Earlier this week we reported that Ethan Nicholas' simple tank artillery game iShoot [App Store, $2.99] stole the #1 spot in the App Store's top 100 paid apps listing, overtaking the infamous iFart Mobile (who would ever have imagined it could be dethroned?). For an app to reach number one and stay there, some 10,000 plus downloads per day are required. Obviously the developer is thrilled.
Ethan is so thrilled, in fact, that he has given his two-week notice at Sun Microsystems, where he works a day job, iPhone Savior reports.
iShoot was originally released in mid October at $4.99 and gained little response from App Store buyers. In December, the developer delivered a 1.1 version update and a $2 price drop to $2.99, but it made little impact on sales. It was Ethan's decision to release a "lite" version of the game that is responsible for the astounding success of the paid app.
"iShoot Lite" went live on January 3, 2009. Less than ten days later on January 11, the original iShoot rocketed out of obscurity as the number one Top Paid App in the iTunes App Store with 16,972 downloads in one day. It virtually blasted the reigning number one iFart app off its perch overnight. iShoot simultaneously grabbed the Top Free App number one spot as well.
Ethan indicates he's been getting email after email from other iPhone developers asking if they should produce a "lite" version of their own titles. Ethan, who has put no marketing dollars at all behind iShoot, replies with a resounding "Hell yes!"
Making the matter all the more impressive for the indie developer is the fact that iShoot was his first Objective-C based application. It definitely won't be his last.
Good luck, Ethan. We're anxious to see what's next from this now full-time iPhone developer.
Ethan Nicholas' move is discussed in a lengthy thread in our forums, in which Ethan comments along with several other iPhone developers that have also recently made the full-time jump.