2D Boy Shares Their Views on Life in the iOS App Store

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The guys at 2D Boy, the developers of the multi-platform hit game World of Goo, have posted an article on their blog detailing their experiences leading up to, during, and after the release of the game for the iPad. This article is a really informative look at the dynamics of the App Store, complete with breakdowns of customer feedback and expectations for apps on the platform, sales figures, price point, rankings, profits, and publicity. If you have ever wanted an inside look at the inner-workings of the iOS App Store, and what a developer goes through and has to consider from development, to release, to post-mortem, then you should definitely take a look.

One of the most striking points to me was their discussion of sales in the App Store in comparison to the other platforms that they have released World of Goo on. Despite being a two year old game, the iPad version sold better and faster than on Steam or WiiWare. Below is an excerpt from the post:

In 2008, with the successful releases of Castle Crashers, Braid, and World of Goo, it became fairly clear that consoles were “where it’s at” for independent developers, and a lot of attention was given to which console provided the best distribution opportunities. Nintendo had the largest install base, XBLA had the largest number of registered users, and PSN had the strongest growth momentum. This discussion is still going on today and the landscape is constantly shifting.

World of Goo’s launch on iPad gave us a new perspective on that discussion. In the first month of sales on the iPad App Store, World of Goo sold 125k copies (thanks to being prominently featured by Apple). In comparison, World of Goo’s best 31 day period on WiiWare was 68k copies (thanks to a mass mailing by Nintendo), and on Steam it was 97k copies (thanks to two promotions at discounted prices). So far, the iPad version is by far the fastest selling version of the game, both in terms of number of units sold and in revenue generated.

What makes this even more amazing is that this is a two year old game released on a platform that is less than a year old. The iPad doesn’t have the benefit of an install base built up over several years.

In the short term, we still think that if an independent developer can get their game on a console it’s a safer bet than playing the App Store lottery, but one might wonder whether, in the long run, it even matters who wins the PSN / WiiWare / XBLA race.

With a solid and profitable experience like World of Goo under their belts, I certainly hope we haven’t seen the last of 2D Boy in the App Store.

Take a look at this informative article at 2D Boy.com here.

Check out our review of World of Goo for the iPad here.


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