Imposing a system of pay-what-you-want on your products is always going to be a risky system, but there are cases in which it seems to pay off. It worked for Coldplay back in 2008 when they released the album Viva La Vida, and now the newly-launched Indie games site, IndieGameStand, is going for a similar approach.
The site hosts various quirky indie games for people to buy, and every four days a different game will be put under the ‘pay-what-you-want’ label. The current game getting the treatment is the sciencey puzzler, SpaceChem. While the suggested price for the game is $10 (for which you also get two other indie games), the average amount paid for the game has thus far been $1.86, with 1,224 people downloading the game.
The majority of people who got the game are Windows users, while it seems that the average Linux user is willing to splash out more on the game, with an average payment of $3.77.
The games on IndieGameStand are all DRM-free, meaning that once you’ve purchased one you can download it on multiple devices. What’s more, 10% of whatever you pay for each game automatically goes to a charity of the developer’s choosing. So you’re not only aiding the noble causing of indie gaming, but also various charities!
While it’s unlikely that the model used by IndieGameStand will be the next big thing in gaming, it’s certainly likely to carve out a niche for itself, with each game on the service clocking up more sales than its predecessor.