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Why the Hell is Behold the Kickmen so Cheap?

Jul 312017


Please buy a copy. Buy two? Review it on Steam if you like it, that’d be brilliant.

OKAY that’s the promo, here’s some meat:

Deciding what to charge for games is hard. I’m on record at being anti “race to the bottom” prices and I really am, and yet Kickmen is cheap. Very cheap. Which makes me a dirty hypocrite. When I asked Beta Testers what I should charge, they said £10-15, and a follow-up Twitter poll suggested £5-10. So why only £2.79?

“It must be rubbish” was one Twitter user’s line of reasoning but the reality is actually pretty simple: I knew all along that Kickmen as a concept is a very tough sell. The target market is people who don’t like football, they’re the ones who are going to get the most out of it. So it needs to be cheap enough to appeal to people who despise football games but are willing to purchase a football game, and that Venn Diagram leaves me with a very thin sliver of “potential customers”.

The joy of being an indie dev is just making all this shit up as you go and see what works. I certainly think more people have bought Kickmen than would have done if it wasn’t at that ‘oooh’ price, but I guess we’ll never know if I’d had made more money if it was £15 and less people bought it.

There’s also an element of how much faith I had in the game – getting feedback from Beta Testers was frequently like getting blood from a stone which led me to believe at a base level people weren’t enjoying it. The Steam reviews (currently at 96%, Very Positive) have proved me wrong on that, but as I’ve said in interviews the game reeeeeally came together in the final three weeks, long after I’d made a lot of these core decisions.

Finally, I think it’s in-keeping with the game’s scope. I’m not interested in expanding it or adding multiplayer, and I did a lot of research on games like Downwell which seemed to be in that similar kind of size bracket, and which as far as I can tell did very well.

Anyway, that’s the thought process behind it. I think I’ve been proven right insofar as the game’s a tough sell. youTube sensation NerdCubed did a very positive video on Kickmen. He has 2.5 MILLION subscribers and the video is approaching 100,000 views. Looking at the stats there was a little bump in sales. I’m guessing the game made an extra £400 as a result of that video. Maybe a little more. See what I mean? Tough sell.

Doubtless some armchair company directors will pop up all “waaah metrics metrics metrics you should have done XYZ” but honestly I don’t give a fuck – I made a fun little game which has gone down really well and made its development costs back. It was an interesting little experiment and I’m mainly just delighted that people are playing it and enjoying themselves.

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