Indie multiplayer deathmatch game Gun Monkeys has cut its price in half, due to developer Size Five Games citing a "hugerer than you think" number of players needed to sustain a multiplayer game.
Gun Monkeys, which was released at the end of June, now costs $5.99/£3.99/€4.49 on Steam, and each purchase comes with an additional gift copy to send to a friend.
Size Five Games' Dan Marshall said the lower price and additional copy is a move designed to attract players to the multiplayer-only game.
Speaking to GameSpot, Marshall said it was "a bit early to form any meaningful conclusions" from the price drop, but that early results are looking positive for the developer. "The game sold really well yesterday after a bit of press and commotion, so player numbers are up and the servers seem to have pretty much constantly had people in them."
"So signs are promising, right now. Hopefully word about the game spreads, and numbers just snowball from here. But yeah, sales are up and player numbers are way up. It's looking positive, I'm happy."
Further explaining the decision to drop the game's price on the Size Five Games website, Marshall said, "So, Gun Monkeys needs players in order to play it. You need other people milling around. At times, the servers are quite busy, you can quite happily play for hours. At other times, they're dead, because everyone who owns a copy of Gun Monkeys is at work or at school or sleeping or playing Rogue Legacy. You have to sell HYPER-LOTS of copies in order for the servers to have anyone in them, triply so if you're trying to get a game at 4am. This is a fact I now know that I didn't really appreciate before."
Marshall added that he doesn't want to "devalue" the game, but that the multiplayer concept is a tough sell. "If you're a loyal Gun Monkeys player, hopefully you understand this change is all to help keep those servers busy. It's something I'm doing extremely reluctantly, because I don't want to devalue the game, I 100% think it's worth $10."
"But I've come to the conclusion that the game's multiplayer-only concept is a tough sell, so a pricing change is a necessary evil. It's just not fair on the people who are playing and enjoying the game that they're struggling to find people to play, so I'm doing everything in my power to remedy that."
"Here's the takeaway from this, for any indie dev considering adding multiplayer to a game: the number of games you have to sell in order to have people playing constantly is HUGE. Hugerer than you think, even. Even hugerer than your revised figure. It's massive, and it might not happen."