Ah, the age old saying “you get what you paid for!”
I remember when as a kid playing Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo, I would try to see how fast I could beat the game. Believe it or not, I got my time down to 7:36. I LOVED that game. So, it was only natural that in 1988 when Super Mario Bros 3 was released, I HAD TO HAVE IT.
Only one problem…it was dang expensive, like ridiculous for that time. That didn’t stop me, I worked extra chores, saved my birthday money, and dug through the sleeper sofa to find loose change. If you do a little research you will find varying amounts for the game back then, but I distinctly remember paying close to $80 with tax. That’s equal to about $163.00 today…for one game. Ouch!
As I got the game home, I can still remember that fresh smell of plastic with a hint of computer chip solder. I slid the cartage in and the rest is history. The art, the experience, the interface, all the way down to every detail, that game was WORTH EVERY PENNY. I can’t tell you how bad I smelt as a kid playing it for the first time, because I didn’t get up to shower or brush my teeth. I played for days unhinged, until the idle threats of my parents to go to bed ensued with more than just a warning. Today’s kids struggle in this same way with Fortnite.
Not long after, I had accomplished adding a little more cash to the pocket of my Levi jeans and found a game called The Mafat Conspiracy. It was on sale for $5. “What? A Nintendo game for only $5. I have to get this.”
Let me just say, in the history of games both in concept and reality, this was the WORST EVER. The graphics were bad, the map was bad, the concepts didn’t connect. In fact, I couldn’t even finish it. If you are like me when I start a game, you know the agony of non-completion. You can understand my childhood hell with this game. It was just awful.
In retrospect, was my $80 “branded” game better than my $5 game?
ABSOLUTELY! Was it because of the price? Well, maybe. Let me explain a little. Now that I’m older and a bit wiser, I can understand that the actual plastic and chips cost about the same to produce. I also know that Super Mario Brothers was a brand that had some weight to its name. In all honesty, they could have just slapped a sticker on a slightly redone Mario and called it done, or they could have outsourced the project with their brand (Cough… see Super Mario Bros 2).
Then WHY was Super Mario Bros 3 so much better as a game than the $5 one?
Simple, because they knew what they were doing. They put in the time, the research, the testing, and their experience in game building, and we all know that costs money. In return of the Super Mario Bros 3 intellectual investment, they made an AMAZING product that happened to cost a lot more than anything else on the market at that time.
As a developer at Gulf Coast Pixel, I see this all the time. Businesses trying to buy “$5 games” and hope they can get the same results as the “$80 game.”
They look to take the cheap route trying to yield fruitful returns. And maybe this works 1 out of 100 times, but unfortunately, most of these businesses return to quality after they have divested their own brand in the process. Unfortunately, some never bounce back.
Now, I am NOT saying you should buy the most expensive products based on the brand name. What I am saying is you should always make sure the product you are investing in has actually invested their own time, effort, and energy to make a great product. Sometimes your investment will cost a little extra for a higher value and a better return on your investment.
At Gulf Coast Pixel, we value your dollar and know you work hard for it. Because we too are business owners, this is one of the reasons we have found ourselves offering our clients a fair price for an incredible investment. We make your digital products with careful planning, attention to detail and build from the user psychology to give you the ability to stand against your biggest competitors.
Looking for a digital presence? Need help with your digital marketing? We’d love to walk this journey with you.