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How much to charge for VR games?  Job Simulator  dev wrestles with key question

How much to charge for VR games? Job Simulator dev wrestles with key question

April 20, 2016 | By Alex Wawro

April 20, 2016 | By Alex Wawro
More: VR, Business/Marketing

This week Austin studio Owlchemy Labs has decided to lower the price of its debut VR game Job Simulator by 25 percent just two weeks after the game launched on Steam.

While game prices change all the time, this particular price cut is interesting because it represents Owlchemy wrestling with a common problem for VR game makers: how much should a VR game cost?

"The decision to price the game at $39.99 was the culmination of our thoughts on the VR market at launch. With the launch of a brand new platform, no one quite knew what to expect, so we had to use whatever metrics we had available to us," reads a message from Owlchemy on the Job Simulator Steam page.

"We knew that the initial market for VR would be something that would grow over time, but...we knew it would be a slow start. In order to recoup our costs for the smaller audience, we placed what we believed to be a competitive, but fair, price on the game."

Now the studio wants to juice sales of the game (to "allow even more people to experience the mind blowing moment when you realize your hands can truly work in VR") and address fan concerns about the price of Job Simulator, so it's permanently dropping it to $30.

Moreover, the studio is encouraging everyone who bought it at the higher price to request a refund, then re-buy the game at the lower price. Owlchemy will waive the "time played" restrictions on such Steam refunds, but only through next Tuesday.

There's little to recommend in the way of further reading on VR game pricing, as developers seem to be enmeshed in figuring it out -- mostly through trial and error. However, there's a virtual burrito in Job Simulator that's worth reading about, as it wraps up some excellent VR design fundamentals.

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