Monday, 15 October 2012

XBLIG vs Windows phone- How'd we get on?


It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog, things have been crazy busy.

Five months on from out first Window Phone 7 release and just over 3 months since our first Xbox indie release. How’d we do???

Windows Phone 7

Retro Wars 1999
Developing for the windows phone is a bit of a double edged sword, with far less competition than Android and iOS it’s far easier to get your game spotted but with far less users it’s hard to make decent money.

We currently have 5 games in the market place with 3 due for release this week. Download wise we’re doing pretty well (Currently sitting at just over 60,000), but revenue has been very poor. Currently all of our Windows phone games generate revenue via adverts supplied by Microsofts own ad provider, Pubcenter.

Retro Racer: Combat
To say Pubcenters eCPM is a bit up and down is a massive understatement, swinging from £0.01 per thousand for some days up to £4.50 per thousand on other. The £4.50 days are nice but are, unfortunately, hugely outnumbered buy the £0.01 days. It’s like flying through massive turbulence on an easyjet flight, sat next to an obese man with hiccups, who’s just finished a particularly strong in flight curry and instead of landing in sunny Spain your destination is Glasgow in January (which would account for the obese man)

Ok, it’s not that bad, in fact we’ve probably earned more through pubcenter than if we would have sold our games at the minimum price of £0.69, but it’s just so frustrating when you see a thousand people have played your game today and you’ve earned £0.01 from it!



Xbox Live Indie Games

I’ll start but saying I love Xbox Live Indie almost as much as I love my own legs. It’s a fantastic service for both developers and consumers and doesn’t nearly get enough respect it deserves.

I went into developing for Xblig with some degree of hesitation (mainly due to the bad press it seems to get ALL THE TIME!!!) But as soon as I put Super Killer Hornet up for peer review my worries dissolved, I have never been involved with such a wonderful, warm community as the Xbox indie community. Pretty much as soon as the game went up for peer review, messages of support and advice poured in.

Super Killer Hornet
Revenue wise we faired far better on the Xbox than on windows phone (approx 3x more at the moment) and as of last month we actually moved into profit territory, just. But what I’ll take away most from this experience is the reception our game received. I had people from Japan, France and Canada tweeting me telling me they loved the game. Some guys in the US mentioned us in their pod cast, SKH was reviewed on around 10 different sites with mostly positive feedback(7/10 average), but the real jewel in the crown was when I got a call from Nick to say we’d been mentioned in Retro Game Magazine, A REAL LIFE MAGAZINE!!! If I wasn’t so drunk when he told me I could have cried.

Future

Since the release of Super Killer Hornet a few months ago I’ve pretty much been working solidly on our next Xblig/PC game, working title ‘Our next game with guns and explosions in it’.
I can’t say too much about it as I still don’t know 100% where we’re gonna go with it. All I can say is ‘It’ll be a horizontal shooter with heavy references to gaming culture old and new’. God, that makes it sound so generic. Here's a couple of screen shots from the first level.

Lee Vs Jose the worm
Me just dodging some bullets



Nick Vs Stinky the retired ghost














We’re looking at a release date early next year and hopefully we’ll be showing it at the GameCity Nights tour on the 5th Of February at the MAC.

Also Nick would probably slap me if I didn't mention that he has started work on our first 3D project.
Can't say much other than it's a survival horror FPS and looks to be shaping up pretty nicely.
Will have more info soon.

As for the nearer future we have 3 games due out on windows phone next Wednesday , Plane Crazy and Retro Racer: Combat please download and have a look if you own a windows phone device.

Cheers

Paul

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