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Braid Priced High To Prevent "The Space Giraffe Problem"

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When the pricing was announced (both times) for Xbox Live Arcade puzzle-platformer Braid, the vocally frugal gamer crowd bemoaned the higher than average cost. Too bad, really, as it's one of the best XBLA titles I've ever played. Still, there are folks who can't get past the 1200 MS Points pricing — that makes it one of the more expensive downloadable games, but still cheaper than Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. Jonathan Blow, creator of Braid, explains why it was priced so, commenting on the official Braid blog he had to "guard against [...] the Space Giraffe problem." He offers up the low priced, low selling (just 19,000 downloads) psychedelic shooter as an example of how pricing came back to bite the developer in the ass (specifically the wallet).He writes that Space Giraffe for XBLA already had a built-in audience of Jeff Minter followers, something Braid does not. "There is a significant possibility that Braid would have been the next Psychonauts or Beyond Good and Evil (critically acclaimed but nobody played it)," Blow contends "Even at $10." He later puts the cost into more tangible terms, commenting that "If it were just a matter of my own money, I wouldn't care so much, but I ran out of money while developing Braid and had to borrow a lot - so I owe people a lot of money. That makes the nature of the decision a little different." That decision, it sounds like, may not have been entirely Blow's to make. He theorizes that Microsoft would have priced the title at 1200 MS Points regardless of his wishes to go lower. I'll be buying the game when it's released on Xbox Live Marketplace early tomorrow morning, despite having free access to it right now. I would recommend you do the same. But only if you like awesome games with a great sense of humor, fantastic gameplay mechanics and stunning artwork. Recent Braid Review and Preview [Braid Blog - thanks, Mike!]