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Microsoft Windows Games

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

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 SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:24PM (#42217011)

    Sometimes you want to dive in, be first, and maybe get a huge portion of the market's mindshare.

    Fortunately for the rest of us, we can now review his experiences when doing our research. So the rest of us can be more cautious. Likely, though, the rest of us won't get Microsoft's dedicated attention to our game as he is getting now.

  • You idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:26PM (#42217047) Homepage Journal

    You ported your game to a new platform, out for a month on a single high end high price tablet, and you are shocked that you didn't sell as many copies as the Android version. There are hundreds of millions of Android devices out there, with a couple of million more being added every day.

  • by _bug_ ( 112702 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:31PM (#42217119) Journal

    It seems Rubicon's beef was the lack of promotion by Microsoft of their title. Is this promotion Rubicon pays for or is this an expectation that their app would be freely promoted for them?

    Is an app's success due in large part to the operator of the app store promoting said app? That seems like a system ripe for bribery.

  • by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:33PM (#42217145)
    ...that nobody wants to pay for his game.

    Okay, so, £52 in the first week? That's about $83. That's roughly $12/day. In the first week. On a brand new platform.

    What the fuck was this guy thinking? That when he hit the magic "Submit" button on the developers portal for the MS App Store, money would start raining down from the ceiling? Did he think scantily clad women would arrive on his doorstep within minutes to personally "massage" him in a hot tub full of champagne?

    The title might as well read, "Developer Underwhelmed by Product Success, Blames Everyone Else".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:34PM (#42217159)

    Why blame the platform?

    There was a commercial (I have no idea what it was for anymore) of an interview with a hypothetical sports star after a bad game. My poor memory of the dialog follows.
    "That was a rough game, what do you think lead to the loss?"
    "Well, I've learned that after a failure, it's always best to look inward first."
    "The great ones always do."
    "But since I know I'm not at fault, I blame the other players, the coach, the refs, the fans, ..." (it went on for a while)

  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:35PM (#42217169) Homepage

    An RT only version means that you're targeting a tiny portion of the user base. That's what, Surface RT users only? Not a lot of surprise that it failed given that target market.

  • show me the money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:47PM (#42217321)

    if Microsoft wants Surface to have any chance of success they need to start writing checks to the top devs to port their games/apps to RT. otherwise there is no financial incentive since the sales will probably not pay for the costs to port and test the apps

  • No shit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:47PM (#42217323)

    Also, it is for a game that has already been on sale for awhile, thus many have already played it and aren't interested in re-buying it.

    If they think there'll be massive sales on a new platform, well they are dumb. If they think there'll be massive sales on a new platform of a game that is old, they are doubly dumb.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper ( 991155 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:50PM (#42217369)

    Either their marketing and sales department is just dumb OR the software development divisions have so much internal clout that they don't have to listen. I'm betting on the latter.

    You want your platform to succeed? You need apps. You want a lot of apps quickly, you'd better make it EASY EASY EASY to port existing apps from other popular platforms to your new platform. Preferably, with one click. Another solution would be a near perfect OS emulator. However you do it, you have to do it.

    The Fuck You development culture of Microsoft says "No. Go recode and don't bother me with your problems. You're just an ISV after all. The only people we care about are large business customers." The other obvious characteristic that's becoming obvious is the assumption of success. MS obviously has no plan B. No backup to boost sales or make the platform desirable. It's "We're Microsoft. Here it is. Take it or leave it."

    Frankly, I don't see how Microsoft is going to last another 10 years this way.

  • by UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:54PM (#42217421)

    Microsoft's most recent problems have been execution. The company by many aspects is too slow and bureaucratic.

    The Zune is a good example. The iPod came out in 2001. Many here thought it would fail but it didn't. As early as 2003 MS was working on a competing product; however, Jim Allchin called their own product "terrible". It would take MS another 3 years to get a product to consumers. At the time, the Zune was probably the best MP3 player out there (questionable color choices aside). The marketing was horrible; the PC software was buggy. But more importantly, MS failed to realize that the market wasn't in MP3 players anymore. Apple came out with the iPod Touch which was a portable computing device that functioned as a PDA/browser/MP3 player/whatever. The Zune never caught up.

    The Kin was another example. When MS bought Danger, the plan was to release a new phone in six months. It took 18 months and when released the phone was buggy and lacked a market. Insiders say many internal decisions doomed the effort. The Sidekicks used Java as the primary language, but being a MS product, that would not be allowed. The product team had to replace the entire OS with Windows CE. That decision alone would doom the six month deadline. There were two internal mobile teams and the Windows CE team refused to help the Danger team as they wanted to kill the project.

  • by Githaron ( 2462596 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @01:58PM (#42217475)
    You are forgetting that a significant number of Windows users have already been using either have a Android or iPhone/iPad. Someone has to be buying those games.
  • by MojoRilla ( 591502 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:00PM (#42217513)
    I was asked about porting a major live video application to the Surface recently. The Surface doesn't support flash in web views inside apps. It doesn't support HLS (without a third party library). They stubbornly insist that Silverlight and VC1 are still relevant. My answer to the request was, well, sure, but it will require a new encode farm, and rebuilding the app from the ground up. Which is basically a no-go.

    Microsoft is very late to the party. Two other operating systems are there first, have far more users, and are generally more compatible with standards. Microsoft is late to the party, and clinging to all of their old proprietary baggage. And they wonder why they are losing.
  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:03PM (#42217543)

    We have no idea what he was told by Microsoft. One of the biggest problems with Windows8 and their store is all the things it doesn't do that iOS and Android do. It doesn't even have a back button for gods sake. I have to imagine the store and distribution system has the same lack of features and is probably what he's complaining about. Microsoft probably tried to attract vendors like him by promising all sorts of promotion and such that he's not seeing as Microsoft realizes they have another Vista on their hands and are trying to pull back on investment before they lose too much money.

  • Re:You idiots (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bill Hayden ( 649193 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:15PM (#42217681) Homepage
    Odd, I've had the exact opposite experience. I've found things are generally more expensive in the Apple store.
  • by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:18PM (#42217725)

    I have some bad news for you kiddo, you might want to sit down for this, the casual gamers are now a market bigger than what you think of as gamers. They are todays gamers, welcome to 2012.

    Also most PC games these days play fine on a middle of the road PC with a $100 video card. Even most of the fairly hardcore shooter games.

  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:24PM (#42217807) Journal

    I wouldn't even say Redmond is losing at this point. They're not even in the race. You can hear it in the shills that post around here, where the latest explanation is that Microsoft isn't going after the iOS and Android market share, that Windows RT and Surface are so incredibly advanced and superior that they're going to make their own market.

    It's like they've hired Baghdad Bob to do the marketing.

  • Well anybody who couldn't look at the painfully pathetic WinRT numbers and realize it would be best to wait and see if it gains momentum or turns into another Megaflop like WinPhone 7 (I'm betting the later myself) frankly deserves to lose money, because it is foolish to spend 10,000 pounds to port something for such a small userbase whom you don't even know are gonna be willing to buy apps or not!

    We are talking about a company with a history of mobile flops, trying to force their flagship OS onto a platform where the majority of their software won't run, and on top of that they are charging iPad money for the thing...who couldn't smell the stench of fail from a mile away? Did this guy do the same retarded move for the Playbook and the Touchpad? No? Then why in the hell did he think that the same stupid move that didn't work for two huge corps like RIM and HP would magically work just because MSFT stuck their name on it? Especially after seeing the horrible numbers WinPhone 7 put up?

    I'm sorry but this dumbass deserves to lose money, he picked a widely panned OS from a company with a history of mobile failure and then whined because surprise! Selling an app on a flop platform don't make money. Well no shit next you'll be telling me those guys that spent lots of money porting to the Touchpad and Playbook didn't break even. If this isn't a double facepalm moment I don't know what is, one facepalm simply isn't enough.

  • by Xeth ( 614132 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @02:52PM (#42218229) Journal
    Casual games are the biggest market in the same sense that Lego is the biggest tire manufacturer. Based on some quick googling, it looks like the casual game industry has revenues of about $3 billion, versus $78 billion for the video game industry as a whole.
  • by Synerg1y ( 2169962 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @03:05PM (#42218403)
    He whined, so MS would take notice and help him off-set his loss. Not the most ethical of practices, but seems to have worked.
  • by artfulshrapnel ( 1893096 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @03:51PM (#42218989)

    £10,000 is actually pretty reasonable. Assuming he's got... say... two programmers on staff, and they're good enough to demand industry standard wages? That's about 1-2 months of development and debugging, plus the costs of dev kits, testers, and software licenses.

    As near as I can tell, the big issue is that RT can't run the object oriented code favored by Android and iOS. Result is that large portions of any program would have to be completely refactored instead of simply converted and debugged.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Friday December 07, 2012 @06:23PM (#42220529)

    Snarkiness aside it's not Microsoft's fault that it's only on Windows RT.

    Microsoft has created a set of developer tools so that x86 and RT apps can be sold and used across all of your PCs seamlessly. This is Microsoft's pitch: buy an RT tablet and use it on all your computers.

    The game developer though sells his game *through a publisher* on Windows x86. So he's not allowed to sell it for both platforms. This wasn't a technological impediment it was a licensing one. So Microsoft--pushing a unified x86/RT universe failed to promote a game for him and give him free advertising since his game didn't align with their own goals of a great user experience where your applications run everywhere.

    I don't have a lot of sympathy that Microsoft didn't give random developer who I've never heard of free marketing and promotion. I see plenty of games on my surface being promoted by Microsoft? You're not one of them? Boo fucking hoo. Promotion space is a zero sum game. No matter what Microsoft does someone is going to fall from prominence in placement.

  • Wow, way to pick apart the strange post! The only thing I would add is even Adobe has abandoned mobile flash so I really wouldn't call having a soon to be dead flash port to be a "feature".

    And I have to wonder if this is some new twist on the classic shilling MSFT has been pushing for WinRT because I've noticed a couple of posts lately all over the place where they gush about the Surface and WinRT...while they talk about how they own an iPad. I don't know, is that supposed to give them "cred" somehow? that if an iPad owner who doesn't actually own a Surface brags about the Surface then it must be good?

    One thing is for sure, I'd hate to be handed the bill that MSFT must be racking up on the pro shilling as you can take a line from any of the real gushing WinRT or Win 8 posts, slap it into Google, and find that just like a spam email somebody has posted that word for word on dozens of tech sites across the web. Its like they think if they can turn the geeks around with shilling and astroturfing then Win 8 and RT won't be a VistaBomb.

    And believe me, I'm NOT the kind that uses words like shill and astroturf lightly, because I know you can find rabid fanbois for just about any product ever made, hell they have a fan club for the Zune. But when you can take a chunk of the text and find out like the Nigerian Prince it has been plastered all over the web? Then somebody is getting paid to do some serious product selling. You name the tech site, ZDNet,Slashdot, OSNews, The Reg, they are ALL seeing these posts over and over and over. Does MSFT think we are really THAT stupid? Or are they just hiring lazy ad companies that recycle too much?

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"