Gratuitous Space Battles DLC: two prices for the same content

The Nomads rock some seriously old school rides...

Gratuitous Space Battles is a fun, detail oriented, and slightly addictive strategy game, so DLC to add even more content and options only seems natural. Cliff Harris over at Positech Games has already released three DLC packs (The Tribe, The Order, and The Swarm), and now we’ve been introduced to the third – The Nomads.

Positech has also decided to experiment with a peculiar, albeit somewhat ingenious, pricing scheme. They’ve priced the DLC content at $5.99, but as Cliff puts it “if you think you deserve a discount” you can opt for the $2.99 version, which has identical content to the standard edition. Why would they do this? Well, I was a bit skeptical myself, until I read Cliff’s explanation:

“Not everyone can afford to pay the full price. I know there are gamers on a tight budget, who will sit and wait for a few months hoping to spot this DLC in a Steam sale, or get a discount coupon through our mailing list. Maybe a lot of them are students, or some of them might be from a thrid world country where $5.99 actually amounts to a fair bit of cash. These are the people who simply, honestly would not buy the DLC for $5.99, The discount edition is for you.

…If you are really patient, and savvy, you are going to sit on your hands for months until the price comes down, then buy it. I’m just asking you for that money now, rather than then. I end up with the same amount of money I’d get anyway, and you don’t have to wait so long. It’s a win-win.”

Wow, you know what? I agree with him; it makes sense.

So what about The Nomads expansion itself?

It’s a healthy helping of more GSB that includes: 10 new ships (4 cruisers, 3 frigates, 3 fighters), 5 new ship modules, and new ship bonuses. I really dig on the amount of options in GSB, and that’s really what the whole game rests its hat on – lots of customization and configuration, so more can only be better. Each expansion pack has also brought its own unique, distinctly alien style, and The Nomads are no different. From the game’s site:

“The nomad ships are influenced by retro cars, planes and the art-deco feel of ‘the retro future’, with a strong 1960s rocketship vibe. They also contain a number of cannibalized (or stolen) ship parts taken from the remnants of other GSB races they have beaten in battle. The Nomads are the first GSB race to have no single unifying color.”

Right on, I dig the look of it.

Is it worth buying?

If you want more options in GSB, than yeah, I say go for it. I have to admit, way back when (or at least it feels like a long time ago) when I first got my hands on GSB, I underestimated the amount of depth and variety you could get from the initial offering of classes, hulls, and modules. You may not think 10 new ships, and five modules is a lot initially, but trust me, when you start to consider the tactics, and counter tactics, that can be birthed from just those additions, you can start to realize how this may be something you’re interested in.

Also, I kind of like what Cliff is doing here. He’s addressing, flat out, the issue of people who won’t initially pay whatever the price is of a game or DLC content, and then wait for it to “go down” in price before buying. Worse, some of those people who claim to be waiting, never come back and check. The move has potential drawback if too many people select the discounted version, but if Positech wins over customers they otherwise never would have had, it could become a long term win.

I don’t think you should buy this because it has a clever price point (ahem, points), but I do think you should buy it if you enjoy deep strategy games and want even more options from GSB.

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