Games usually get cheaper as they age, but in a rare reversal, beloved factory management game Factorio will get a price bump on January 26, going from $30 to $35.
"This is an adjustment to account for the level of inflation since the Steam release in 2016," Factorio's developer announced on Twitter (opens in new tab) today (spotted by Kotaku (opens in new tab)). We reviewed Factorio after it shed its early access label in 2020, awarding it a very positive 91%.
Factorio has never followed the pack when it comes to pricing: It's also notable for a message on its Steam page which informs prospective players that the developer doesn't intend to discount the game anytime soon. Back in 2016, the company explained (opens in new tab) that the no sales policy is "about respecting the players who have already purchased the game" by not rewarding those who wait with discounts.
"The game is a price we find reasonable, and this is the deal," the studio member, Scott "Klonan" Woodhouse, said at the time. "If you think it is priced too high, then it is your choice to not purchase, and we hope that with enough time, and extra development, we will be able to convince you of its value."
Factorio fans have reacted positively to the price bump announcement. Granted, existing Factorio players are the only people not potentially affected by the increase, since they already own the game, but I enjoyed seeing their earnest expressions of affection for the 2D automation sim.
"I'm totally behind you on this decision," one player tweeted (opens in new tab). "You have made a great, timeless game and priced it right. It's among the best value I've gotten in gaming."
Even competing automation game Satisfactory offered encouragement on Twitter, exclaiming (opens in new tab): "MAKE IT $40."
Good day Engineers,Next week, on Thursday 26th January 2023,We will increase the base price of Factorio from $30 to $35.This is an adjustment to account for the level of inflation since the Steam release in 2016.January 20, 2023
Inflation is high around the world right now, but has been particularly high in the Czech Republic, where Factorio studio Wube Software is based. According to the Czech National Bank (opens in new tab), the country's 2022 average inflation rate—how much the cost of goods and services increased from the start of the year to the end—was 15.1%. For comparison, the 12-month US inflation rate at the end of 2022 was 6.5%.
The $5 being added to Factorio's $30 price represents a 16.6% increase, so it's similar to the cost of living increase the developers are reacting to.
It's not totally uncommon for games to get a price bump when they leave early access, but I can't immediately recall another time that a game got more expensive after launch. A few notable 2023 games, like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, have already staked out $69.99 prices for the base version of the game.
Over in the hardware world, a space more susceptible to changing material costs, Meta did recently increase the price of its Quest 2 VR headsets by $100. Meta also announced the price increase before it took effect, which is a funny sort of phenomenon. It's like a reverse sale: Normally we wait for a price change to get a discount, but in these cases we're encouraged to buy the product now for a discount on its future price.
I haven't put much time into Factorio personally, but based on what I've heard and the effusive support from its fans, I have a feeling that $35 isn't too much to ask. For now, though, you can still get it for $30 on Steam. The price change will happen on January 26.