Steam Devs May Be Under-Pricing Their Games, Says No More Robots; Nintendo Files Lawsuit Against ROMs website

TheGamingEconomy Daily Digest brings you the trending business stories in gaming. In today’s edition: No More Robots Boss Says Steam Games Are Under-Priced; Nintendo files lawsuit against ROMs website; Apple Arcade isn’t for Team17

No More Robot’s Research Suggests Indie Games Are Under-priced

The CEO and founder of independent game publisher No More Robots has conducted research which he believes points to developers targeting Steam under-pricing their games.

Mike Rose’s report ‘How well are PC games selling on Steam in 2019?’ looks at non-blockbuster games sold between July 5th and August 6th 2019 on the Steam platform. The research, he says, points to the fact that a new release in 2019 sells on a median average 1,500 copies, demonstrating a 70% YOY drop. In terms of revenues, the report indicates a median average of USD$16,000 (£12,902), or a mean average of USD$46,000 (£37,092).

Meanwhile, the study suggests that the average cost of an qualifying Steam game sold on Valves marketplace has dropped from USD$12 (£9.68) in 2018 to USD$10 (£8.06) in 2019.

In the report – which makes clear the figures are estimates informed by publicly available data – Rose wrote “Developers are pricing their games too low – higher prices are, on average, resulting in better sales, and much better revenues”.

The report also clarifies the types of game considered, and the process used to refine the data.

 

Nintendo files lawsuit against ROMs website

Continuing a concerted effort to tackle piracy and copyright infringements, Nintendo has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against ROMs website RomUniverse.

While there are many different types of ROMs website, most let you download unofficial copies of games new and old, to be played on original gaming hardware, via virtual ’emulators’ of various platforms, or on hacked or modded consoles and other systems. ROMs websites have often continued untroubled when making much older games available, and some observers even make the argument that some efforts to catalogue game files of the likes of early arcade releases constitute a valuable preservation of the medium.

Nintendo, however, is filing a lawsuit claiming USD$150,000 in damage for individual copyright infringement on RomUniverse, and up to USD $2m (£1.6m) for various trademark infringements, according to Polygon. RomUniverse reportedly charges some users a subscription free, meaning it is potentially monetising other company’s IP. It appears to offer new and old Nintendo games.

Last year Nintendo settled for $12m with two ROM sites, and in recent days it has been able to make sure five leading UK internet providers prevent access to websites which enable game piracy on the Switch, reports Eurogamer.

 

Team17 to give Apple Arcade a miss

Following recent news that Team17 enjoyed a 97% rise in revenues through FH2019, the company’s CEO has revealed to Bloomberg that the UK developer and publisher will not presently be publishing games on the newly detailed Apple Arcade Platform.

In short, it appears Team17 does not need the financing Apple makes available to ensure exclusivity on its new premium-focused mobile gaming subscription service.

“We have plenty of cash, so we’re not looking to people like Apple for development financing in exchange for periods of exclusivity on games,” offered Team17 CEO, Debbie Bestwick.