Indie Developers Support Flexible Pricing with 'Because We May' Sale

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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As highlighted by our sister site TouchArcade, a group of independent developers across a broad array of platforms are having a weeklong sale on their apps celebrating their distribution through marketplaces that allow developers to set their own pricing. Operating under the banner of Because We May, the developers are in many cases offering very significant discounts on their apps.




We believe that developers should have the freedom to price their games how they like, without interference from the online stores that sell the games. Why? Because it allows us to promote our games more freely, as we are doing here! We rely on the ability to promote our games for our livelihood and control over pricing is an important tool for this purpose.
From now until June 1, the group is inviting all interested developers to join the promotion, which currently includes nearly 150 iOS App Store titles, almost 50 Mac App Store titles, and an assortment of other games available via Google Play for Android, Steam, and other marketplaces.

The list of iOS games already involved in the sale includes popular titles such as World of Goo, Osmos, Eliss, Canabalt, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, and Zen Bound 2.

Article Link: Indie Developers Support Flexible Pricing with 'Because We May' Sale
 

Mad-B-One

macrumors 6502a
Jun 24, 2011
789
4
San Antonio, Texas
I don't understand... what are they complaining about? Is someone dictating their prices? I'm just confused here. Can someone clear that up for me? I thought you submit an app to i.e. Apple for the App Store and then it gets approved and you set a price and Apple gets a share. Am I wrong? Someone who actually publishes, can you enlighten me? Or is this just a tribute the agency model vs. the in-store publishers for boxed software?
 

Mal

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2002
6,251
17
Orlando
I don't understand... what are they complaining about? Is someone dictating their prices? I'm just confused here. Can someone clear that up for me? I thought you submit an app to i.e. Apple for the App Store and then it gets approved and you set a price and Apple gets a share. Am I wrong? Someone who actually publishes, can you enlighten me? Or is this just a tribute the agency model vs. the in-store publishers for boxed software?
I don't think it's a protest per-se. They describe it as a "celebration", which is a kinda cheesy term, but I think they're just using it as a means to gather attention to their products. Closest to your last line, most likely (the tribute to the agency model).

jW
 

LimeiBook86

macrumors 604
May 4, 2002
7,989
5
Go Vegan
I'm assuming they're upset that Apple takes a cut (30% of the profit), rather then not being able to price it exactly at the "dollar" amount they want.

Either way everyone wins with this kind of a sale :)
 

BaldiMac

macrumors 604
Jan 24, 2008
7,410
7,480
I'm assuming they're upset that Apple takes a cut (30% of the profit), rather then not being able to price it exactly at the "dollar" amount they want.
That's a weird assumption. Of course the retailer takes a cut! Hard to believe, but this movement may actually be in favor of Apple's pricing model. :)

I'd guess the problem has to do with retailers not involved in the promotion. Amazon?
 

charlieegan3

macrumors 68020
Feb 16, 2012
2,395
14
U.K
I don't understand... what are they complaining about? Is someone dictating their prices? I'm just confused here. Can someone clear that up for me? I thought you submit an app to i.e. Apple for the App Store and then it gets approved and you set a price and Apple gets a share. Am I wrong? Someone who actually publishes, can you enlighten me? Or is this just a tribute the agency model vs. the in-store publishers for boxed software?
you can't set your app to any price: "Prices can be freely chosen by sellers at multiple of US$1 minus 1 cent (99¢, $1.99, and so on)." wikipedia
 

Cougarcat

macrumors 604
Sep 19, 2003
7,766
2,551
There's a bit of a misunderstanding here. They are "celebrating" any store that lets them set their own prices, such as Apple's stores and steam.

They aren't complaining about 30% cuts--they're complaining about retailers like Amazon who are known for setting app prices and offering sales without the developer's consent.
 

Don Kosak

macrumors 6502a
Mar 12, 2010
860
4
Hilo, Hawaii
No, as a developer, I understand where they are coming from.

Apple has a pretty great program compared to some.

Other "App Stores" have contracts that say they can REPRICE your app to "market" pricing.

Some even have clauses that say that they are allowed to give your product away for FREE. Yes -- the developer does not get not a single penny if "honored" by such a day long promotion.

There are still a few flaws in Apple's App Store, but it really sets the bar for fairness compared to some other stores.
 

Albright

macrumors regular
Aug 23, 2011
120
178
Thanks for the clarification, Don. I too was confused what exactly the deal was here, but it didn't stop me from finally pulling the trigger on Psychonauts (though I'll have to backlog it; so little gaming time nowadays…). Anyone else see any gems in the list I should consider (for Mac)? I've already got Cave Story…
 

allegrocm

macrumors member
Mar 13, 2005
36
0
Ames, IA
As a developer who has a Mac app participating in BecauseWeMay, I'd like to think that it's not just a celebration of our power to name our price, but also of the ability for people like me to even get our apps and games out there. Stores like the iOS and Mac App stores have created an environment where if you want to make your living by creating games, all you need to be able to do is make games. You don't need a big company with accountants and web designers. You don't need a publisher. You just pour your heart and soul into your game and put it out there, available to anyone. The person who MADE the game is in control of SELLING the game. It's freedom! Just five years ago I thought that if I wanted to make games for a living, I'd have to sell my soul to EA or Blizzard. The rise of the app stores changed all that. That's why I'm celebrating.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,631
815
Los Angeles, CA
I'm assuming they're upset that Apple takes a cut (30% of the profit), rather then not being able to price it exactly at the "dollar" amount they want.

Either way everyone wins with this kind of a sale :)
I assume you didn't bother to read the linked page or you would have seen that in fact nope. Not at all .

from the page
"For the last week of May (May 24 through June 1) our games will be deeply discounted to celebrate online stores that give us control over pricing: The App Store, Google Play, Steam, Desura, IndieVania, and a few others."
 

moderniste

macrumors 6502
May 7, 2005
250
102
As if I needed more incentive to spend more money at the app store... but this is great. I got Spider, Cogs, Bauhaus Break and Eufloria, and will probably pick up a bunch more before the sale is over.
 

0098386

Suspended
Jan 18, 2005
21,576
2,910
I don't understand... what are they complaining about? Is someone dictating their prices? I'm just confused here. Can someone clear that up for me? I thought you submit an app to i.e. Apple for the App Store and then it gets approved and you set a price and Apple gets a share. Am I wrong? Someone who actually publishes, can you enlighten me? Or is this just a tribute the agency model vs. the in-store publishers for boxed software?
I don't know exactly what it's in aid of, but I included my Steam game. Sales are up 26,000% so maybe that's the reason? :D

----------

Just five years ago I thought that if I wanted to make games for a living, I'd have to sell my soul to EA or Blizzard. The rise of the app stores changed all that. That's why I'm celebrating.
5 years ago indie developers were making a fortune selling from their own sites, from Steam etc. Games started off independent, they've made a lot of money for many years. It's just that we have even more now since the rise of XBLA, Steam and PSN started to provide a massive centralised platform for selling these games.
 
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