Pay-What-You-Want Birthday Sale Wrap-up

13 days of birthday celebrations are now officially over.  It’s been educational.  Thanks again to everyone who bought the game, hope you’re enjoying it. [Update: 83,250 total birthday copies]

Before we never say another word about this ever again, we wanted to share a few more interesting tidbits that came up since our last post about the subject.

Donation Average Over Time

We’ve already posted the daily average for the first 6 days, but something a bit surprising happened after our previous blog post, which was posted late on day 8:  The average donation increased pretty significantly.


We can only assume that it was related to our publicizing that the most common price point chosen was $0.01 and raising people’s awareness to the fact that we don’t see any money for purchases of $0.30 and under.

Breakdown By Platform

We were expecting the average price paid to be highest for Linux users and lowest for Windows users, but the gap was larger than we thought it would be…


Also, the per-platform download breakdown was pretty surprising, with Windows accounting for 65%, and Mac and Linux pretty much splitting the remainder evenly:


Donation Average By Country

This measure varied even more widely than by day or by platform, which is to be expected.  Out of curiosity, we normalized the donation amount using the per-capita GDP of the country in question to estimate “generosity”.  This is of course a totally flawed measurement because we’re pretty sure that the people who bought the game don’t represent the socioeconomic fabric of the country they live in.  After all, they do have a computer and an internet connection.  Here’s the data for all countries from which we had at least 100 purchases during the birthday sale:


And finally, we wanted to give an honorable mention to Stuart (A.K.A. Sticky) for being extremely generous with his donation of $150.  Thanks Stuart!

96 Responses to “Pay-What-You-Want Birthday Sale Wrap-up”

  1. Mauricio Says:

    Can you say to us how many units (total) was sold? And how many was sold that you received something? (above U$0.30). Thanks, great promotion!

    Next time you could set a minimum price, like U$2,00 or more.

  2. fael Says:

    i just wanted to say thanks to you guys for such a great game and for such a great birthday.

  3. onli blogging Says:

    Linux-Nutzer zahlten mehr für World of Goo…

    Die Statistik will ich einfach mal klauen:

    Völlig nachvollziehbar, denn ein Linuxspiel hat weniger Konkurrenz und ist schon deswegen mehr wert. Trotzdem ist es sehr schön, dass so dem Vorurteil begegnet wurde, Linuxnutzer würden auch für gute Software…

  4. Simon Says:

    Sorting the data for all countries from which [you] had at least 100 purchases during the birthday sale by “generosity” rather than avg payment is quite interesting, I think…

  5. Marcelo Oliveira Says:

    Good to see that Brazil in 1st place at generosity at least. :)

  6. Noobos Says:

    I’d like to know how much money did you guys make during this action and how much did you make before, just to see if you can sell games like this.

    Also I’d prefer direct money transfer (dunno how it’s called) from bank to bank – without payment to third parties like Paypal.

  7. Marco Says:

    So there’s a Linux market, after all…

  8. Andrew Says:

    Wow awesome, I had no idea you could collect so much information. Also glad to see us Linux users being most generous. You’d think it was the opposite being that pretty much everything in the Linux world is expected open source and free. I suppose most people were thankful of 2D Boy being one of the few developers willing to port software to the Linux platform. Here’s the thread I started over at the official Ubuntu forums promoting this promotion:

  9. Frank Earl Says:

    Heh… Yes, there IS a Linux market. There’s a reason I port games as a side business and Ryan Gordon does it as his day job.

    As for all you cheapskates…$2-3 average? C’mon… I expected 5-ish to 10-ish here. Well, at least I feel good about what I paid in as a donation: $15 which is above the $10 I considered fair price for it as a thank you for making a Linux version possible and to be so bold as to run this experiment.

  10. Arand Says:

    Soo… Of the total revenue, the GNU/Linux platform made up ~26% Mac ~29% Win ~46% (~approx~)

    …And quite a balanced market as well

  11. Frank Earl Says:

    @Andrew : Just because the OS is free doesn’t mean we expect everything to be free. Moreover, there’s been more sales for Caster3D for Linux than the other platforms (heh…I’m tickled beyond words over that…I finally saw money from my porting efforts over the last handful of years…)- here it’s balanced, and we gave more money because we are an underserved market and are willing to reward anyone who makes a game we’re interested in with cold, hard cash.

  12. MsG Says:

    I wonder what country Stuart comes from :P.

  13. A world of data from the World of Goo birthday sale | Says:

    [...] Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments [...]

  14. rich Says:

    Pretty disappointed you held back the sales numbers. I’m sure many of us contributed to this experiment to further the cinderella story that was brewing and I find it incredibly lame that at the moment where you’ve the opportunity to thank the community by revealing the final numbers (really, the only true statistic along with average donation we’re interested in), you pull back and get conservative.

    (To anybody playing at home, the 57k number was pre-slashdot, at that time, there were 2000 respondents to the survey. Now, there are over 12000 responses in the survey and that of course only represents those who actually responded – ie, the preliminary results are moot).

  15. NLi10 Says:

    Interesting stats – cheers!

    I am shamed by the UK GDP figure, but hope you will do this experiment again in the future with other products.

    Meanwhile I’ll try to find time to play with the goo. :)

  16. Kyle Gabler Says:

    Woops, there was no reason for omitting the final sales number, I think we just forgot about it. It’s up there now.

  17. ottomobille Says:

    stuart is probably like some rich pimp just loving life

  18. Wikidrivers Says:


    Donated twice (eventhough it was stated there was no DRM, which I hate), one for my girlfriend, one for me.
    I have yet to install it (or read the EULA, btw), and I was wondering if the license applies to the installation or if I could install it on 2 computers (running on one of them at a time only).

    I don’t know if would donate more living in another country. But i probably would, especially since the average wage for my job is probably 3 times higher in the eurozone (already considering currency rates and taxes :p)

    It wasn’t a price, it was a reward for a donation. ;)

  19. World of Goo: Promotion! | Ubu Community Magazine - The latest news about Ubuntu operating system Says:

    [...] EDIT: This promotion has ended. The final results are here. [...]

  20. jorgerosa Says:

    Nice to see Portugal in 8th place. But could be much better, unfortunately, big mass unemployment is happening here, the worst in our little country history, since 2 years ago. Let´s hope for better days and wait that this europen crisis goes away.

  21. Sticky Says:

    see the post flag

    @ ottomobille
    actually I’m still at school

  22. Etiko Says:

    South Africa #3 in generosity! Yay!

  23. Vince Says:

    That’s pretty awesome!
    You know, people like me might have skewed the results (I already had the game, but I decided to donate $5.)

  24. Chronos Says:

    Cheers for 2DBoy and for the Gooballs :)

    Hurray for Hungary thanks for contribution (Hajrá Magyarok :))

    I wonder if WoG will become open-source after it becoming older (as Q3, Freespace and others)

  25. Old like the world Says:

    Well french are generous, brits are cheap and swiss are loaded nothing new there

  26. Mekk Says:

    Here in Poland the translated Windows version is on (normal) sale for 16 PLN (=~ $4), see for example,645307.html
    I donated $5 to more-or-less equal this price (and get the Linux version).

    I am curious how would the “generosity” rate look like if you used the “localised” price instead of per-capita GDP.

  27. CJ Master Says:

    Wiki, you hate no drm? What? That’s the first time I’ve heard that…

    And having no DRM means you can do (almost) ANYTHING with it, it’s your program… Install it on all of your computers and play them all at the same time if you choose. However, the honor system says that you should buy separate copies if you want to give it to your friends/relatives.

  28. Bummer Boy Says:

    Bummer, I heard about this on “Buzz out Loud”, but by the time I heard it the sale was over. That was a very good promotional idea (and very kind on your part)… Too bad it wasn’t a few days longer :-)

  29. Fane Says:

    2D Boy thanks for believing in the Linux market :)

    I’m both a Windows and Linux guy/gamer but I would leave behind Windows with no regrets being given the opportunity.

  30. Hajoonor Says:

    I guess this new study just proves that Windows users are pretty much dead-beat tight wads, at the same time they are also the ones using a broken / always-in-beta OS to play there games on, so they must be given some leeway because they do have to put up with Microsofts fragmented and severed software. Still, as far as applications go, Linux users have far less options, while Mac users do enjoy far more complete material in terms of actual working software they’re still sorta in the middle of the road between the two OS’s… Amazingly, people who have access to less options and alternatives are willing to pay more for an item, application, or game of quality than people with far more accessibility to games and other software. I can only guess as to why that is, but I’d guess it’s because they’re so used to having so much that they’re the equivalent of lazy fat slobs who are comparable to people who would rather eat out at a fast food joint for a few bucks when they could stay home and eat healthy if they were willing to get off their obese asses for a few moments a day. Yes, that’s gotta be pretty close to explaining why the numbers are the way they are… it’s a form of laziness I guess you could say… Friggin tubs of lard.

  31. Nick Says:

    Nice stats, but I would second the inquiry for showing the info on (a) total revenue made during all this campaign and (b) some average of what you usually earn per week (or what you earned during the week prior to promotion).
    I doubt it would hurt you or anyone else if we were to know that. At least we, the Linux users, are very sensitive about assessing the real value of Linux-oriented game market (i.e. we would like to show that we are worth writting games for). So we would gladly put your experience on our banners when we go on with our demands for native Linux games.

  32. michaK Says:

    Wonderful data guys! Thanks for sharing. Very proud and surprised to see France in 2nd position. Very shocked to see japan in such a low position, shows how protectionist their market is. Keep up the good work. we love your game so much! we love you guys! You are a model for us! Congratulations!!!

  33. ikkki Says:

    Hi. I was the one who bought a linux copy for less than one dollar (but not 0.01). Now I feel ashamed (you gave me that wonderful game almost for free). I’d like to donate you again. Is it possible by PayPal? I don’t need another copy of the game – only send you some sum of money. If it is still possible, please send me that information by mail.


  34. Tolan Says:

    Arand, not sure how you got Linux being lower share of revenue than Mac.

    I make it:

    lin: 17 * $3.30 = 56.1
    / (224.78/100) = 24.96%

    mac: 18 * $2.51 = 45.18
    / (224.78/100) = 20.10%

    win: 65 * $1.90 = 123.5
    / (224.78/100) = 54.94%

    That’s with estimated price paid per platform from the graph.

    Or am I missing something obvious? :p

  35. Cesar Says:

    @Marcelo Oliveira
    Sadly it’s mostly because our per capita GDP is the second lowest.

  36. Andrew Ducker Says:

    Of course, if people were willing to pay more than a couple of dollars for the game then they might well have decided to buy the Steam version. Certainly, having a copy that will never go away has advantages for those of us who lose stuff all the time.

  37. Nick Says:

    Thanks for an excellent game – but as said before, I have no idea why you basically set up a charity fund for PayPal by not setting a minimum price tag.

  38. Mark Says:

    I think it’s worth noting that the game has been available on Windows at a higher price point for a while now. So the group of people willing to pay $10-$20 has already been filtered out by the previous sales of the game through Steam, Wiiware, etc.

  39. World of Goo Linux Users Kick Windows Users Asses « No, I mean it, maybe…. Says:

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  40. World Of Goo Birthday Sale Final Results | Kotaku Australia Says:

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  41. MultiVersion Says:

    In my case, I was buying in for $0.01 because I already had one version, and as a multiplatform user (Windows, OS X, and Linux), I just wanted access to all the versions. I’d be curious to know how many people were in a similar boat: you bought the game through Steam or the MacHeist bundle (or on the Wii) and just wanted to play on your PC/Mac/Linux machines as well.

    Also, I’d have gone in for at least $0.30 had I know that it costs you (minimum) that much.

    A curiosity: what is the opinion on multiple versions? Should we get them free, or should we pay the full price? Or, what’s the opinion on a reasonable nominal fee for getting your purchase that was prepped for a particular OS?

  42. Derek Smart Says:

    Very interesting indeed. Kudos to you guys for going out on a limb with such an experiment – and most especially to all you generous contributors.

    The curious part of this experiment says one thing: American gamers love free stuff or just don’t give a toss.

    It is an absolute shame that given the size of the North American market – compared to the other territories – that it didn’t take first place in terms of contribution and generosity. An absolute shame. Oh well.

  43. Alderac Says:

    Absolutely love the game! I confess I only spent a penny on it, would have payed more but I only had about 50 cents in my bank account… I will probably come back later after I find a job to buy a full copy of it, because I feel kind of bad for being cheap.

  44. math nerd Says:

    The generosity numbers are amusing, but you can’t read too much into them. That’s because per capita GDP includes everyone, whereas average price paid only includes those people who bought. This means that people who are too poor to buy a luxury like a game (or to even afford a computer) will be lowering the per capita GDP number, but will not be lowering the average sale price. Hence, such a country will get a higher generosity factor.

    What you really should use instead of per capita GDP is something like average disposable income of whatever class in each country includes a decent percentage of its members who own computers. That, however, would probably be a pain in the ass to try to find.

  45. David Says:

    Any chance of restoring this offer at some stage (Christmas, p’raps)? I only just read about it, and would like to buy my boyfriend a copy of his own… But $20′s too steep. Alas, it may come down to torrenting, otherwise, and I try to avoid that for games like this.

  46. MMoi Says:

    Thanks for these interesting feedback and for that game you offered to the world ;)

    Sadly Korea is pretty low… maybe taxes and use of Paypal have a side effect on this ? Still it’s quite lame in such a developped country, even worse than US.

    Many interesting surveys could be undergone with such numbers. Using a more clever GDP per capita (filter on people having a computer home only, or even -hardly feasible- the salary of each player !) would for instance allow to balance low GDP countries’ generosity…

    Also comparing the revenue with the average development cost on each platform (if done separately) or the cost addition for creating a multi-platform game from the start (since obviously Mac and Linux platform seem to have more “generous” users)… could be a great piece of help for indy developers…

    Thanks again for this material, and good luck with the “extra” cash owned through this process to give us awesome games again !

  47. Lohkay Says:

    It would be interesting to know how much profit you made out of this sale cause here’s my figures: seems the avg is 2.50$ .. remove from that the first 0.30$, so 2.20$ profit per copy * the 83,250 copies… thats 183,150$ for 13 days. Unless I’m mistaken… thats more than enough profit for you two (cause the company has only 2 employess right?) to live off of and make more games. All I remember from 2D boys before this sale is all the whinning about going bankrupt due to 99.9999% piracy rate and such bullshit.

    All this tells me that you charged way too much in the first place for such a small game. That pushed people to pirate the game. End of story.

    In case someone wants to know, I played the whole game pirated since I didn’t want to shell out the full price for a game from an unknown company. Having enjoyed the game and given the opportunity to pay what I thought it was worth, I donated 10$.

  48. VG247 » Blog Archive » 2DBoy details Goo “donations” over time Says:

    [...] gone live with yet more stats from its well-judged pay-what-you-like World of Goo offer, this time showing [...]

  49. mert icguvey Says:

    Shame on us
    from turkey.

  50. incolas Says:

    thank you. i truly and utterly enjoyed the game…

  51. Lucas S. Says:

    I would say the reason for some countries to have a high “generosity” index can be explained by inequality. In countries like Brazil or South Africa, I guess the avg GDP per capita is far lower than the income of those people who have an internet connection at home and spend money in PC games.

  52. ome Says:

    According to my calculations, you made almost $46,000.00 in Linux sales alone, or am I missing something here?

  53. Tim Says:

    As others have pointed out the generosity figures are rather meaningless because you do not use nominal GDP per capita (but PPP adjusted figures) and relate that to nominal price. Either use nominal GDP or determine the appropriate multipliers for each country and adjust their us dollar amount to the respective international dollar amount.


  54. another David Says:

    “from an unknown company”

    Why’d that make a difference (considering there’s a demo)?

  55. kjetil Says:

    Like “Old like the world” said:
    “Well french are generous, brits are cheap and swiss are loaded nothing new there”.

    Indeed nothing new here.

  56. Paco Says:

    I had always meant to go out and buy your game but I just never got around to buying it on WiiWare. Then your sale rolled out and I paid $5 for it. I figured if I didn’t like it but I still played it for a bit and killed some time, I’d have spent $5 well.

    Needless to say, I now wish I’d given you guys more money, because this game is stutterfuck amazing!

  57. zippofcy Says:

    Hungary was the most generous country. Congrats hungarian fellows :)

  58. Grasshopper Says:

    I really wish more companies would do this.
    Sadly, the model did not extend to WiiWare, if it had, I would have purchased a second to compliment the one I got for my Mac. As it stands, it’s the first non-concole game I’ve bought since Starcraft back in 1999.

  59. Jonathan Bailey Says:

    “Hajoonor CANADA”
    You dumbass.

    And I enjoy my windows with no problem. Although, I do buy my own windows.
    You cant blame the buyers, you have to blame the economy and with the massive lay offs. Oh, I guess you’re in Canada. Maybe nothing bad happens there.

  60. Spazturtle Says:

    I think $20 is the minimum anyone should pay for this game

  61. Dalkor Says:

    Great deal! I bought this game directly from you for 20$ shortly after it came out and bought another copy for 5$ to gift to a friend… which I haven’t done yet…

  62. October 30, 2009 Shared Feed Items - bits Says:

    [...] 2D Boy’s pay-what-you-like World of Goo results wrapup [...]

  63. Jon Pritchard Says:

    I’m really great that it appears you consider the exercise a success. I’m running Linux, I downloaded a copy for Windows just in case I want to use it on there too (hope you don’t mind). I love how open you are, that you actually provide Linux binaries and not just for one of the distributions but multiple ones.

    I got a few of my friends to buy it and hammered home the point that there’s no point in paying basically less than $1, and I’m glad to say nobody did pay less than that.

    I paid $5 for your game and I’m very happy with it. I would certainly consider buying more games from you with the great support for different OS’ and no DRM. Although I must say I wouldn’t have paid full retail price for this game, not out of any spite, I just don’t play or put as much emphasis and therefore money behind my diminishing habit.

    Thanks a lot anyway for showing the right way to be in the indie games business.

  64. Arand Says:

    Meh, I blame uninformative scale on graph.

  65. Saif Says:

    Well I reckon this was an excellent product. Unlike many games and utilities, which carry a price tag that completely do not reflect that substance of the program, this one was reasonable at $20. I took advantage of the pay-what-you-like, program and paid $20, only because you supported Linux. Now once you have made enough money to retire…you could make this open source, before you go on to your next work of genuis.

    I am at least glad that Linux users were more generous that Windows users…we may be a minority, (1-2% or so, mostly non-gamers, but contributed 17%), but we do not steal and we understand value.

  66. Fucktotum Says:

    Thank you guys for such an amazing offer !!!

  67. Martin Doms Says:

    Hajooner says
    “I guess this new study just proves that Windows users are pretty much dead-beat tight wads”

    You’re from Canada, do you really want to generalize an entire group of people based on these statistics? Because it’s not exactly flattering to Canadians either.

  68. vsn Says:

    @ 2D Boy: Thanks and my respect for Linux support!

    PS The show must go on :-)

  69. Kyzumi Says:

    I want to thank you for the wonderful offer. It was really satisfying knowing that someone is still willing to help people get games for a low price! I feel bad for only donating above a dollar but I wasn’t going to pay at all if it wasn’t for the offer so I guess I helped :\ I’m from Brazil and I’m quite surprised by this. Piracy here is HUGE. I guess it is all a matter of price then. Games here cost as much as an US Citizen paying 500$ for a game

  70. Dave G Says:

    @ 2D Boy.

    Thank You so much for an amazing product. My wife is enjoying this…well, more than I thought possible. I only wish I knew how great this game was before I donated a measly $2.00. Kind of odd to ask ppl to donate how much they think the game is worth before they have a chance to play/evaluate it.

  71. Linux Gaming News » Blog Archive » GNU/Linux Users Pay and Buy More ! Says:

    [...] you might heard 2dboy , the company (of 2 people) behind the indie game World-Of-Goo (WOG) made a birthday sales week, which was extended to 13 days. During the birthday sales users could pay for WOG from 0.1$ to how they valued the game and the [...]

  72. Debianiator Says:

    It is very difficult to make a donation from Russia.

  73. JM_in_HOOKSETT Says:

    I would gladly have paid $10 but already bought it for Wii well before this announcement. Thanks for the great indie sleeper hit!

  74. Paolo Says:

    I loved the game so much on WiiWare that I decided to drop another 5€ on the PC version (which rounded nicely to $7.50! ^_^).

    I’m also quite proud (not to much, but not to low) that my country (Italy) is in the top 10 position for average payment, well ahead of other more rich and prestigious countries as Germany, UK, US and others.

    A big APPLAUSE for those countries that rank high in “generosity” column, and a big BOO to South Korea which rank 1st lowest on “generosity” and 2nd lowest in the avg payment…. cheapskates which only recognize a good product only if it’s free!!!

  75. Matej Says:

    Congratulation, Where is Slovakia?

  76. Jacobo Reveles Says:

    I wonder if Stuart meant to write 1.50 in the donation input box, but missed the period. XD

    This game is awesome, thanks.

  77. Marc Says:

    Really great game, thanks !

  78. steve Says:

    Just to add that the uk figure will be affected by the fact it appears on very popular deals forums with the title “game for only $0.01″.

    Also you might want to think next time about allowing local currencies. Think of a number….1….okay 1 UKP, or 1 Euro, sorry $ only, okay $1.

  79. MeTooMultiVersion Says:

    I also bought it for 0.01 because i have the Wii version. I know legally it’s a different game, but i only wanted to try it in my computer and i thought it’s better pay the 0.01 than download “free” from another place. At least you know people want your games

  80. psyko killa Says:

    Congratulation :) you’re game is just amazing !

  81. David Says:

    It’s sad so many people paid so little for such a great game. Keep doing what you’re doing, 2DBoy!

  82. Michal6103 Says:

    I bought for $20. And I think that game is worth of it. You have done great job, thank you.

  83. i like pixels Says:

    i was planning on buying it but i didn’t. i bought it on the wii and off of steam already. but i’m glad to hear that you made great profit in that short time span.

    @Lohkay: sorry but you really sound like a douche

  84. Jules (from France) Says:

    I really liked the demo, but I can’t see myself dishing out over 10€ for the complete game.
    Too bad I didn’t hear about this when it happened, I would have happily bought it for 6 or 7 euros…

  85. 5 reasons why indie game developers should support Linux – Koonsolo Game Development Says:

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  86. Fishing Cactus development blog » Blog Archive » Mojito on Linux – Diary #2 Says:

    [...] you can see in World of Goo, created by 2D Boy, they had about 17% of their sales on the Linux platform. It looks like a lot of [...]

  87. Fishing Cactus – Spiele bald auch für Linux | Leisure Linux Says:

    [...] großen Erfolg, den 2D Boy mit ihrem World of Goo bei der Linuxgemeinde hatten. As you can see in World of Goo, created by 2D Boy, they had about 17% of their sales on the Linux platform. It looks like a lot of [...]

  88. Craig Says:

    I’m just pleased that South Africa actually made the list! :)

  89. Francis Says:

    It’s too bad that you didn’t lock the donations to either being in one of the two categories: either $0 or greater than $0.35, so you wouldn’t lose money on the individual transactions.

    My $0.02 (+$0.30 obviously).

  90. Capture the Hill » The Humble Indie Game Bundle Says:

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  91. Linux Gaming News » Blog Archive » GNU/Linux users contribute twice as much as Windows users ! Says:

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  92. Humble Indie Bundle übertrifft die kühnsten Erwartungen | Linux und Ich Says:

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  93. Why Do We Hate the Penguin? - Zachary Knight Says:

    [...] As a bit of a contrast to that viewpoint, I would like to make a case of 2d Boy’s World of Goo. According to their blog announcement of the Linux version of the game Linux versions account for 4.6% of the full downloads from their site. (source) During their Birthday Pay What You Want Sale, Linux downloads accounted for 17% of all downloads. (source) [...]

  94. The Rise of Mac (and Linux) | The Reticule Says:

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  95. Tristen Balloon Artist Says:

    Great stats! Please do a similar experiment soon. I love reading about the results, maybe I am more of a nerd then I thought…

  96. 5 reasons why indie game developers should support Linux – Koonsolo Games Says:

    [...] word for it, just look at the statistics. The developers of indie game ‘World of Goo’ found out that Linux users are willing to pay higher prices for their game. And my own statistics on Mystic [...]