Devs behind Gasketball, Solipskier broke and homeless (Penny Arcade article).

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by arta, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. arta

    arta Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2009
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    http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/going-broke-with-success-how-an-app-with-200000-downloads-led-to-devel

    Read more at the link.
     
  2. Sad to read the article. But if they made $20-$25k a year, why are they homeless? The cost of living in Iowa couldn't be that high. After the second year, they would be able to start their next project right? The first two years, they must have had some money to survive when they were making the game, unless they took out loans with high interest maybe.

    I think too, just recently, there seems to be a big push by developers to go freemium, and I sort of think gamers are kind of getting fed up with it. I know I am, and I am buying a lot less games on release, and for the first time ever for me, am looking at the inapp purchases in the itunes descriptions.

    Kind of don't understand why developers are going away from doing lite versions either. Don't know if it would have made a difference in their sales, but it is sad to hear the plight of some small developers, and I symphasize for them. Hopefully things will turn around for them.
     
  3. HernanZh

    HernanZh Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2011
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    Whaaaaat
    I thought these guys were making millions by now, since I see Gasketball everywhere

    They don't have a steady income. They earned money from selling their first game(s), but sales on appstore always decline after a while.
     
  4. Yeah, too bad to hear. It's hard being homeless, but I hope they have some family support so they can rebound and work on some more games again in the future.
     
  5. Jason Stark

    Jason Stark Active Member

    Jun 5, 2012
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    Noosa, Australia
    There's something I fail to understand, maybe my figures are way off or there's a bit of information that I'm missing but...

    The developers made a few thousand dollars in their first week. Then they get an interview with the PA Report about how they're now broke and homeless. So how did earning a good wage in their first week end up with them on the streets? Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that a few thousand dollars for the peak earning period of a game with that many downloads doesn't bode well for the future, but how did it instantly render them homeless?
     
  6. kendahlj

    kendahlj Well-Known Member

    Jun 21, 2012
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    Poor decision making it free imo...
     
  7. banger1103

    banger1103 Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2011
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    Agreed. I would have bought it outright for 0.99-2.99
     
  8. arta

    arta Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2009
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    Maybe they were thinking it would catch fire like Temple Run did?
     
  9. Fireball926

    Fireball926 Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2010
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    The problem is the developers need to look at games at a unisex stand point. I don't think I would see any girl caught dead playing anything that had to do with basketball or really any sport on her idevice. Popular games like Angry Birds, Tiny Wings, and Temple Run all gained there popularity by creating a game that was appealing to both genders. The other big no no they did was not make the game universal. I know maybe, 10, maybe 20 people at school with iPads and over 400 with an iphone/ipod touch.
     
  10. bacon-N-eggs

    bacon-N-eggs Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2012
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    I hate it for them, very sad.

    Needed to not be free, needed to be universal, and needed a easy way to BUY the game! Most of the reviews I read said, they had to go looking for the "buy" button. Even then it was not really clear on "what" you're going to get since so much of the game was free.... I'm just guessing most people didn't even know you could "buy" it and get the full game.

    Still sad, I'd love to have in on my iPhone! :)
     
  11. Filing Cabinet

    Filing Cabinet Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2011
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    pretty disappointing to read that, since the game seems like it was made in the right spirit but tanked cause they weren't pushy enough about IAP

    read about things like that and then read about how absolute rubbish freemium games (zynga, csr racing, gameloft freemiums) rake it in, makes me angry because this is why we see more BS moves like devs changing paid games to freemiums, and even paidmiums.

    honestly gasketball needs to just make a few changes, and I think they'll do very well. and iPhone release would really help, even a stripped down version.
     
  12. Royce

    Royce Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2011
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    From a human perspective, I'm sorry to hear they've fallen on hard times. From a gaming perspective, I don't understand why this game took 2 years to make or why they expected it to be a hit. Maybe I just don't get it, but to me it seems like another mediocre game in a market already full of them. I didn't get the IAP, not because I couldn't find it, but because I was already bored by the time I worked through the free content. Combine that with the fact it's iPad only, and I can't imagine how they thought they'd be raking in the dough here. Again, maybe I'm missing something, or the game's just not my style, but it seems like just another game in a sea of games with nothing special to make it stand out.
     
  13. ackmondual

    ackmondual Well-Known Member

    Dec 25, 2009
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    U.S.A., earth
    I have a feeling even if it took them a year to make, they still would've been in the same situation.

    Also, perhaps putting up more "pay walls" would've yielded them more $$, as opposed to making too much of it free.
     

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