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Hit game makes £52 in first week on Windows RT

  • Great Big War Game
  • Great Big War Game

By David Bayon

Posted on 7 Dec 2012 at 14:30

Great Big War Game, a popular iOS and Android app, made only £52 in its first week on Windows RT.

Great Big War Game was a hit on iOS and sold more than 100,000 copies on Android. It costs £2.19 on Windows RT, where it has just three reviews - all giving it the maximum five stars.

In an angry blog post titled "Windows RT - Born to fail", UK-based developer Rubicon originally blamed Microsoft for the paltry sum and said it won't be bringing any more of its titles to the fledgling platform.

If other developers get this treatment, that store is going to look mighty bleak for a long time to come

However, Microsoft quickly got in touch with Rubicon to smooth things over, and the post was deleted and replaced with the following:

"If anyone already read this post, it has had a very positive effect and Microsoft have graciously decided work with us to iron out the problems and get us past this incident. With a sense of fair play, I’m putting my grumpiness on hiatus and deleting the juicy bits. Which was all of it, sorry."

The original post was more scathing. Rubicon claimed that "even whilst there’s almost nothing to promote, [Microsoft] will not feature our title for bizarre admin reasons". Rubicon said it appears Microsoft is refusing to promote it because the game is only available on ARM-based Windows RT devices, not those running on x86-based Windows 8.

"If you’re familiar with their new store, this means our app is forever consigned to the garbage bin, presumably earning us less than £52 a week in future." Rubicon points out it would take two years to recoup the £10,000 cost of porting the game at the current sales rate.

The picture has been rosier on other platforms, where independent developers such as Rubicon are given a "bit of a leg up" in competing with the bigger releases.

"Apple regularly promote our apps. Android regularly promote our apps. Even RIM (Blackberry) regularly promote our apps... Microsoft on the other hand clearly do not value us at all."

"If other developers get this treatment, that store is going to look mighty bleak for a long time to come. Please take this as a warning. I know I sound bitter and twisted and there’s a reason for that – I actually am. We have wasted a lot of time, resources and money on supporting this platform and all that happened was we got spat on."

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User comments

That was quick

Apparently, MS have been in touch with Rubicon...
***********************

Windows RT – Might work out at some point.

If anyone already read this post, it has had a very positive effect and Microsoft have graciously decided work with us to iron out the problems and get us past this incident.

With a sense of fair play, I’m putting my grumpiness on hiatus and deleting the juicy bits. Which was all of it, sorry.

By MattLevy on 7 Dec 2012

...and they picked their ball up and went home....

I think MS need to be promoting the key missing apps when they arrive on the Windows - games are a secondary issue. Besides, many people own devices on multiple platforms - if you own the game on Android or iOS, why would you pay for it again on another platform?

By everton2004 on 7 Dec 2012

Word

"Apple regularly promote our apps. Android regularly promote our apps. Even RIM (Blackberry) regularly promote our apps... Microsoft on the other hand clearly do not value us at all."

Do they promote EVERY app or do they single out specific titles? You have to be FAIR at the end of the day! Do you have to pay for specific titles to be pushed forward on the other platforms? No idea.

P.s. As I have a 64Gb Surface I'll go home and buy this app. Done.

By rhythm on 7 Dec 2012

@MattLevy

Thanks for the update there on this topic. Shame PC Pro hasn't, 'yet', updated.

By rhythm on 7 Dec 2012

Updated

That was very quick! Thanks for pointing that out, have updated to reflect the new post.

David

By DavidBayon on 7 Dec 2012

Offering a trial version might help sales if the game is as good as the reviews make out.

I like a bit of turn based strategy, so I have just bought it.

By AlphaGeeK on 7 Dec 2012

It is very unlikely I would pay for a game on Windows 8/RT or Windows Phone that is not xBox Live enabled. I won't be buying this for other reasons though...

It has been released on RT only - tiny install base so far. There is no trial!?!?! I'm not paying for anything unless there's a trial version. Realistically, how many people are there with a Surface RT and a willingness to buy an app with no trial version. 3 good reviews (I've just checked them, they're good too) don't mitigate the other factors in this app not selling.

This is non-story. I'm sure there are plenty of failed apps on iOS or Android.

By onegin101 on 7 Dec 2012

Other nice games:

Radiant
Radiant Defense (call it £4 after buying weapons)
iLomilo plus

Still having a look (It's difficult picking games when there's so many to choose from)

Maybe PC Pro could re-visit the Surface now that there's been a few nice performance updates?

Tip for Win8: Some may have noticed an app called 'Pin steam' for 99p. Ignore it. Install your application/app. When at the new UI type explorer and then Right click, Open file location. Drag your desktop shortcuts in there and then you can type/search and add to the new ui. No need to buy.

By rhythm on 7 Dec 2012

25 sales....

£52! That means *every* owner of a Windows RT device paid for the game, so what can they possibly complain about :)

By gbjbaanb on 8 Dec 2012

Own worst enemy

If they only developed for the ARM based RT tablets, they only really have themselves to blame. There are very few RT devices so far, 3, including the Surface? So the market is very limited.

In such a situation, I'm not really surprised that Microsoft don't push such "crippled" apps as hard as ones that run on all platforms that use WinRT (i.e. Windows 8 and Windows RT). The buyer gets much more value for their money.

Likewise, on my Windows Phone and Windows 8 laptop, I haven't bought any games, where I haven't been able to download and use a restricted demo version (something which is a huge plus point over iOS and Android, you download the demo version and if you like it, you buy it and it is opened up to the full version, nothing new to download and no double entries in the Store and your list of installed / purchased apps.

By big_D on 9 Dec 2012

@onegin101

Does W8 not have an app refund facility? You could try the app and return it if it's not suitable.

By TheHonestTruth on 10 Dec 2012

Publicity Stunt

This is either a shallow publicity stunt or an instance of extreme naivety. Windows RT has only just been released and most people have not even heard of it so it's completely obvious that sales will be feeble and this time. If this was being said a year from now it would be a reasonable complaint but I think a reality check is needed right now.

By Mark_Lawrence on 10 Dec 2012

@TheHonestTruth

Why bother with all of the hassle of trying to get a refund, when the store is designed to give users a free, restricted demo of the app.

Just because other app stores aren't so friendly, doesn't mean that developers coming from other platforms have to bring those unfriendly practices with them...

It is one of the features that is actually better implemented on Windows than iOS, OS X or Android.

By big_D on 10 Dec 2012

A bit of a non-event....

As has been widely pointed-out, the 'developer' needs to reconsider his marketing strategy.

I never buy any apps without first trying a test drive. No Trial version, no sale.

By wittgenfrog on 11 Dec 2012

Pathetic

This is a sad attention-grabbing toys out of pram spat from this developer. Every Microsoft registered developer has a number of contacts at Microsoft who will gladly engage with developers in topics such as promotion etc.

By drslothy on 13 Dec 2012

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