For The Greater Good
Terms And Conditions
I’m posting to explain a change to the way that the preview/prototype/prequel type version of Thrunt is being made available to players. I also want to explain the motivation behind the change. Please do read to the end, this isn’t just about Thrunt.
First of all, if you are an existing customer who bought Thrunt prior to this date then don’t worry, the terms of your early access have not changed. Specifically, you will still receive a free upgrade to the version of Thrunt that will (I hope) be released to Steam next year, and you will be first in line to take part in any closed beta testing or similar that I may offer prior to release, which you are fully entitled to decline and I will only be mildly offended I promise.
I really do want to sincerely thank all you Thrunters who have supported the project up to this point, both financially and with your valuable feedback.
Now, onto the changes. There are two:
Thrunt is now FREE!
However, Thrunt no longer comes with any early access rights.
Leader Of The Free World
I’ve been considering this move for a little while now. With the Greenlight campaign planned to launch early in the new year I felt it’s about time I tried to get some more attention given to the game.
A lot of people do look at the game’s Itch page, and I always get good feedback when I post stuff of Twitter and Facebook. However, the conversion rate of views to sales is comparatively low. I have no idea how it compares to other small-fry indie titles on Itch, but it’s probably a common problem. I’m of the opinion that putting a price on the game, any price at all, is enough to deter many people from having a go, particularly when there are so many other games on Itch that are free. I feel the price for Thrunt was fair, but unattractive.
Financially, making the game free doesn’t impact me significantly. The sales rate is low, particularly recently when I’ve been too busy working on the new version to even tweet about this one. It would now be much more valuable for me to have, say, ten times as many players but at no financial gain, in order to convert that interest into thumb-ups on Steam and give me more of a chance to avoid being stuck in Greenlight for too long, or even permanently.
But of course I don’t also want to give away all future revenue for free. I’m not an idiot. So that’s why I’m no longer offering the early access deal to new players. If they like it enough to pay for it when the time comes then all I’m doing is delaying my cheque. If they don’t, but they’re happy to vote for it on Greenlight, then that’s also a plus. And if not, well, they probably wouldn’t have paid in the first place.
Well, I mulled it over. I decided that I’d go ahead with the freebie plan, but I’d hold off until I was confident about a date for the Greenlight launch. I didn’t want to generate a load of interest and then have it forgotten before I could make the most of it.
But then last night I saw a tweet that caught my attention, and forced my hand a little:
— Chris Dwyer (@junklatch) November 11, 2016
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last week you probably noticed Donald Trump was elected to be the next President of the United States of America. I’m not best pleased about this state of affairs, and I know I’m not alone. I don’t want to bang on about it, but from what I know about this abysmal clown, his history, his opinions and his stated goals, I feel the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are two organisations that really could use our help to make a big difference. All our help.
The bundle Chris Dwyer is planning will raise money for both, all proceeds split fifty-fifty. I’ve pledged to include Thrunt in that bundle, the least I can do to help. The bundle isn’t available yet – I’ll blog and tweet and share it to you when it is. When it is availabe, I urge you to support it, no matter what it contains. I really hope that some well-known developers contribute some well-known games to help these causes.
[Update 13 Nov – I gather from Chris’ Twitter that 100+ developers have now pledged content to the bundle. Awesome.]
Of course, if I’m making no money from sales of a bundle that I’m urging you to buy instead of my own game, it makes no sense to continue charging for my game. It also doesn’t make much sense to grant early access rights to purchasers of the bundle, which could potentially be many people, though many that weren’t interested in my game per se, and may never even get around to trying it. If I gain some exposure through my involvement, and if that translates into a few Greenlight votes come the new year, then that will be karma enough.
Hence, as of now, Thrunt is free if that’s all you want. But please, if you do want it, bung some money towards the bundle when it’s out, grab whatever else is in it, enjoy Thrunt, and make some small difference to a world that needs some help right now. And if you’re a developer or have released content on Itch at all, please consider pledging your work.