Valve: Online punters “don’t care” if prices are shifted up and down

By Patrick Garratt, Wednesday, 18 November 2009 13:29 GMT

teamfortress2

Valve business boss Jason Holtman has told the Montreal International Game Summit that a direct digital system like Steam means game prices can go up as well as down and people will keep buying.

“In a connected market, you can shift prices up and down, and people don’t care,” he said.

“You can change prices instantaneously. Customers are incredibly sensitive to pricing. You can adjust the price by five dollars, or a dollar, and you can see the demand curve shift.”

Holtman said that in a traditional product model, once your price drops it’s only ever going one way.

“You launch at $50 or $60, then you sit around for a few months until someone says, ‘It’s time to go to $30,’ and you can never go back,” he added.

“Then someone says, ‘It’s time to go to the Platinum Series at $20,’ and then you’re praying it stays there, and then eventually it drops off and it’s gone.”

Holtman voiced the now-familiar Valve mantra of seeing games as services, saying TF2 has been updated 97 times in the past two years.

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