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DF Chris Remo

Slacker Backer Price Change

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Hey backers!

So, we’ve been doing the backer access thing for several months now. We’ve racked up more than a dozen videos from 2 Player Productions, nearly two dozen written development updates from the team, and a whole lot of forum discussion and feedback. We weren’t sure how all this “backer access” stuff would turn out when we started, but it seems to be working!

Now that we have all this content to show for ourselves, and with Reds deep into production, we decided to take a look at how much we should actually be charging for backer access, based on everything being offered. It’s been set at a $15 baseline ever since the Kickstarter launched, and if you got in at that level, you’re set! Forever! We can’t thank you enough for helping us get this whole crazy project off the ground.

But for newcomers to the Slacker Backer deal, we’ve decided to up the price to $30—very soon. We think this better reflects the whole package being offered. After all, when the game is done, we’ll be selling it as a standalone game, and 2PP will be selling the whole documentary series. In all likelihood, those two things alone are going to cost more than $15 when bought separately. Then there are all the private access components—beta, discussion, and in-depth dev diaries. The new price seems fair to us.

Hopefully you agree, based on all the content we’ve put out so far—not to mention what’s left to come. If you don’t agree, let us know! Also, if you’ve got friends who are jealous of your fancy-pants backer status, maybe give them a bit of a nudge, because they don’t have much time to get in at the original price!

Thanks again for backing! You guys are the best.

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I totally agree, and I honestly think it's fair. From all points of view (the original backers', both companies', etc).

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I think it will help to state the final price points for the game and documentary. So instead of saying, "we think it seems fair," you can say, "here's how much it'll cost you to buy these things after the fact."

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I agree in general, I just advise against "very soon": Why not mention a specific point in time for the price change once it's been decided on?

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I think it will help to state the final price points for the game and documentary. So instead of saying, "we think it seems fair," you can say, "here's how much it'll cost you to buy these things after the fact."

Those things haven't been set in stone yet. We don't want to announce something that may change later. Also, there are parts of backer access, like the beta, that have no post-release equivalent.

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I agree in general, I just advise against "very soon": Why not mention a specific point in time for the price change once it's been decided on?

Because for now we're only messaging this to backers, not the public. We want to get the reaction of the community before we announce anything conclusively. Once we actually put this out there publicly, we'll have a specific date.

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I figure anything above and beyond the products themselves will help sell the sheer amount of 'bonus content' slacker backers will get for their buy-in. The early access and insight into the process has been more than worth it to many, but there's that group who just want the game and/or the documentary when they are complete.

So while I agree that making announcements like that before the final math is all done can be harmful, I still think it will help sell the change. Perhaps the change date can be extended a bit to allow for that, as MondSemmel suggests?

As an aside, I wonder if making the change very soon will really affect all that many people at this point. After the KS campaign and the slacker backer push I would think all the dedicated folks have already come on in.

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Sounds like you're implying that each product will cost at least $20 each, thus saving the Slacker Backer $10. Be sure to mention that the new $30 price tag is still a discount.

May I also suggest that the $30 is implying that it's only a discount if you're interested in both the Documentary and the game/beta access, and that the potential Slacker Backer might think they're wasting $10 on something they don't want. You might wield better results with a $20 price tag and say the Documentary is free.

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$30.00 is a steal, really, no joke, for everything here. Fun pills and sleds for everyone.

Smiles

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As long as the money goes towards making the game and not into your pocket, I don't see a problem with it.

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It's fair. Actually, you could charge 60 bucks and still would be an awesome deal.

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Whilst it's not a big deal to me (I was for opening up post-Kickstarter backer contributions, and am more than happy to see us be more inclusive than exclusive - that's an important aspect of a healthy community IMO), I am interested in how you're planning to approach managing community perceptions/expectations with regards to the "backer" label. I imagine that the "backer" status (the title rather than the stuff they get access to) is generally seen by most to be a statement of early support for the project, with the documentary, forum access and so forth being extras to the opportunity to give that support.

Bumping the price up to better match the value of the documentary and game feels more in line with presenting them as products rather than rewards.

How do you see the perception of the "backer" status changing over time as the project approaches completion?

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$30.00 is a steal, really, no joke, for everything here. Fun pills and sleds for everyone.

Smiles

I don't think I was here when the fun pills and sleds got passed out...

This sounds all fine and dandy to me!

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I'm not sure it's such a great idea, and here's why:

For 15 dollars I purchased access to the documentary and the game (both of which are shaping up to be incredible). But what really convinced me to spend the money is the notion that for $15 i could become a supporter something great - a really sweet feeling if you ask me.

What I'm worried about is that many people will be interested in becoming supporters, but will be discouraged by the $30 price tag, and will go looking for torrents of the video documentary (and consequently game).

The problem is that even if the money collected from those willing to pay $30 compensates for the people who aren't, you end up missing out on people who could potentially become a part of the following- the people who will never torrent a double fine game.

I think the release of REDS is very special because it created a community. This same community is likely to support double fine in future releases as well - so by raising the price for entering the community, you ultimately lose potential passionate supporters.

That's just my two cents. With all that said, I just want to reiterate that I am madly enjoying all the content and can't wait to get my hands on the release.

Cheers, Michael

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I think it a good idea it increase the price as the $15 backers have a got an early bird discount. This way I see you have rewarded people who have backed early.

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I think this is a good move on your part, considering all the content you've already put out to us!

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Do it. Do it now.

Need more cashola? Then let the late ones carry the load, if they desire to.

It ain't like you are holding guns to our heads.

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While it does better reflect the amount of stuff that a backer gets, I'd bet most people who were going to back late have already done it, and those that haven't might get upset when they see that the price was raised. I can understand the reasoning behind raising the price, but I think it may do more bad (hurting DF's PR) than good.

Also, I was wondering how long will the slacker backer thing will be open. Shouldn't it transition over to pre-orders at some point?

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30 dollars seems fair to me. TBH, starting with a higher Slacker Backer price would would have been a nice gesture to the Kickstarter backers. Even if it was only $5 more, or something.

Are you going with the Minecraft pricing model? Where you pay more as the release date draws nearer.

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How much slack do you intend to give those slackers?

At some point you'll have to close access for new people, the game is backed and its budget is set, I doubt you'll get a lot more than what's already in (of course not counting those who will buy the game/documentary once they'll be able to see the final product).

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While I definitely think $30 is still an incredible deal, I also believe that any time you raise the price you're pushing some people away. It's easy for those of us who have access to everything to say it's worth $30 or more (I'm personally kicking myself for not having $100 handy during the Kickstarter), but those on the outside can't necessarily see the value they'd be receiving (aside from the first episode from the doc which is public).

I have absolutely no objections to you guys raising the price, but like other people have said here, I'm not entirely sure it'd be a good idea. I'd be more supportive of a more incremental price increase, rather than doubling the price outright.

Still, I'm loving what you guys have done so far, and raising the price to $30 won't do anything to diminish my support.

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I don't disagree with your assessment of the $30 value. Now that production on the game is chugging along and a decent helping of documentary content is finished and there for the viewing, we are starting to leave the realm of providing funding for a prospective project and entering the realm of paying for bundled products. I wouldn't say we've completely arrived at full-product status yet, since production is still underway, but I don't think it's unfair to gradually raise the price as it goes along, since the status of anyone paying money into the pot is gradually shifting from something like "early backer" to "buyer". It's sort of a weird, amorphous grey area between those two points.

I think if you're going to raise the price, you will probably have to be careful with your messaging, lest you be accused of "jacking the price". If potential buyers/backers have already seen the item on the shelf for $15, and they suddenly see that it now costs $30, but they aren't really sure what the difference is, it's just going to look to them like you're trying to put a $15 item on the shelf for $30. It will look like you're fishing. It won't matter to them if DF reassessed its value and determined the price should be higher. All that matters to them is that a thing that was $15 is now, for some reason, $30.

So I think I would advise trying to explain how the thing being paid for has changed (i.e. it is more product than idea now), and I would also make it clear that the $30 price tag is STILL less than what the net value of all the bundled items will be once they are finished and given individual price tags.

Question: When you say the price is going to be raised soon, do you mean you are going to run it by the community first and then raise it before saying anything outside the community? Or did you mean you were going to announce even outside the community that a price increase was coming and then raise it shortly after the announcement? Because I think it would be an easier pill to swallow if you announced the upcoming price increase with a good explanation, but allowed a certain time window as one last chance to get in on the $15 price mark. If you did that, you might be able to grab a couple of fence sitters and placate the people who would have remained on the fence and complained about how it was worth $15 but not $30. In this scenario, if they disagree, they can just pay $15 now and be done with it. If they continue to sit on the fence, any accusation of "price jacking" is necessarily weaker, because fair notice was given.

tl;dr:

1) Make it clear that what the customer is getting has changed and THEREFORE the price. The last thing we want is for DF to look like they are arbitrarily charging $30 for what people will still believe is a $15 package.

2) Give some notice and then one last chance to get the $15 price mark. Put the "fund the mere idea" phase of the project on clearance for a couple days before you put the "real game/documentary in production with finished content to show" phase on the shelf. I don't know how many indecisive people are still out there, but if they're out there, better to catch them with one last chance at $15 than potentially make them feel blindsided with the new price and lose them altogether to bitterness.

If that all sounds reasonable, maybe if crowdfunding is used in the future (it sounds like Tim is warm to the idea), it might be a good idea to say up front that the price on slacker-backing will gradually rise as the product transforms from mere idea into an actual product.

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