Making indie games tends to be a passion project. Even the professional-looking ones don’t usually make that much, with the average income making the poverty line look like an aspirational goal. The million-selling breakout games are incredibly rare, and the average annual earnings amount to under $12,000 a year. That’s great if you’ve got someone willing to support your dreams, but kind of terrible for anyone else. It’s not been helped by the race-to-the-bottom pricing that leaked over from iOS, and the creeping effect of bundles and Steam sales. Yes, industry self-inflicted wound, but at this point what can you do? Games have value, and while everyone likes a deal there’s a reason they’re priced as they are on launch.
A group of indie developers have decided to do a little something about this and are banding together July 4th to celebrate their Indiependence. All their games will be full price, with no sales, discounts, or other financial enticements. If a game on the list sells for $19.99, that’s how much it’s going to cost because that’s how much the developer feels it should sell for, and the hope is that the community will show its appreciation. Steam offers full refunds now, after all, so the worst thing that might happen is a developer gets full value for its game and the buyer can try something new. Axiom Verge is easily worth the $19.99, Ninja Pizza Girl effortlessly earns its $12.99 price tag, and Cosmochoria is great value at $9.99. There’s any number of fantastic games in the non-sale, so head on over to the home page and see if you can find something you’ve been meaning to try. Any day is a good day to support a great game, and with a bit of appreciation maybe these developers can earn their freedom from the race to the bottom of the pricing barrel.