Magic Seal Pelts Follow-up: First Week After Price Drop

One week ago, on December 13, I dropped the prices of my first two games, Soulcaster and Soulcaster II, to coincide with an article I wrote for IndieGamerChick (later picked up by Gamasutra).  The short story is that Escape Goat wasn’t selling as well as I hoped, and my hypothesis was that it was because it was priced at 240 MSP instead of 80 MSP.  The sales figures are finally in, so I can report what’s happened so far.

Bottom line: the price drop resulted in a staggering increase in revenue. Let’s take a closer look, starting with how things were selling in November to establish a baseline.

November 1-30 2011 Sales (30 days):

Game Trials Sales Conversion Daily Net
Soulcaster 115 39 34% $2.73
Soulcaster II 76 18 23% $1.26
Escape Goat* 2686 515 19% $37.29

*Escape Goat has much stronger numbers because November was its release month. Take a look at how the daily revenue has tapered off in its second month:

As you can see, the revenue from the Soulcaster games was barely covering my rent at the coffee shop.  So let’s see what happened in the week since the price drop:

December 13-19 2011 Sales (7 days):

Game Trials Sales Conversion Daily Net Net Change
Soulcaster 63 142 225% $14.20 +520%
Soulcaster II 80 86 107% $8.60 +680%
Escape Goat 117 52 44% $15.60 -237%

The numbers speak for themselves.  I also brought in some charts to give this post a bit more visual impact:

Escape Goat:

Soulcaster:

Soulcaster II:

The most shocking stat for me is the conversion rate.  For both games it jumped above 100%.  This means more people are buying the full version than are trying the demo first.  One explanation for this is that fans of one game buy the second one sight-unseen, perhaps through the new “related games” links.  The games are similar enough that if you like one, you’ll probably like the other.  But outside of those purchases, I think it really speaks to the power of the 80 MSP in terms of impulse buying.  Customers are grabbing the full version without trying it out first, because, “hey, it’s only 80 MSP.”

Edit: As pointed out to me by Ben Kane, Alex Macfarlane Smith, and Paul Thomas, the “over 100%” conversion might be from customers who had previously downloaded the trial, rather than trying the game on the purchase date.  Thanks guys for noting this.

I know, it’s early to call.  Just one week of data, and who knows, it could all collapse over the next couple weeks.  Maybe a chunk of these sales are the result of the publicity my price drop got.  To know for sure, we’ll just have to wait.

To summarize:

  1. After dropping the price, sales went up 12-fold, driving daily revenue up five-fold.
  2. I’m making nearly as much off Soulcaster, a game that’s been out over 20 months, as I am off Escape Goat, which is only in its second month and should be in its prime for sales.
  3. The dashboard update seemed to have little effect, since it went into effect a few days before the price drop.  And notice how it did not impact the sales or downloads of Escape Goat.

I’ll post another update after some more figures come in.  But so far, 80 MSP seems like the right price for these games.  It’s great to be making money with them again.  I can’t wait until February when I can drop the price on Escape Goat as well.

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9 comments on “Magic Seal Pelts Follow-up: First Week After Price Drop
  1. Alan C says:

    That’s great news! It certainly validates your position on pricing, and makes a point that some others (who I shall not name here) would do well to observe: that the price isn’t about what you feel the game is worth, but rather what the consumers want to pay for it.

    Incidentally, I fall into the skewed conversion rate category. I downloaded the trial of Soulcaster II about six months ago, but delayed buying the full game until now.

  2. Alan C says:

    Also, this makes me even more curious than I already was about the effect on sales figures of radiangames’ decision to hike the prices of all their games from 80 to 400 Magic Seal Pelts.

  3. Ian says:

    I would also be curious to know the impact on Radiangames sales… my instinct tells me it would not increase revenue, but maybe he did it for consistency with other platforms?

    It should take another week or so to shake out the users who had already downloaded the trial, then made the purchase based on the price drop. I don’t expect the 500% increase to hold forever, but there should be a lasting boost at this lower price.

  4. Gamertag: Alfred Saxon says:

    Hello Ian, I will keep this very short. Will you consider adding online level sharing with other users on Escape Goat? (XBLIG). Great game by the way. Thank you for making it.

  5. Ian says:

    Level sharing on Xbox is something that will be kind of tricky, and I haven’t looked into it much yet. The PC version will definitely make it easier to share user levels, but we’ll have to wait and see for Xbox.

  6. Gamertag: Alfred Saxon says:

    Thank you Ian. Check out Alien Jelly (XBLIG) if you can it’s got level sharing.

    Will you in the future update Escape Goat (XBLIG) with the best custom made PC levels?. Blocks That Matter (XBLIG) just did that adding 40+ PC users made levels. Thanks again.

  7. Ian says:

    Alien Jelly has some amazing production value. I will look into it! I haven’t decided about an update to the XBLIG version for more levels, though it could be a possibility. Thank you for the suggestion.

  8. Krilekk says:

    Not surprised by those numbers, I myself download a couple of indie games and if I like the game but not at that price (I often have 120 or 130 points left on my account but I rarely buy new points just for indie games) I keep it on my HDD until it drops. Escape Goat is one of those games. Alien Jelly is another, just because it’s so close to ilomilo that I don’t want to pay full price for it.

  9. John says:

    I hate to say that your game is only worth a buck, but it’s definitely what finally sold me (DLing tonight). As it only being 80 MSP, however when I look at it in $, I think it’s easier for me to spend $3 on it over 240 MSP.. odd I know but interesting how the mind works. I hope the future holds great improvements in the system for devs like you!

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