High Cost of Planetary Annihilation Not Deterring Players

Uber Entertainment recently launched Planetary Annihilation on Steam as a part of the platform’s Early Access program. This alone wouldn’t have created a fuss, were it not for the asking price—$90.

Needless to say, there’s been some controversy—and anger—over the pricing structure. Charging for early access isn’t anything new – Mojang, for example, sold Minecraft during both its alpha and beta stages. The difference however is that Minecraft’s initial price as a pittance. As the game neared completion, the price rose until it was only barely below the final retail price. Planetary Annihilation is taking the exact opposite path, charging $90 for alpha access now, and $60 for beta access later. No discount for early adopters, it seems.

Though it does indeed seem outlandish, Uber Entertainment justifies the high price as a show of respect for donors to Planetary Annihilation’s Kickstarter campaign late last year. Backers who contributed $90 to the Kickstarter were promised early access into the game’s Alpha, along with numerous other perks. Backers who contributed $60 were promised beta access at a later date.

Unhappy players have voiced their complaints on the Steam page explaining the high price. “The fact that some people think this pricing is acceptable is beyond me,” said one complaint. “Kickstarters put up money of there own free will. Using that as an excuse to charge gamers these sorts of amounts is despicable.” This comment was typical of complaints.

The Executive Producer at Uber Entertainment, Chandana Ekanayake, told Game Front that the studio is well aware of the fuss, but that their first priotity was to the players that backed them for Alpha during the Kickstarter phase last year. “Alpha access is priced at what our Kickstarter backers paid so we don’t screw them with a lower price,” he said. “Over the next several months the price will come down as we get closer to release.”

It’s worth pointing out that backers of Planetary Annihilation on Steam receive everything that their counterparts on Kickstarter did: early access to the game during its Alpha and Beta, and uninterrupted access after Planetary Annihilation releases; the Theta commander, a unique shell design available only to those who purchase the game early; a soundtrack; desktop wallpaper; and a digital artbook. In essence, the $90 price point is the equivalent of the game’s “Galactic Edition” once the game is launched. The basic version of the game, also known as the “Combat Edition”, will be sold for $40.

Now a week after the alpha was made available, it appear that most users have accepted the high price for early access. Planetary Annihilation was the 3rd most popular game on Steam for several days in a row, and currently holds the number seven spot.

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7 Comments on High Cost of Planetary Annihilation Not Deterring Players

LTenhet

On June 18, 2013 at 8:42 pm

“Kickstarters put up money of there own free will. Using that as an excuse to charge gamers these sorts of amounts is deable.” That comment is funny, considering you are also putting up money of your own free will to preorder for the Alpha. You could also just NOT pay for the Alpha.

Patches

On June 19, 2013 at 10:01 am

“High Cost of Planetary Annihilation Not Deterring Players”…

Well, I’m deterred…

Not a fan of Kickstarter and such…
Got into a few, and at the end, the final result wasn’t as ‘stellar’ as it was supposed (or promised(?)) to be at the beginning…

Also, Steam ‘Early Access’ are too many and looks too much like a final product on the sale point of view… It should be separated from the finished products, like GreenLight…

FunkySwanson

On June 19, 2013 at 10:13 am

I totally agree that to complain about the price is just silly, no one is being forced to buy the game! Frankly I’m disappointed that the users on steam aren’t HAPPY to pay more for early access and the game. The more funding Uber Entertainment gets in these early stages then the better the game will be! With enough funding I believe PA could be one of the greatest RTS’s ever made. I believe in you Uber Entertainment!

Thanter

On June 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm

The short lifespan of this game on Steams Top Sellers does not equate as “most” users accepting this price point. It is being accepted by a “some” users. Steams Top Sellers list is revenue based and this title was being beaten by $4 dollar games which is over 20 to 1 units sold. This is a June release and competition for impulse buyers is low on Steam right now.

Annoyed Steamer

On June 20, 2013 at 5:09 am

Hey Ian, this game has had a maximum of 194 concurrent Steam users. 194. THAT speaks volumes. The Top Sellers list is revenue-based which tends to favor higher-priced games like Planetary Annihilation. Also, the actual sales numbers are hidden from consumers so putting much weight behind Top Sellers is questionable, at best, and grasping for straws, at worse.

Another game that was introduced on the same day and in the same Early Access program is unEpic. It has well over 2,200 concurrent users.

The adults on Steam object to the incompetence displayed by Uber in the business field. They might be great game developers but they haven’t managed the launch well at all. Even then, most of us are still considering a purchase. The game looks great and sounds interesting.

David

On June 20, 2013 at 5:10 am

“In essence, the $90 price point is the equivalent of the game’s “Galactic Edition” once the game is launched. The basic retail price, or “Warfare edition” will be $60.00.”

This is wrong, please correct this. The Warfare edition costs $60.00, yes, but that is NOT the retail price. That is beta access. The retail game, the Combat edition, can be preorded now for $40.

https://store.uberent.com/Store/PreOrder?titleId=4

chris

On June 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm

I was interested in know why this game was almost twice the price of Rome 2. I personally think the pricing is fair but they should say it on their steam page, only my interest in the game mechanics lead me to search around for more details on the game. Thanks for the write up.