It's been all of two weeks since Job Simulator, a game which despite its wholly unappealing title is actually pretty good, debuted on Steam. That short span of time makes the recent announcement of a permanent, 25 percent price drop seem more than a little odd. The reason for the cut is a bit unusual too, but it's a good one: “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 game was expensive to make, developer Owlchemy Labs explained, because of the size of the team and the length of the development period—15 people working for a year and a half—and the fact that it was built from the ground-up for VR, which the studio said is a “much more intensive process” than conventional game development. Based on that, and "the culmination of our thoughts on the VR market at launch,” the price was initially set at $40. “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."
“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," the studio said. "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."
But while the Steam user reviews are “very positive,” a number of comments in the “Pricing Discussion” forum are less than enthusiastic about the expense—enough to prompt the reduction. “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,” Owlchemy said. “The community has been sincere and honest with their feedback, and so we’re responding.”
Job Simulator is one of two games that come bundled with the HTC Vive headset, which may have helped facilitate the change, but for those looking to buy it separately, it now carries a permanent $30/£23 price tag on Steam. Anyone who purchased the game at the original price has until April 26 to claim a refund, regardless of how many hours are into it, and then (presumably) re-purchase it at the lower cost.