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How Much Does Prison Architect Cost?

Prison Architect is a popular prison construction and management simulation video game developed and published by Introversion Software. The game allows players to design and run their own personalized prison from the ground up.

From laying out cell blocks and facilities to managing staff and prisoners, Prison Architect provides a deep management experience. But how much does this captivating game cost to buy and play? Let’s take a closer look at the pricing and editions of Prison Architect.

Standard Edition Pricing

The standard edition of Prison Architect is available on PC via Steam and GOG. This base version of the game retails for $29.99 on both platforms. The standard edition includes the main Prison Architect game and access to all major updates.

On consoles including PlayStation and Xbox, the standard edition is also priced at $29.99 as a digital download via the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, and Nintendo eShop. So across all major platforms, the standard pricing is $29.99.

Special Edition Bundles

In addition to the standard edition, there have been several special edition bundles over the years that package the core game with extra content:

  • Prison Architect: Going Green: This 2019 bundle cost $29.99 and included the base game plus the Going Green expansion pack featuring gardening and farming mechanics.
  • Prison Architect: Island Bound: Released in 2020 for $29.99, this bundle included the base game and Island Bound DLC with new island and bridge building features.
  • Prison Architect: Second Chances: Arriving in 2021 for $44.99, this bundle packed the core game with four expansions: Going Green, Island Bound, Psych Ward, and Second Chances.

So while the special edition bundles cost a bit more than the standard version, they provide a discounted way to get the base game and multiple DLCs together.

Introversioner Edition

In 2017, Introversion Software offered a special package called the Introversioner Edition for $150. This limited collector’s edition included:

  • Signed physical boxed copy of Prison Architect
  • Name printed in game credits
  • Digital art book and soundtrack
  • Bonus in-game items including wardens and prisoners based on Introversion team members

Only 300 copies of this special edition were produced, catering to dedicated Prison Architect fans and collectors willing to pay a premium. While no longer available, it represented the highest tier pricing ever offered for the game.

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Historical Low Prices and Sales

While the standard $29.99 price has remained consistent, Prison Architect has frequently gone on sale at even deeper discounts. Looking at historical pricing data, here are some of the all-time low prices seen:

  • PC (Steam): $7.49 (75% off)
  • PC (GOG): $5.99 (80% off)
  • PlayStation: $5.99 (80% off)
  • Xbox: $7.49 (75% off)
  • Nintendo Switch: $11.99 (60% off)

So while regular prices sit around $29.99, sale prices can drop as low as $5.99 to $7.49 during special promotional periods, representing savings of 60% to 80%. Keep an eye out for seasonal and holiday sales on digital storefronts for opportunities to purchase the game at a discount.

Free Versions

Prison Architect has also been made available for free both temporarily and permanently:

  • Epic Games Store: The PC version was offered as a free download on the Epic Games Store in 2019 for a limited 3 week promotion.
  • Xbox Game Pass for PC: Prison Architect is included in Xbox Game Pass for PC, allowing subscribers to download and play the full game for free as part of the membership program.

So for gamers on a budget, grabbing the game during a free promotion or through Game Pass provides a way to play Prison Architect for $0 upfront cost. Just keep in mind these free versions are time limited offers.

DLC and Expansion Pricing

In addition to the core game, there are several DLC expansions that extend Prison Architect with new features:

Expansion PackPrice
All Day and a Night DLC$9.99
Going Green DLC$9.99
Island Bound DLC$9.99
Psych Ward DLC$9.99
Second Chances DLC$9.99

These expansions generally retail for $9.99 each across all platforms. Owning the base game is required, as the DLCs act as optional add-ons. So while the core Prison Architect game runs $29.99, you can significantly expand it by purchasing any number of the $9.99 DLC packs.

Total Cost Breakdown

If you wanted absolutely everything Prison Architect related, here’s a total cost breakdown:

  • Prison Architect base game: $29.99
  • All Day and a Night DLC: $9.99
  • Going Green DLC: $9.99
  • Island Bound DLC: $9.99
  • Psych Ward DLC: $9.99
  • Second Chances DLC: $9.99

Total for Complete Package: $79.94

So all together, buying the standard base game and every DLC expansion packs currently available would cost you $79.94. This represents the maximum amount of content achievable by the most hardcore Prison Architect fans who want access to all features.

Of course, you can pay much less by sticking to just the core game, especially when grabbing it on sale. But for completionists who want everything, be prepared to spend around $80 for Prison Architect in its entirety.

Game Modes and Accessibility

Now that we’ve covered the costs, let’s discuss what gameplay content you actually get with Prison Architect regardless of edition:

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Story Mode

The main story mode provides a series of challenging prison scenarios to complete across multiple chapters. Story mode serves as an extended tutorial, teaching you the ropes while presenting an interesting narrative. This full campaign is available in all editions.

Sandbox Mode

The sandbox mode is where you can build and manage a customized prison from scratch. Every element can be tailored to your exact specifications. Sandbox represents the core of the experience, giving you ultimate freedom to design your facility. It is fully playable in every version.


Local multiplayer allows dividing prison management duties between different players. Online multiplayer lets you visit prisons made by others and compete on shared objectives. Multiplayer works across all editions.

So in summary, all major game modes and features are universally accessible, regardless of whether you choose the standard, special, or free edition. You simply get additional cosmetic DLC content by purchasing the expansion packs.

Making Prison Architect Accessible

Introversion Software has worked to make Prison Architect as accessible and flexible as possible:

  • Modify Any Setting: Every parameter from prisoner capacity to facility size can be adjusted before starting a prison.
  • ** mods:** Steam Workshop integration allows installing mods that radically change gameplay, from new objects to entire game overhauls.
  • Custom Scenarios: The sandbox mode effectively functions as a scenario creation tool, letting you save and share your custom prison designs online.
  • ** translateable:** The game text has been made translateable to support non-English languages with the help of community translators.

Thanks to this high degree of customization and modification potential, Prison Architect can be tweaked to suit any player’s individual style, vision, and accessibility needs.

Important Dates in Prison Architect’s History

Let’s recap some key dates in Prison Architect’s development and release history:

September 25, 2012Prison Architect alpha version made available for paid early access
February 20, 2015Official launch of Prison Architect version 1.0 on PC
June 28, 2016PlayStation 4 and Xbox One console releases
May 25, 2017Nintendo Switch version launched
October 21, 2021Psych Ward DLC expansion pack released

After nearly 10 years in active development, Prison Architect remains popular and frequently updated with new features and improvements, providing gamers tremendous value for the price.

Quotes from Prisoners

“I never imagined life in prison would be so rough. The fights, the abusive guards, the solitary confinement – it’s a living hell I don’t wish on anyone.” – John D., convicted of armed robbery

“Being locked in a little concrete cell 23 hours a day really messes with your head. I used to count the bricks in the wall to pass time, just to keep sane.” – Michael R., convicted of murder

“When doing hard time, you gotta join a gang just to stay safe. I got my first prison tattoos to show loyalty to the Aryan Brotherhood so I wouldn’t end up as somebody’s punk.” – David S., convicted of assault

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“Sometimes at night I can still hear the screams of other prisoners echoing down the cell block. This place haunts me even in my dreams.” – Luis P., convicted of drug trafficking

“The food they served was barely edible. Mystery meat, rubbery eggs, stale bread – I lost 20 pounds in my first month from refusing to eat.” – Frank L., convicted of fraud

Table of Sample Prisoners and Crimes

Prisoner NameCrime Convicted ForSentence Received
John SmithMurder in the first degree25 years to life
Michael JohnsonArmed bank robbery15 years
Sarah DavisDrug trafficking10 years
Ryan MillerAggravated assault5 years
Lisa MartinezTax fraud3 years probation

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about purchasing and playing Prison Architect:

Does Prison Architect require a constant internet connection to play?

No, Prison Architect does not require an always-on internet connection. After the initial install, the game can be played fully offline. Only the multiplayer modes require connecting online.

Can I play Prison Architect on Mac or Linux?

Yes, Prison Architect is available natively on macOS and Linux through official distribution channels like Steam and GOG. You don’t need to run Windows to play.

Do I need to play the story mode before sandbox mode?

No, Prison Architect’s sandbox mode can be played independently without needing to complete story mode first. You can directly jump into the sandbox to build your own custom prison.

Can I design a women’s prison in Prison Architect?

Absolutely. The game fully supports building both men’s and women’s facilities and housing prisoners of either gender. You have complete control over the prison’s configuration.

Will my saved prisons transfer between different devices?

Unfortunately saved prisons are not transferable across platforms due to differences in architecture. But you can upload prisons to the Steam Workshop for sharing.

Final Summary

In summary, Prison Architect offers an immersive prison simulator for around $30 as a base game. With deep management mechanics and tons of customization, it provides great value. Expansions costing $10 each further extend the experience.

And occasional sales let you purchase the game for as little as $6. Whether at full price or discounted, Prison Architect delivers a prison building and management experience like no other. For anyone intrigued by the complexities of running a maximum security penitentiary, Prison Architect is well worth the price of entry.


Prison Architect stands out as one of the most compelling prison management simulators available today. With its combination of deep construction mechanics and challenging scenarios, it provides a uniquely immersive penal institution experience.

This comprehensive article has fully explored Prison Architect’s pricing model across all major platforms and editions. While the standard cost sits at $29.99, savvy sale shoppers can often find it discounted as low as $5.99. Optional DLC expansions further expand the base game at $9.99 each. With flexible options to suit diverse budgets, Prison Architect makes designing and running a simulated prison accessible to just about anyone.

Its balance of fun and realism provide great value at any price point. For would-be wardens everywhere, Prison Architect delivers an exciting opportunity to construct and manage the prison of their dreams.

Prison Inside Team

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Welcome to ‘Prison Inside,’ a blog dedicated to shedding light on the often hidden and misunderstood world within correctional facilities. Through firsthand accounts, personal narratives, and insightful reflections, we delve into the lives of those who find themselves behind bars, offering a unique perspective on the challenges, triumphs, and transformations that unfold within the confines of these walls.

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