Monday, March 25, 2013

More Fractal Combats !

Fractal Combat X has been out for a couple of months now, but I didn't write anything about it.

Can you guess ? It didn't go very well..
I'll write more in detail in a later post, but for now lets make a little logic game:

- FCX is much better looking than the 1.0 of FC (both in-game and UI)
- FCX is free, while FC was initially sold for $1.99 (now $0.99)

..therefore FCX should be loads more popular, right ?
But that wasn't the case.
For some reason, major mobile game review sites didn't bother talking about it, Apple itself didn't notice it and didn't put it in any sort of noteworthy section (not even where FC was placed at the time !).
Apple didn't even put it in a Flight Games section, where instead one can find things like Top Gun, which is rated at 2 and 1/2 stars.. famous title, never mind if it's a good game or not.
Unsurprisingly, FCX was reviewed and featured on Italian sites and even on a newspaper.. eh !
Anyhow, lack of marketing (resources) was the big problem for FCX.

One positive thing this test (let's call it that) is that the free-to-play model worked out decently. Although the game is rather generous and doesn't really beg users to purchase things, a few people do buy credits.
But the game should offer more purchasing options and, most importantly, it should be downloaded a lot more than this (187K times in 2 months and a half, with the downloads peak reached in the second week).

Another generally positive thing is the modest revenue coming from the free versions of the Final Freeway games. It's not much, but it's a big help to keep the business going.

Given that ads are working out well, we decided that our next Android game is going to be a free version of the first Fractal Combat . It's going to be with ads and optional In-App Purchase options to remove ads and to get additional content.
Unlockable features and content is not the best way to do freemium games, but the first FC wasn't meant to deal with virtual currency, and on the Android platform we're still working on the infrastructure to deal with these things.. namely, in a virtual currency setup, the user should be allowed to transfer the game status across devices (or on reinstall), and that requires some server storage, like iCloud, which is what I'm using on iOS.

FCX is based on virtual currency, so for the Android edition we'll have to come up with a solution. Which, if everything goes to plans, it should be the OpenKit system ...but it's not out yet.