If you’re a fan of playing App Store QB at home, then this World of Goo [$4.99] post-mortem piece is definite must-read toilet material. In the blog posting, game creator 2D Boy talks about the sales and problems with keeping our GOTY at the top of the charts and even takes the time to discuss points of design users weren’t fans of, the promotion of the game to press, the release timing, and its overall observations about the project.
I’m still in NFL mode, so here are some highlights:
2D Boy timed the release of World at Goo, to the game’s detriment, so it would be featured for the two weeks that it was. The plan was always to price it high and then go low later, but as you’ll read in the article, you’ll find that the chart lift from price slashes isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be when all things are considered. Spoiler, though: you still make a ton of more money when a game is up on the charts.
There’s a lot of crap on the App Store, but 2D Boy had a couple of things going for it during the pre-launch phase: (1) it was a known, innovative property from a darling indie developer who got burned by piracy, and (2) 2D Boy was pitching this version of a two-year old game as the DEFINITIVE version, which actually, it turned out to be.
In this part of the post, 2D Boy shares some thoughts on pre-launch marketing and discusses how it got into all our heads. I’m guessing the big break was the Apple dude who replied saying that he or she was a fan. Also, there’s some discussion about hype.
A post-launch update to World of Goo added infinite level skips. That was a direct result of, presumably, the stuff the post details in its design section. Some users weren’t huge fans of the difficulty of the puzzles and often rated the title poorly as a result of their frustration. Interestingly, 2D Boy raises the issue of App Store developers not being able to issue refunds, which is a pretty common problem on closed networks like Xbox Live Arcade or PSN.
World of Goo has sold more units on the iPad than it has on the Steam or WiiWare by the tune of tens of thousands of more units. That’s wild when you think about it since the device we’re talking about here is young comparatively.
WORLD OF GOO iPHONE:
Don’t get your hopes up — this is an “if” and not a “when” thing. In the pricing section, 2D Boy discusses the need to have a seriously low price point in order to compete on the iPhone part of the App Store, which is something of a bugbear considering how much work would need to be done to get World of Goo on other, smaller devices. Also, World of Goo iPhone was already canned once when plans fell through with contractors.
Anyway, cool post and lots of fun information. Check it out when you have the time!