2D Boy's "World of Goo First Birthday" experiment - allowing gamers to pick up the acclaimed indie title for as little as a penny - is being hailed by the game's creators as ridiculously successful.
Last week, 2D Boy announced that it was pulling a Radiohead and giving away the critically acclaimed World of Goo for whatever gamers felt like paying. As it turns out, the sale has done pretty well for the indie twosome, and the numbers are actually really interesting, as we see on the official 2D Boy site.
All in all, approximately 57,000 people bought the game last week, and a graph of how many people paid how much money can be found here. Unsurprisingly, the most popular price was the cheapest: Almost 17,000 people picked up World of Goo for $0.01. The second most popular price range was between $1.00 and $1.99, with further spikes at $5.00-$6 and $10.00-$11, and little bumps at $15-$16 and the game's current retail cost of $20-$21.
Ignoring that most people opted to pick up the game as cheaply as possibly, it's hard to see this as anything but a success. In the span of a week 33,741 people acquired the game for at least $1.00, and many paid more than that (7347 people buying the game at $5 equals a not-too-shabby $36,735, for example). So at the end of the week, there is a lot more money in the pockets of the 2D Boy duo than there was at the beginning - pretty good for a game that's been out for a year, huh?
Also interesting was the impact that the sale seemed to have on other channels that didn't have the "pay what you want" deal going on: Steam sales of the game rose 40%, and while weekly fluctuations on Steam are certainly not unheard of, an increase of that magnitude (coming on the heels of a 25% increase the week before) is rather rare. Meanwhile, WiiWare sales of World of Goo jumped 9% - not quite as big, but not insignificant, either.
There's a lot of interesting data over on the 2D Boy site, including results from a survey about why people chose the price they did (the most common answer? "That's all I can afford right now") but the data all points down to this: By letting consumers pay whatever they want, 2D Boy made a ton of money off of a year-old game in the span of a week. Oh, and the sale was so successful that they're extending it a few more days - if you still haven't picked up World of Goo, you have until October 25 (Sunday) to pick it up for as cheap as a penny. What's stopping you, man?