Customers Care: The Radiohead Strategy that Worked with 2D Boy

21 10 2009
World of Goo

World of Goo

2D Boy asked consumers to name their price for World of Goo until the 19th, but just as it worked with Radiohead, it did with them. Now, in case you still haven’t bought World of Goo, you’ve got a second chance…until the 25th.

If you don’t know what this is about and why 2D Boy and Radiohead have something common, check the previous post “Catering to the Consumer”.

Though publishers, developers, and service providers might worry about tending to their customers, truth be told: In the end it’s about the profit. A business cannot maintain itself without making money and that isn’t something new. The novelty arises when different strategies are used to cater to the consumer and obtain income simultaneously. 2D Boy acted in that sense by allowing customers to pay what they wanted for the game World of Goo for the duration of one week.

The response came through statistics released by 2D Boy via surveys and interestingly revealed that though consumers do care about those developers, publishers (not so much), and service providers who treat them well, in the end it is how much they can afford that matters. According to the sale results, 2D Boy’s Ron Carmel deduced “Few people chose their price based on the perceived value of the game. How much the person feels they can afford seems to play a much larger role in the decision than how much the game is worth.” At the time, 22.7%  of the buyers had confirmed in a post-purchase survey that they paid what they could afford. Read the rest of this entry »

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World of Goo: Soundtrack

26 01 2009

World of Goo is no news for those who know what “indie games” are. In case you don’t, think of it as a nifty-wacky-weird-puzzle-physics game or, as one of its creators (Kyle Gabler) put it, “a physics-based puzzle game about building things with eager little talking globs of goo.”

What matters to this post isn’t the game so, though, but rather its soundtrack. Recently released, it was something I eagerly awaited for when I first had my chance with those slimy goo balls. Approximately 49 minutes of surreal immersion that make you remember many stages and relive awkward moments of tower building and goo killing.

Kyle cites many “big movie guys” like Danny Elfman, Vangelis, Bernard Herrmann, Hans Zimmer, and Ennio Morricone as his sources of inspirati. Though I agree, I can’t shake that taste of Team17’s Worms away. The tunes and the goo globs themselves, it just sounds so seriously-wacky with a bit of high pitched “weeeee” on top.

On the other hand, the composition made up clearly reveals how different songs made for different purposes can fit in with game themes. There’s no way people can criticize games for having a specific-tuney-like soundtrack. By putting together a clever compilation, games like Jonathan Blow’s Braid and World of Goo defy that notion. You’ve got original compostions that never thought of accompanying gameplay, even if they might have been made for films.

Enough of my babbling, you just want the soundtrack. What? Pay? No no no! The current trend is “free“! So click here and start by listening to “Regurtitation Pumping Station”. At least, that’s what I’ve done for the past hours or so.

May the game development culture evolve on this path with a strong community relationship. Seriously, we’ve got free goodies. How could this go wrong?








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