You may remember Planetary Annihilation, a RTS on the Planetary scale; it had a particularly successful Kickstarter Campaign and raised itself a hefty sum of $2,229,344. Not to be sniffed at right? Well they’ve only just released it on Steam Early Access, as an Alpha, for a reasonable $90/£67. If you’re wondering if its a mistake, let us assure you it isn’t. It IS ninety dollars/sixty-seven pounds. That’s ridiculous, surely? Outrageous even?
But… maybe it isn’t?
Hear us out, as the developers Uber Entertainment have already tried to explain both on their site and on the steam forums, they set these prices in conjunction with their Kickstarter. It is by no stretch of the imagination a price most people will not pay for a full game let alone an alpha but in their Kickstarter 8,144 people paid a minimum of $90 for this exclusive Alpha access.
If Uber lower their price; even a fraction, they are in some ways betraying their core audience, who have already paid that price for something they must be incredibly excited about. Steam Early Access buyers may not get access to the extra digital goodies that the Kickstarter Alpha backers do, but if you aren’t comfortable paying that price you can always wait for Beta or Full release.
The Beta is already set at $60 for anyone that’s interested, which is in fact far steeper than the original buy-in price of a minimum of $40. Which a total of 11,975 people paid for, so yeah, they are getting a better deal here and Uber may shift their pricing slightly more towards those numbers.
Either way, letting people who want to play the game; while it’s still in development, is something Uber is letting you choose to do. They don’t have to adjust their prices to make it cheaper for early access, they have the funding already; many other games have cheaper prices to help fund development and market their games. It is a high price but a fair price, keeping in-line with the Kickstarter prices as to not betray their existing fanbase. And of course, you can always rest easy knowing the full game will release in December (hopefully) at a sub-$60 price-tag.
For statistics sake: a total of 20,119 people pledged money that gave them at very least Beta Access, and a further 23,720 people bought reward tiers under beta access for a copy of the finished game; bringing it to a total of 43,839 people who bought the game through Kickstarter. There was 44,162 backers in total but those remaining 323 people didn’t contribute over $15 each.