I am actually glad that I already own World of Goo because if I didn't I would probably feel it necessary to avail of their current "Pay what you think it is worth" offer. Its not the first time I have seen an offer like this but it is the first time I have seen it on a game that I was interested in and it creates an interesting dilemma.
If I was going to avail of the offer I would have to decide what to pay for the game. I try to be honest. I don't want to steal the game but how much is a game worth anyway?
The easiest cop out would be to note that the game was on sale for €20before the offer and to pay that amount but that would is not an honest answer to the question of how much I think the game is worth.
How much is any game worth? In truth I think that all games are overpriced. If I ruled the world there would be a price cap of €25 on AAA gaming titles. I don't have a logical explanation for this its just what my heart tells me and although I do sometimes spend more than this to get a premium title shortly after release it always pains me to do so. I suppose I could scale back from that figure for an indie title that doesn't have the big budget budget glamour of a AAA but is acknowledged to be a gaming classic and great fun to play. Perhaps €10? On the other hand maybe even that is too much for a game that I could have for free if I wanted.
Economists argue over whether the value of an item is intrinsic (ie the cost of producing the item) or subjective (determined by supply and demand). Applying the intrinsic value principle I have to accept that it costs time and effort to produce a game but to supply me with one extra downloaded copy costs little more than the badwidth involved. The intrinsic value of a downloaded game is as close to zero as makes no difference. Subjective value doesn't help much either - regardless of how great the demand supply is effectively unlimited so even by this measure the value of the game is zero.
The more I think about this the more I become convinced that the only honest response to an offer like this is to download the game and pay nothing at all. Zero. Anything else is not an expression of value but merely a gesture of charity towards the suppliers of the game. If you feel the game suppliers are in need of charity go right ahead and make a donation but otherwise the only logical answer is "I think your game is worth €0.00".