Monday, October 3, 2011

CD or not CD

One of our pre-order deals involves a DVD version of Blackwell Deception that you can nab for a limited amount of time.  This "limited time" thing has led to a lot of you asking the same question:  Why, dear Dave, did you decide to do it this way?  And didn't you used to sell the hard copies as a regular part of your store?

You'd be right.  When I started Wadjet Eye, there was a small but eager demand for CD copies, and it seemed self-defeating to not supply that demand.  There weren't enough orders for me to use a CD duplication service, so I constructed and shipped all the hard copies myself.

With some moral support from my friend here, of course.

It was a pretty good system.  I only got a few of those orders a week, so I could easily keep up with them.  The customers got something they wanted, and I got a bit of extra cash. Sometimes I would even sign the CD if the customer asked for it.  It worked well, but... not for long.

Time went on and things got busier, and I began to dread getting those CD orders.  Even though I only got a few of them a week, I found myself with less and less time to deal with them.  Sometimes I would be so busy and harried that I'd almost resent having to fill a CD order. I'd rush through the process, copying a file incorrectly or smudging the ink into something ugly, forcing me to start over and get even more frustrated.  I knew it couldn't last, and round about the time I was working on Emerald City Confidential and Blackwell Convergence at the same time, I bit the bullet and discontinued the CDs altogether.

I hated to do it, but I also had to face a hard truth. In the year they were available, I sold only 30 CD copies of each game.  With so little demand, and as time-consuming as they were, the choice was obvious.  I had to stop selling them.

But as a gamer from forever ago, I remember the sheer joy of holding a physical game in your hands.  One that was actually in a box, with a proper manual (that you actually were expected to read).  I hated that hard copies of my games didn't exist anymore.  So I decided to try another tactic.  If there wasn't a high enough demand for them, why not try and create a demand?

And lo, the "limited edition pre-order CD" offer was forged.  You couldn't just buy the CD whenever you gosh darned pleased.  No sir.  You had to buy it NOW.  Or else it was GONE.  FOREVER.  And it worked. The CD of Gemini Rue became a hot item.  We had to hire a duplication service to handle it all.  Our little apartment began to fill up substantially with all the packages we assembled.

If you ordered a CD of Gemini Rue, your copy is in this pile somewhere.

It worked so well before, that we are doing it again. We are even going all out and throwing more stuff into the package to make it a more attractive deal.  So much that we had to upgrade to a DVD instead of a CD to accommodate it all.  But I'll shut up about it before this turns into a sales pitch (but you should totally buy it anyway).

Anyway, that's why I do it this way.  It seems to work for us, at least for now.



  1. Downloads are perfect for the majority of people, I agree. As someone who's got a Gemini Rue hard copy, I can say it was worth it. Knowing it was a special edition and the money would help you all just made it worth the tiny extra expense.

    From and until when is the preorder super-Blackwell edition available?

    Hope to get the game soon :)

  2. Glad you enjoyed it! The Blackwell edition will be available during the pre-order period, which ends on the 12th.

  3. CD Sales have gone down around 20% or so since I worked at CDBaby. They eventually will be obsolete except for those that actually want a hard copy (which I never got btw :) )

  4. I ordered the Gemini Rue disc as soon as I saw it was available, (which actually ended up being about 20 minutes before the extended deadline finished). I ended up enjoying the game so much (downloaded because I'm impatient), I decided to leave the disc in it's original case un-opened to preserve its prestinity-ness. It is sitting on the shelf beside my bed to this day. I can't wait to get the Rosa Blackwell disc and... not open that either I guess...

    While I have a very active steam account, I still try and get physical copies of the games I enjoy whenever I can. It just adds to the experience somehow.

  5. Would've gone for a physical copy of Blackwell had I had the cash. Now I just have to do it the longer and more expensive way. Ah well, worth it anyway if you ask me!

  6. I bought the Gemini Rue DVD immediately after playing the demo. I was lucky to got straight to the limited order time and was nearly freaking out after the package was delivered to Berlin ;).
    After some weeks or month I saw Gemini Rue ... in a big media store and not only in this one. Did Wadjet Eye found a Publisher in Germany / Europe? Everything was translated and even the voices were in German. I prefer the original voices, because I liked them more BUT I was really surprised. Did the sales were that good?

  7. Hi René. Yep, Daedalic ended up licensing the rights to localize/distribute the game in Europe, and they made a German retail version of the game. So you'll see it in stores in Germany, but not in the US.

  8. Ah ok! So Daedalic got the rights, good choice! Games like Edna & Harvey brought back the life to adventure games here. The games are funny as hell, sometimes strange, but funny ^^.

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