Results of 2D Boy's 'Pay What You Want' World of Goo Sales Experiment Released

By Nick Breckon, Oct 21, 2009 11:40am PDT Taking a page from Radiohead, World of Goo developer 2D Boy used the game's one-year anniversary to run a sale that allowed customers to name the price of the game before buying--right down zero dollars.

While a large number of people paid under $2, the average price factored out to $2.03, with a few generous souls giving as much as $50. The sale resulted in pushing some 57,000 copies of the year-old game, generating over $114,000 as determined by the average price.

2D Boy also ran a short survey, asking users how much they paid, their reasoning, and what they think the game should be worth normally.

"One thing that the survey data might suggests is that despite there being a lot discussion around what games are worth and the dollar value of an hour of play, few people chose their price based on the perceived value of the game," wrote 2D Boy's Ron Carmel on the company's blog. "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."

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  • I like donate-ware or whatever better than this model. I mean as far as pie-in-the-sky funding schemes go. Donate money to a person and once they get enough money they release it free to everybody. Don't donate, and you don't get the game. Plus it's sound from a tech point of view, because you can't (easily) pirate something nobody except the creator has access to.

    By asking people to pay the price they want you're just asking to be low-balled, especially if you don't have the incredible respect and good will of a ton of your audience. In fact it's worse, because even with this model you have people who are just going to pirate it anyway, AND you have legitimate customers who are going to take advantage of you.