      I mean, there's just something about being in social situations and physically present with other people that digital media obviously doesn't provide, so I don't think this is some wild revelation or something. Games not being "worth much" is just something that's hard to except.

      (Yes I'm generalizing. Yes some people probably get more out of games than they do socializing. I'm talking about "normal" people though.)

      okay i am going to go to sleep now

      12 votes
      1. mundane_and_naive
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I think you're applying value judgement to something more adequately explained by supply and demand. Digital media has practically infinite supply (in the sense that a thing only needs to be made...

        I think you're applying value judgement to something more adequately explained by supply and demand. Digital media has practically infinite supply (in the sense that a thing only needs to be made once and can be sold any number of copies) so sellers can get away with lower price points. Physical media are harder to scale (to sell more meals requires proportionally more ingredient and manpower, movie theaters or sport halls has only fixed amount of space and time slots to charge money for) so higher price (especially when higher demand) is expected. On the demand side, the customers get access to the internet-worth of supply when it comes to digital media so they can get away with demanding lower price, compared to being limited to whatever is available in the vicinity of their living area when it comes to physical media.

        The classic example is water vs. diamond. Is water less valuable than diamond given that it's practically free compared to diamond and that people are more likely to throw a hissy fits if its price increase?

        5 votes
      2. vord
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I've gone down this road and the dividing factor for me has become: Paying a premium to get out of the house. When I'm at home, I consider $2/hr fair. I'll rent a movie for $3, but certainly not...

        I've gone down this road and the dividing factor for me has become: Paying a premium to get out of the house.

        When I'm at home, I consider $2/hr fair. I'll rent a movie for $3, but certainly not for $8. I'd pay almost $40 for that same movie in a theater without blinking.

        And games have an extra threshold to meet: You'll get burned by games that cost $30, get boring after 5 hours, then you've got a bitter taste because you didn't hit that $/hr threshold.

        4 votes
      3. Thrabalen
        Link Parent
        I disagree with this premise and substitute another. Let's say you want to do a game night with friends. You all talk for a week to coordinate schedules. You decide the game. You plan snacks and...

        I disagree with this premise and substitute another.

        Let's say you want to do a game night with friends. You all talk for a week to coordinate schedules. You decide the game. You plan snacks and beverages. You talk a couple more days because Bill had a sudden schedule change and you have to change the night. By the time you get together, the Sunk Cost Fallacy has convinced you that this is either going to be the best night of gaming ever or you're not doing this anymore. So to preserve the ability to see your friends, you tell yourself it was so much more fun than gaming alone. Hell, I have a weekly session of GTA that I usually play with a friend who lives 1000 miles away. It's more fun than playing solo, mostly because there's an extra level of randomness involved (and somebody to talk to while gaming), but the game itself isn't more fun.

        4 votes
      4. lou
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I agree with that sentiment, but putting it into words would not be easy for me. I'm glad you did it. There's a lot more to entertainment that a simple hours per dollar calculation. Godfather...

        I agree with that sentiment, but putting it into words would not be easy for me. I'm glad you did it.

        There's a lot more to entertainment that a simple hours per dollar calculation.

        Godfather gives more value than the entirety of iCarly, a superb meal can be more valuable than 100 Big Macs, and an evening with my closest friends at a cool bar can be more significant than 100 hours of gameplay.

        3 votes
      5. Protected
        Link Parent
        I disagree. Are we comparing a great night out with a bad videogame? What about an awesome videogame with a miserable night out? It really depends on the outing and the videogame; there's a wide...

        I disagree. Are we comparing a great night out with a bad videogame? What about an awesome videogame with a miserable night out? It really depends on the outing and the videogame; there's a wide range of experiences in both cases. A good videogame, like a good book, can absolutely provide a memorable emotional experience, too. And though I agree there are things social experiences provide that games can't, the opposite is also true.

        3 votes
    2. AugustusFerdinand
      Link Parent
      My view is that even just a normal night out with my wife $50 will buy us a good meal and a couple of drinks, even $35 will do so without the alcohol. But when the vast majority of games, there is...

      My view is that even just a normal night out with my wife $50 will buy us a good meal and a couple of drinks, even $35 will do so without the alcohol.

      But when the vast majority of games, there is a lot of trash out there, are asking good meal prices ($35+) for fast food quality games, I balk at finding the value in them in order to pay their full prices. Especially when the "hours of entertainment" is turned against itself as a game can either provide such or it'll take hours of your life to find out it's terrible, you took too long to realize it, and can't get your money back. No one likes getting cheated and paying good money for a bad game feels exactly like getting scammed.

      5 votes
  4. EgoEimi
    Link
    Gamers complain about games in perpetual early release, games left unfinished, games abandoned and left unsupported, games that nickel and dime with micro transactions, games that ask $70 upfront,...

    Gamers complain about games in perpetual early release,
    games left unfinished,
    games abandoned and left unsupported,
    games that nickel and dime with micro transactions,
    games that ask $70 upfront,
    and so on.

    Here's a great game with a great team that works to build virtually bug-free software and have maintained it for years and will continue to maintain it for years, and they're selling it for a modest, clear, and upfront price.

    In an age where so many people are pushing cheap abandonware for a quick buck, I think it's refreshing to see a company believe so dearly in the quality and value of its product.

    3 votes