Jason Grinblat of Freehold Games, developers of Sproggiwood ($4.99), revealed some really interesting data in a Gamasutra blog post about the launch of the game on iOS. They took a game that was $14.99 on desktop, made it $9.99 on mobile, and how did it do? Even better at launch than on Steam. The game sold about 3300 units on iOS, and about 800 on Android over the game’s first 14 days, compared to 1800 on Steam. Even with the lower price, that means Sproggiwood had a better launch on mobile than on Steam.
Now, there’s definitely some long-term concerns. The game got featuring on the App Store which has helped the long-tail, though interestingly, Android is selling about as well as iOS is. It also helped that the mobile press (including us) covered the game’s launch, while the mainstream’s press response was less enthusiastic. As well, Apple’s front-page featuring goes a long way.
Still, this has to be promising to everyone in mobile gaming. This shows that if you make a good game and can catch people’s eyes, you can actually have a great mobile launch, even better than desktop. And you can do so while selling at a higher price than other mobile games. Sproggiwood was smart to be prepared for mobile from the get-go, so developers need to keep the platform in mind.
And hey, maybe there’s just enough mobile gamers who aren’t afraid of mobile games. An unreasonable crowd that won’t pay enough for games does exist and is quite vocal, yes. But this should give hope that there’s enough of an audience that will vote with their wallets and buy games at sustainable prices.
Oh, and Freehold? I hope you bring Caves of Qud to mobile.