CAPY studio director Joel Burgess has shared seven basic rules for video game discounts. Some of these tips seem obvious, but it is always better to know what works and what doesn’t best beforehand.
Simon Carless highlighted Burgess’ thoughts in the latest GameDiscoverCo newsletter. Here are the key takeaways.
- The frequency of discounts is important. Burgess thinks that devs should put their games on sale as often as possible because “any discount percentage outperforms [the same period if the game is at] full price.” Carless also noted that sales should be held “at gradually incrementing discounts, ideally.”
- Discounts are better synchronized with any major events related to the game. This might be a new major update, an interview with developers, or a new game’s launch.
- Platform sales are key to visibility. Burgess noted that, in addition to a revenue boost, it could also improve developer relationships with platform holders.
- It is important to use every opportunity. This includes making special deals with platforms, creating sales bundles, or collaborating with other developers.
- Reducing the price to historical lows is also an option. Some players use different sites to track the best deals, and these huge discounts can be used as a marketing tool if developers inform the press or players in time.
- Revenue is not always more important than the number of copies sold. Burgess explained that sometimes developers may need to bring their sales to certain figures to show them when pitching the next game to a publisher.
- It is crucial to find the discount amount that suits you best. “I was surprised to find 40% outperforming 75% off recently (on revenue),” Burgess said, so it is important to try and analyze different discounts to find the most effective one.
Who is Joel Burgess?
Burgess is a games industry veteran, who started his career back in the early 2000s. He was a level designer at Terminal Reality, where he worked on games like BloodRayne 2 and Æon Flux.
He also worked at Bethesda Studios as a senior and lead designer for 11 years, contributing to Fallout 3-4, TES IV: Oblivion, TES V: Skyrim, and Fallout 76. Burgess also served as world director at Ubisoft Toronto, where he participated in the development of Watch Dogs Legion.
In 2019, he joined Toronto-based indie studio CAPY(bara) Games as studio director. The latest game in Burgess’ portfolio is colorful puzzle title Grindstone, which came out on June 20, 2022.