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Microsoft Windows Games

Hit Game Makes £52 In First Week On Windows RT 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the congratulations-on-all-your-success dept.
Barence writes "Great Big War Game, a popular iOS and Android app, made only £52 in its first week on Windows RT. In an angry blog post titled 'Windows RT — Born to fail,' UK-based developer Rubicon blamed Microsoft for the paltry sum and said it won't be bringing any more of its titles to the fledgling platform. It seems Microsoft refused to promote the app as it would only run on Windows RT devices. However, Microsoft quickly got in touch with Rubicon, and the post was deleted and replaced with an apologetic response saying, 'Microsoft have graciously decided work with us to iron out the problems and get us past this incident.' Rubicon will be hoping that £52 figure improves quickly, as it spent £10,000 porting the game to Windows RT."
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Hit Game Makes £52 In First Week On Windows RT

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  • by PopAndGame (2790489) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:20PM (#42216961)
    He took a business risk trying to port the game to Windows RT and lost? Now he's crying about it? Great, yeah, it costs money to port things to new platforms. But that's why you do your research first! Hell, I'm not going around yelling how my non-existing game on Steam is selling bad!

    But I know a thing or two about business and this is exactly why you research and don't cry about failed business decisions.
  • by MetalliQaZ (539913) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:47PM (#42217329)

    Sales generally peak very early in the release of a game. Opening week is extremely important for a game company.

    Don't forget that they have bills and salaries to pay. They can't sit back and live off a trickle of money, hoping it will grow at some point in the future. It's either make decent money or start laying off.

    It is a new platform but Microsoft made certain promises to developers, and this story shows that they may not be doing enough to keep those promises. It also shows that they seem to hold great power over them as well.

  • No trial version (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:51PM (#42217387)
    Gamers on Windows are used to having a trial version. Honestly, if there isn't a trial version I just pass right over it. I've been burned by shitty apps time and time again, I won't risk the money just to find out it's terrible. I've certainly bought plenty of games after playing the trial version, so perhaps they'd see some more sales if they added that feature.

    They should also think about porting to Windows 8.... no idea why the limited their app to only Windows RT, as the market share is so small right now.
  • Re:You idiots (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jesse_vd (821123) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:54PM (#42217427)

    You know, I'd always heard that too. I've been an iOS user since the iPhone 3G so I've bought my share of apps there and have a good feel for mobile app pricing. I was pretty surprised by the prices in the Google Play store when I bought a Nexus 7 last week. Often things I'd expect to pay $.99-$1.99 for in the App Store are $5-7.

    I wonder if this is a new trend? Are they compensating for lower sales, or has the Android market changed recently?

  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:55PM (#42217439) Homepage Journal

    Microsoft is selling tablets and phones that won't run traditional Windows apps, and can only run Windows RT apps. Microsoft is encouraging developers to make RT the standard for future Windows development, but for some reason they aren't willing to promote RT apps?

    Here is the problem. Most people have an Android or iOS device today. If there Android and iOS apps you really love, you probably already purchased them for those platforms (and perhaps for both if you jumped ship at some point).

    How many people are jumping at the bit to buy them again for another platform?

    What Microsoft really needs is killer new apps that take advantage of Windows in a unique way that aren't on Android or iOS. And I just don't see that happening. Windows RT is dead on arrival for a number of reasons (can't join a domain, can't run legacy Windows apps and doesn't offer anything new for future development).

  • by Missing.Matter (1845576) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:56PM (#42217449)

    Sales generally peak very early in the release of a game. Opening week is extremely important for a game company.

    This is true as long as the game company actually markets their game. It seems this company expects the app store to do its marketing for it, by way of featuring their game in a highlights section or some other way, and they didn't actually promote the game themselves. They invested a whole *10 grand* in development (absolute peanuts relatively speaking), but then decided it wouldn't be worthwhile to actually promote their work, and expect Microsoft to do all the leg work? Whatever promises Microsoft made to developers, I'm sure "we will handle all promotion and marketing of all apps in our store" was not one of them.

  • by cbhacking (979169) <[moc.oohay] [ta] ... isiurc_tuo_neeb]> on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:44PM (#42218135) Homepage Journal

    What I don't get is the existence of an ARM-only app at all. What idiocy could lead somebody to intentionally exclude a large number of users, users who have more powerful hardware at that, to save the cost of changing one drop-down menu in Visual Studio and hitting Build again? On the face of it, that seems completely asinine. Unless the guy was using assembly or something else stupid like counting on pointers being 32 bits (which would *still* work in an x86 app, just not x64 native), porting to x86 should have been trivial.

  • by PickyH3D (680158) on Friday December 07, 2012 @04:02PM (#42219101)

    To be fair to the author, he released his software before there were any numbers.

    To be fair to Windows RT, it's sold through an excessively limited distributed channel (Microsoft kiosks and Microsoft Stores). To then expect overnight miracles for a game that, admittedly, I have never heard of is a little astounding. Granted, 52 pounds is probably a bit of a shock, but having never heard of it (as an admitted iPad and Surface owner), I can't really say I am stunned.

    It appears that he expected it be promoted by Microsoft because of their 10,000 pound investment, even though his company apparently refused to recompile and support x86, which sounds like an obvious no brainer. I cannot imagine that a game like theirs has many ARM-specific code blocks, and if it does, then I fully expect they are easily swappable for something in x86-land (if not just the high level language equivalent that would run faster on x86).

    We are talking about a company with two mobile flops, and one of them was seemingly expected internally. The Kin was an undersupported and overpriced piece of junk thanks to Verizon (pricing it like a smartphone), with apparently a poor experience thanks to Microsoft. Windows Phone 7 appears to have been merely a stopgap to flesh out Metro, and to hold on until the Windows 8 kernel was ready for the phone.

    As I have described in my random other posts, the Surface is actually a very solid (physically) device with much higher usability than my iPad (although I only have an iPad 2). Having a kickstand, USB port, microSD card expansion slot, attachable keyboard, larger (admittedly lower resolution than the "New iPad") screen, direct access to the file system and bundled Office makes the Surface worth iPad money. I'm honestly a bit stunned so many people hate it on Slashdot, beyond the obvious Microsoft bias, because it actually supports Flash. That's something that even Android cannot say ever since Adobe stopped supporting "mobile" platforms.

  • by thoromyr (673646) on Friday December 07, 2012 @04:46PM (#42219651)

    the Surface is actually a very solid (physically) device with much higher usability than my iPad (although I only have an iPad 2).

    That sounds interesting. What is "much higher usability" -- by itself that statement means nothing.

    Having a kickstand, USB port, microSD card expansion slot, attachable keyboard,

    Those are common features of android tablets (and kickstand and attachable keyboard are certainly available for iOS devices). What about their presence on the Surface makes the Surface notable for having them?

    larger (admittedly lower resolution than the "New iPad") screen,

    So, even though it came out after the new ipad it doesn't achieve the same resolution? That's a shame.

    direct access to the file system and bundled Office makes the Surface worth iPad money.

    For some folks I'm sure those are features worth paying for. Hasn't seemed to be that significant to the overall market, however.

    I'm honestly a bit stunned so many people hate it on Slashdot, beyond the obvious Microsoft bias, because it actually supports Flash.

    I'm really not quite sure what to say here. Maybe you aren't aware that the lack of flash is a *feature*? Not everyone wants to have crappy flash apps whether its on a mobile device or not. My desktop systems are flash free since I have a choice in the matter.

    For the record, I don't hate the Surface, I just fail to see anything to be excited about. The Samsung Galaxy Tab is similar specs at similar price (even having flash, ugh!) with the advantage of a mature marketplace. Or, a new ipad is better specs and a mature marketplace for a similar price balanced by the lack of a USB port or SD card slot. Its just hard to see any place for the Surface other than those who want to run MS Office on a tablet.

    That's something that even Android cannot say ever since Adobe stopped supporting "mobile" platforms.

    Again, I'm not sure you understand that this is not a negative for a significant fraction of users.

  • by Alphadecay27 (1277022) on Friday December 07, 2012 @07:20PM (#42221019)

    To be fair to Windows RT, it's sold through an excessively limited distributed channel (Microsoft kiosks and Microsoft Stores). To then expect overnight miracles for a game that, admittedly, I have never heard of is a little astounding. Granted, 52 pounds is probably a bit of a shock, but having never heard of it (as an admitted iPad and Surface owner), I can't really say I am stunned.

    This game sells 100k+ copies/day at $3 a piece on android. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rubicon.dev.gbwg&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5ydWJpY29uLmRldi5nYndnIl0. [google.com] It peaked at 500k/day within the past 30 days. Even if it had a massive refund rate (which it likely doesn't with a 4.5/5 rating) it probably made over a million dollars on other platforms within the same time frame. We're not talking about a tetris clone someone knocked out over the weekend from their mom's basement.

    It appears that he expected it be promoted by Microsoft because of their 10,000 pound investment, even though his company apparently refused to recompile and support x86, which sounds like an obvious no brainer. I cannot imagine that a game like theirs has many ARM-specific code blocks, and if it does, then I fully expect they are easily swappable for something in x86-land (if not just the high level language equivalent that would run faster on x86).

    They expected Microsoft to promote it because it is really popular game that has sold over 2.5 million copies on other platforms. They didn't "refuse" to port to x86. From his blog comments, it seems they have contractual obligations to not publish on x86 because they have a publisher (Viacom) that limits their ability to release on x86 since there is a PC version (through steam).

Wernher von Braun settled for a V-2 when he coulda had a V-8.

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