A Windows version of the hit Xbox Live Arcade game Braid will be released on Stardock’s Impulse digital distribution system on March 31, but PC owners are going to have to pay a little bit extra to get it.
Released in August 2008 on Xbox Live Arcade, the independently-developed Braid was a critical and commercial hit and quickly became the highest-rated XBLA game of all time. The game won numerous awards including “XBLA Game of the Year” from OXM and “Best Original Downloadable Console Game” from GameSpot and sold an estimated 55,000 copies in its first week of release. The only real criticism of the game resulted from its price, which came in at 1200 Microsoft Points ($15) instead of the more palatable 800 MS Points ($10).
Jonathan Blow, the game’s developer, said the price point was necessary to “guard against the Space Giraffe problem.” “Jeff Minter priced Space Giraffe (which is the best game on XBLA) at $5 because he wanted a lot of people to be able to afford it, and really wanted to give something to the fans at a low price,” Blow wrote on his blog. “Well, that bit him in the ass because he only sold 19k copies; depending on how big his testing + localization advance was, maybe he has barely made any money from Space Giraffe at all, and just lost a lot of money (due to the time spent in development).”
Despite the fact that Braid is a big hit and Blow’s concern about recouping his investment should no longer be relevant, PC owners who want in on the action are going to have to pay five bucks more – $19.95 – to get the game on their platform of choice. I’ve dropped a line to Blow asking why (Bonus stuff for the PC version? Extra charges for using Impulse?) and while we wait for an answer, you can learn more and place your pre-order at impulsedriven.com.