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 Great Big War Game  makes $83 in first week on Windows RT
Great Big War Game makes $83 in first week on Windows RT
December 7, 2012 | By Mike Rose

December 7, 2012 | By Mike Rose
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Design

The studio behind mobile hit Great Big War Game has criticized the Windows RT platform, noting that in its first week on sale, their flagship game made just £52 ($83) in sales on the platform in its first week.

Great Big War Game has been available for iOS and Android since earlier this year, with sales on Android topping 100,000. The studio decided to port the game over to the Windows RT platform, for use on the newly-released Microsoft Surface tablet.

However, in a blog post on its official website, Rubicon's Paul Johnson noted that he "will not be working with Microsoft again to bring any of our titles, old or new, to this platform."

This is because the game has made just $83 in its first week on sale, thanks in part to a lack of promotion from Microsoft, claims Johnson.

"Apple regularly promote our apps. Android regularly promote our apps. Even RIM (Blackberry) regularly promote our apps," he says. "We enjoy working with those companies and it's nice to see them acknowledge that we bring them some small amount of additional value to their setup. Firms our size need a bit of a leg up, and we go out of our way to show our gratitude to the above for helping us out in this way from time to time."

He continues, "Microsoft on the other hand clearly do not value us at all. Even whilst there's almost nothing to promote, they will not feature our title for bizarre admin reasons. And this is whilst their store is empty and they need developers like us to fill their store far more than developers like us need them to pay us £50 a week."

Johnson also noted that even if this rate of sales is sustained, it will take two years to recoup the £10,000 ($16,000) porting costs.

[UPDATE: Johnson has now deleted his original blog post, noting that Microsoft has been in touch with him.

"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," he explains.]

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Devin McCamey
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As an indie, I'm taking this as a sign. I'm going to stay away from this platform; at least for now.

Paulo Ferreira
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To be fair, I reached 160.000 downloads on iOS and NEVER was promoted (it's not a game), so, not being promoted isn't a excuse for leaving a platform. But I agree with them about the few downloads..

Evan Combs
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Along those lines, not everyone gets featured on iOS or Google. Just because you were featured on those platforms doesn't mean you have a right to be featured on Microsofts. Does it suck sure, but maybe they view other stuff as more important especially since it is a brand new platform. To me this kind of reeks of elitism. They have had some success elsewhere, so they expect to get special treatment over there, when they don't get it they throw a tantrum. I know that getting that exposure can be the difference between success and failure, but sometimes the dice just don't roll your way. Instead of throwing a fit about it you should realize what market you are in, and consider yourself lucky that you got exposure on those other platforms.

Paulo Ferreira
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Evan Combs: Exactly! That's what I wanted to say, but better written :)

Thank you

TC Weidner
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so if this company doesnt get an unfair advantage, its taking its ball and going home, see ya..

Devin McCamey
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I was more referring to the much smaller user base on W8 than any of the mobile platforms. Sure, it's still in it's infancy, but that's why I'm hesitant to pour too many resources into it.

I have no problem putting a game out on a platform in it's infancy, but only ones that I believe firmly will grow. I don't believe the W8 platform will get big enough.

TC Weidner
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so a half a billion users estimated by next year is too small?

Bram Stolk
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And guess what... whining has helped:
"Microsoft have graciously decided work with us"

Now what would be really interesting to see, is: what are the nrs going to be after the MSFT promotion. I wonder if they will publish the nrs, or they are not allowed to do so in their promo deal with MSFT.

Paul Johnson
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No numbers to share, Bram.

We're now on Windows 8 along with RT, after securing the rights to do that back from our PC publisher. Who would've guessed there was actually a reason for going RT only huh....

Anyway, it hasn't helped. As originally ranted, we won't be wasting time on this platform again in future.

Michael Zehnich
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Apparently they edited the post this article links to as it now says Microsoft has "graciously decided to work with them". It was just a week, and it's a new platform... did they ever think it could be growing pains and not some intentional slight? Maybe MS has more important things to attend to then make sure some small game studio has their game immediately featured? To me it sounds like they whined and made a big fuss, got their way, then edited away their tantrum. Immature IMO.

Denzil Long
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So disheartening. *sigh*...

Lets keep in mind just how common this story is EVEN in the iOS and Android markets. Think about how many reports we have read that show how VERY hard it is to get seen and make any "real" money. It might not help that the majority of apps are complete crap, which increases the noise level that a good app must raise above to get users attention.

Given the lack of apps for the Surface I would have expected better results for any good app. I REALLY like the Surface and I use mine every day, but I have to admit that Microsoft is really falling short promoting the Surface and giving developers a reason to invest in it. Currently I can count on 1 hand the number of "good" games for the Surface RT.

Mats S
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The blog content is now changed, apparently they're now happy. Too bad crying like this helps..

Ted Howard
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I think I know exactly what Microsoft said to get Rubicon to retract their post: "Try compiling your app for x86 instead of just ARM."

Maybe they also said something about featuring the game in the Store, but uh ... my system "Doesn't meet minimum system requirements" for the app and it therefore doesn't show up in the Store app except with a direct link (ie. Search and Browse don't list it). I can't think of what minimum requirements I'm missing unless it's CPU architecture. I also don't know the mix of x86 vs ARM Win8 machines, but I'm guessing that ARM doesn't count for much at all.

That's my guess, along with the obvious "There aren't many Win8 users yet at all."

Marc Schaerer
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Its not about Win8, its about Win8RT which is a pretty major fail port as the devices have not been sold in many countries at all (OEM devices have not yet launched or just this week, the surface is not available outside USA and 4 or 5 other countries at all) and ran out of its few hundred k stock immediately.
Most that bought it bought it for productivity reasons (read that as Office on the go, not Apples / Googles laughable alternatives), so for games its at the time the worst platform you could target.

they should have targeted Win8 modern (or Win8+Win8RT instead of ARM) or WP7+, both would have had a hell a better take off than the extremely slowly roling Win8RT train.

Jonathan Chan
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Are we seriously rewarding this kind of cry baby behaviour? It's painful to watch people throw public tantrums then simply retract their statement because they got what they wanted for their birthday. This is childish and ridiculous.

Chris Hendricks
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Granted, it's a bit whiny... but if you're selling thousands per week on one platform, and are making a whopping $83 on another (despite the fact that there are supposedly millions of people using it), there's reason to believe that something's not quite right on Microsoft's side.

Sherman Luong
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Also keep in mind, many of us devs have limited resources, to put forth time and effort even in creating a port is opportunity lost for some other project.

I am not saying antics are right or wrong but anyone would be a little mad putting time and money and netting so little in return.

Not saying this Win8 MS team is bad, but traditionally MS console side for those near the bottom of the totem pole are treated very very poorly. So it goes both ways.

Jeremy Alessi
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Squeaky wheel meet oil...

William Johnson
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I don't know if we should be complaining about complaining. Microsoft doesn't exactly have a track record of helping the little guy all that well. Take as an example of Team Meats experience with Microsoft when developing Super Meat Boy from Indie Game: The Movie.

A bit childish, sure. But if you want Microsoft to actually help you, sometimes you got to shame them publicly before they do something about it.

After all, Microsoft is all about developers developers developers. Right Ballmer?

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