Factorio, a hugely popular factory-building sim, joins a wave of much larger game franchises like Call of Duty, Star Wars Jedi, Final Fantasy, and others in getting a price bump due to inflation. But unlike the massive AAA fans of those other games, a lot of the Factorio community seems to be…surprisingly cool with this idea. But not all.
While you love companies UbisoftAnd Take twoAnd X-BoxAnd Sony They’ve all effectively set a new benchmark for game pricing over the past year, Factorio is a bit of an oddity because it’s a much smaller game. Its developer, Wube Software, is a much smaller studio than any other company that has announced price increases, and Factorio itself is not from $60 to $70, but from $30 to $35.
It’s also worth noting that Factorio is a much older game that’s seeing a price increase from its predecessor, rather than a new game that sets a direction for the series moving forward. Factorio first launched in early access in 2016 ahead of its full 2020 release. Since then, it has had no microtransactions, and the only additional content available for purchase on Steam is the $7 soundtrack. But it’s never been part of a Steam sale before, either — options developers explained in 2016 (as spotted by Kotaku) as a way to respect gamers who’ve already bought the game.
“We don’t want to reward people who hesitate to buy the game, the game has a price that we find reasonable, and that’s the deal. If you think it’s priced too high, it’s your choice not to buy and we hope we can convince you of its value with enough time and additional development.”
Factorio was overpriced Advertise on Twitter On January 20, six days before it went into effect, the community response so far has been surprisingly positive. True, most of the people who reply seem to already own the game, but they’re also asking for more ways to support Factorio. Many others share anecdotes about their longer play times compared to the amount they spent, which means the many hours they put in were well worth the relatively cheap price. A quick look at Factorio’s “extremely positive” Steam rating score suggests that a lot of people feel the same way.
Factorio – Nintendo Switch Release Screens (Nintendo Direct – Sep 2022)
However, a handful of people seem unhappy with the change. A look at Factorio’s overall user review trends shows very, very few negative reviews…with two exceptions. One of them dates back to July last year when (based on reviews) a regional pricing issue in Russia seemed to make the game twice as expensive for these users. The other period of negative reviews began, as I expected, on January 20th, with a surge in “unrecommended” articles accusing Whoop of greed and questioning the validity of inflation as an excuse to raise prices. Unlike many other review bombing situations, most of the negative reviews have a few hours on record, so at least some segments of the community are sure to be unhappy with this one (even if, again, they actually bought the game as well).
Factorio is one of the first major indie games to react to inflation with price increases in a visible and overt way, but it likely won’t be the last. As we assessed earlier this month, AAA studios will likely continue to charge the $70 pricing standard for AAA games, but there is also a growing discussion among the indie community about charging more. It’s possible we’ll see more games follow Factorio’s lead as the year goes on.
Rebecca Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @tweet.
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