Player feedback, limited install base and need to recoup costs of 15-strong dev team cited as reasons behind price cut and offer of refunds

Owlchemy drops Job Simulator price by $10: ‘No one knew what to expect from VR’

One of VR’s flagship launch titles has been slashed in price weeks after release.

Owlchemy Labs’ Job Simulator is available for both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, and launched with a price tag of $39.99 at the end of March.

However, the developer has now announced that it will be reducing the cost of the title to $29.99, as well as refunding those who already paid the higher price.

Explaining the decision in a Steam blog post, Owlchemy said: “The decision to price the game at $39.99 was the culmination of our thoughts on the VR market at launch.

“With the launch of a brand new platform, no one quite knew what to expect, so we had to use whatever metrics we had available to us,” it continued.

“With 15 people on the team and over a year and a half of time in development, a ton of human-hours have been dedicated to the Job Simulator project. That makes it quite an expensive title to produce.

“Additionally, we’re attempting to pioneer mechanics that have never been explored by building a VR game from the ground up. Designing in VR is also a much more intensive process than what we’ve seen in traditional game development, with VR design taking a lot of iteration.

“Lastly, we knew that the initial market for VR would be something that would grow over time, but as it takes a long time to get this brand spanking new hardware into consumers hands, we knew it would be a slow start. In order to recoup our costs for the smaller audience, we placed what we believed to be a competitive, but fair, price on the game.

“The point of Job Simulator was always to share the joy of VR with as many people as we could convince to put their hands (both gloved or un-gloved) on it. So we’re lowering the price. This will allow even more people to experience the mind blowing moment when you realize your hands can truly work in VR — and then be used to throw a stapler at your boss. The community has been sincere and honest with their feedback, and so we’re responding.”

Owlchemy CEO Alex Schwartz previously spoke to Develop about the need to account for a much wider variety of player interactions when designing in VR.

“It’s like the infinite possibilities of where you put your hands or what you do or what you smash together, how you throw something… ” he said.

“It’s kind of infinite in how strange you want to get. That’s kind of the joy of a physics-based game; it could go crazy at any time and funny things can arise from emergent gameplay.

“We try to go down that rabbit hole of weirdness. We see someone do something funny and then we go: ‘If our game doesn’t take that into account, we’ve failed.’ So we go nuts with depth in that regard." 

This article is part of our month-long Virtual Reality Special. You can find more VR content here.

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