If you own a Switch, you’ve likely been in the situation where you’re browsing the sales section of the eShop and end up buying a game because of its insanely low price. For certain developers and publishers, sales are the best way to stay relevant on Nintendo’s hybrid platform. Due to the limited browsing options available on this marketplace, a lot of games have a tendency to go missing after the initial launch period.
In an interview with Kotaku, the creator of the Metroid-style rogue-lite A Robot Named Fight explained how his publisher Hitcents insisted he lower his game’s price from $12.99 USD all the way down to $1.99 USD as a way to counter this. The response from eShop users was supposedly night and day:
During that sale it performed better than launch.
The game made it onto the eShop’s “Best Sellers” page and additional benefits included publicity beyond Nintendo’s platform. Unit sales increased by 1,500 percent when it went on sale, compared to its previous month.
By no means is this an isolated case, either. The developer behind the psychedelic puzzle-platformer Membrane had similar success. After quickly losing visibility in the “Coming Soon” section, the aim was to make it into the “Great Deals” section of the eShop. When purchases went down to “practically nothing” a sale (reducing the game down to just 9 cents) quickly recovered the situation. This extreme price cut has now resulted in more than 100,000 sales to date:
We just eclipsed 100,000 sales with our last discount of 99 percent off. Only 1 percent of those sales were made when the game was at full price.
The creator behind Son of a Witch had to take a slightly different approach. Instead of devaluing his work or potentially angering anyone who had paid the full price for his game ($15.00 USD), he changed his own development model.
I cannot compete with companies like Forever Entertainment or QubicGames, who develop small games and push new ones all the time. So I decided to go into smaller games myself as well.
He decided to port some of his older games to Switch – with updated visuals and mechanics – and then sold them for as low as 19 cents. Quest for the Golden Duck was one of these games (reduced from $9.99 USD to 39 cents) and it made it into the “Best Sellers” list.
What are your thoughts about all of this? Have you bought an eShop game for just a few cents? Leave a comment below.