Despite loads of high profile, positive reviews (IGN and Eurogamer, for example), Joost van Dongen’s Proun was not the financial success it could have been. The key word here is “could,” as the developer has decided there was potential to make more money off of his project if only he forced purchasers to be a little less lazy.
When not working on Ronimo’s projects such as Swords & Soldiers and Awesomenauts, the developer took it upon himself to create this awesome side project called Proun: a psychedelic racing game, a sort of tube racer where one races on the outside of the tube instead of the inside. It looks utterly fantastic:
As stated, journalists praised the game and players in turn flocked to the game. Over 250,000 people played, according to the dev’s calculations. However, less than 2% paid for Proun. Ouch.
Aside from a whopping 80% of those who torrented/othered the game, Joost chalks up the lack of paying to sloth and not the game’s content (5 levels): “I think the main reason why so few people chose to pay for Proun is this: the free version did not require a Credit Card transaction and was thus way easier to download.” Interestingly, the developer even links to the Torrent of its game.
The dev seems to have learned some other lessons. One experimental result is that the most people who did pay, paid for the premium content, which required a minimum $2 purchase. Is the lesson then to incentivize? Maybe.
However, Proun has at least one more experiment to run. The dev is raising the minimum price to $1. He notes that people are still grabbing and paying for the game daily, so not all is lost.
Financial profits aside, the developer is still happy that over 250,000 people have experienced Proun. Why not add to the masses and become one of those users? I wish more $1 apps or games looked as cool as this. Grab Proun today.
Readers, what do you think about “pay what you want” plans? Pros and cons?