Ryan Rigney (author of Buttonless, which featured our first game Tilt to Live) came to us a few weeks ago with praise for Outwitters’ bold Free to Play model. No gold or extra lives being sold, just good wholesome content like I used to buy when I was a boy. “So how’s that working out for you?” he asked.
We figured we’d share our numbers so other small studios might make a better decision than we did. With 2% of 500,000 users buying something in your app, you need them to spend an average of $30 dollars each to break even on a $300,000 game (salaries for 2 people for 1.75 years, plus company overhead, custom sound, and half a year’s server costs). We should have done that math, and not overestimated the number of downloads “free” would attract. Consumables also weren’t a good fit for a competitive multiplayer game, which should’ve been a red flag that free to play was not a great choice.
So free to play + prominent Apple feature does not equal an automatic slam dunk. Lesson learned. We’re still proud of the game.
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