Cornfox & Bros. and publisher FDG Entertainment’s Oceanhorn has been an anomaly in the rise of free-to-play games on the App Store: it’s one of the few attempts at making a grand-scale game on iOS and priced at an $8.99 cost that few others have dared to try. The game’s launch saw it rocket to #1 in the paid app charts and in the top 10 of the top grossing apps, bolstered not just by its App Store Editor’s Choice but by a pre-release hype cycle that’s rarely seen for mobile games.
Oceanhorn‘s price risk has paid off: the game recouped its production cost in less than a week, seemingly showing that the kind of games with high production values and premium price points can succeed on the App Store. Thomas Kern, Executive Producer of Oceanhorn at FDG Entertainment, spoke to me about the game’s success at its price point.
148Apps: Why launch at $8.99, and that price point specifically? $6.99 has been a more typical “high” price for games on the App Store, and $9.99 is a more “round” number – so why $8.99? Was launching at a premium price point the plan all throughout development? Thomas Kern (TK): We’re not setting prices on trends or from a psychological “round number” point of view. The launch price is related to the production cost and quality of the game. We got lots of emails and feedback about the price and it was all positive. People felt it was the right price and the game has done tremendously well at $8.99. We’re very happy about the success of the game.
148Apps: Was there ever any thought to making the game free-to-play, or incorporating a hybrid model like what Infinity Blade uses? TK:The plan for this game was always to go the traditional premium route, something players are used to from game consoles or handhelds. Oceanhorn is a loving tribute to games we enjoyed in our childhood and we see it as a fan-service to offer the full experience without additional costs.
148Apps: The game was bolstered by Apple’s featuring of Oceanhorn as an Editor’s Choice – do you feel like the game would have done as well without this? TK: When we launched the game it immediately shot up the charts, before Apple even featured it. It was great to see that Apple agreed with many happy users that this game is a milestone in iOS gaming so they featured it very prominently and supported the game’s launch the best way they could. It seems Apple really appreciates efforts like this, after all, Oceanhorn‘s development time was over 2 years!
148Apps: What about the long-term prospects of the game? Can the game continue to succeed at $8.99? TK: It does! We see very healthy sales and we’ve recouped the investment in less than a week. For us and the development team, the game is already a great success.
There is no sale to be expected, Oceanhorn will stay at $8.99 but we’ll add more content to it in 2014 so the value will become even better.
148Apps: Do you think that other games can succeed at high price points? Do you believe that Oceanhorn changed anything with the market? TK: We’ve been contacted by many people in the industry and they’ve been surprised about the success despite the high price point. Especially because the production cost was recouped really quickly. Oceanhorn definitely proves that premium games are not dead and it’s a viable business. We can’t beat some insanely successful Free2Play game revenues, but that was not our plan. Healthy revenues don’t require a position in Top 10 Grossing.
Across Age 2 will be journeying its way to the App Store this Winter, bringing fans of 2D retro RPGs. It’s the sequel to FDG Entertainment‘s action-rpg that originally released on the App Store in January 2010.
Across Age 2 will feature around 20 hours of gameplay that includes puzzles, 4 playable characters, lots of action, spells, bosses, and a large world to experience. You can also check out the first gameplay trailer below!
Posted by Andrew Stevens on March 26th, 2013 iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Today only, players can download Captain Antarctica for free. In our review, Jennifer Allen says, “The cute stylization of everything particularly lends itself to family gaming but anyone with a love of endless running but a craving for level progression will enjoy this pleasant journey.”
“Twas the night before Christmas, and up in the sky not a creature was stirring, not even a fly. When all of a sudden, with a bright flash of red, a present did land on poor Kribbl’s head!”
So begins the story of Beyond Ynth Xmas Edition, a holiday version of the popular iOS physics puzzler, Beyond Ynth. The original has gamers help Kribi, an industrious ant, as ants are wont to be, create paths to bring light to his home world of Kriblonia. The Christmas edition is back in the App Store for free. Only for the holidays, however, after which it will vanish again, at least until next year.
The game features five exclusive Christmas levels, and tells a new side-story which reveals itself through successful gameplay. The challenging and refined physics puzzles make this a great free virtual stocking stuffer, but be forewarned, while cute, this game is hard. It’s not the best pick for little gamers, but seasoned puzzlers will enjoy the challenge and holiday wrapping.
Blue Defense: Second Wave! Cat in a Box Games is back at it with a sequel to their hugely poplar Blue Defense game from 2008. It is up to you to defend the Blue planet from those obnoxiously evil Red and Green enemies. Packed with a new Gauntlet mode, leaderboards, level select, 24 enemy types, and 64 levels will keep you busy for a long time. This pick-up and play Editor’s Choice game has been destroying free time for gamers all over; it is your time to see what the hype is all about.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-09-30 :: Category: Games
BIT.TRIP BEAT Namco has decided it was high time to take the game of Pong, fuse it together with interactive beats, put a pretty coat of paint on it all, and push it out to iOS devices. You decide if tilt controls work best, or if you like touching the screen as you move a paddle up and down to bounce beats back to where they came from. Crazy scores, fun retro visuals, and four-player action make this a splendid addition to your gaming collection.
iPad Only App - Designed for the iPad
Released: 2010-09-30 :: Category: Games
Across Age HD FDG Entertainment is taking gamers back to the 16-bit era with this 2D action adventure RPG style game. Not to be forgotten, real environmental puzzles bring on a bit of the nostalgia that took the SNES by storm. Choose from two switchable characters to fight off the enemies and solve puzzles in a game boasting a 15-hour playtime. If you have been missing your SNES, venture over to the App Store and check out this throwback to a classical era.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-03-25 :: Category: Games
FlightBoard – Live Flight Departure and Arrival Status Turn your iDevice into a classic Arrival and Departure board reminiscent of the Charles de Gaulle Airport. This app covers 4,000 airports with 1,400 airlines worldwide. Instantly search for flights, easily switch between departure and arrival, and enjoy updates every 5 minutes. If you spend a lot of time doing the airport shuffle, this app just might be the time saver you need as you do the Gate Transfer Marathon.
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2010-09-28 :: Category: Travel
PlainText – Dropbox text editing Sometimes you just need a simple, distraction free, and uncomplicated text editor to get your work done. Hog Bay Software has a free app that will allow you to connect to your Dropbox account, and then edit, or create, simple .txt files. All that hard work saves in a UTF8 encoded file for easy sharing regardless of your OS or word processor of choice. Simplicity can be a good thing at times.
This is a cutely drawn game, and although it isn't as addictive as other games out there, the uniqueness factor coupled with game music that you won't be able to get enough of, make it a winner. The price really seals the deal folks!
I don’t know if this problem has hit your village as of yet, but Flight Control is (still) haunting my dreams. Ever since Christine Morris put five stars on the review I’ve been hooked. I admit, the day I hit 100, I thought that I was the best in the world… and boy, was I wrong.
My feeling of invincibility was dashed after I was sent a youtube link (watch it here) of a guy landing 6000 planes in a row. 6000! Every morning now I wake up screaming, “6000! No way!”, leaving the people I live with in a constant state of panic. In light of this, I am attempting to move on to something that will redirect my focus, in turn giving me a whole new set of nightmare inducing dreams.
Just this morning, I found what could be the answer to my call. The game is called Parachute Panic, and it may just have the slick style/substance that I have been searching for. Parachute Panic, made by FDG Entertainment (known for the Bobby Carrot series), looks fantastic, even in its alleged “early alpha” build. Check out the video, watch it in Hi-Def, and tell me, honestly, if you think my sleepless nights will be coming to an end.
According to the developer, the game should appear on the app store late May/early June. Enjoy!