The iPhone platform and the iTunes App Store present a rare opportunity for game developers. Never before has there been a highly capable device with such a unique array of input technologies married to so elegant and intuitive a software distribution model. Not to mention the free SDK and zero barrier to entry.
We've highlighted a number of iPhone developer success stories in the past, such as that of Steve Demeter (author of Trism) and Ethan Nicholas (author of iShoot). And while not every developer's tale is one of extreme success--in fact most aren't--an opportunity is there for those with innovative titles, a solid pricing strategy and, perhaps, a little bit of luck.
To the list of App Store success stories, we can add Simon Oliver of HandCircus, author of the critically acclaimed Rolando [App Store], published by ngmoco. It's really no surprise, given the quaity of the title and the consistent raves it's received from iPhone game reviewers. What we didn't realize was just how well the title has performed in the App Store.
The Daily Mail reports that Oliver's Rolando has sold over 700,000 copies since it made its App Store debut last December at a price of $9.99. Thanks to the game's amazing success, Simon has just moved his development studio from his bedroom to a proper office complex. Thirty-one year old Simon, who was rejected by dozens of game development firms because of his lack of experience, is now running his own games publishing firm--a dream come true.
And for Simon, likely this is just the beginning. The British designer / developer that ngmoco's Neil Young calls the next Shigeru Miyamoto is hard at work on a sequel to Rolando. Congrats, Simon! We're anxious to see what lies ahead.