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World of Goo iPad sales twice as high as on Wii

Indie puzzle game pulls 125,000 sales in first month

Indie puzzle game World of Goo amassed 125,000 sales on iPad during its first month of release, developer 2D Boy has revealed.

The reworking of the two year old game for Apple's tablet has already outperformed its Wii and PC versions.

Claimed 2D Boy (aka Ron Carmel and Kyle Gabler) last night, "in comparison to the iPad version, World of Goo's best 31 day period on WiiWare was 68k copies (thanks to a mass mailing by Nintendo), and on Steam it was 97k copies (thanks to two promotions at discounted prices).

"What makes this even more amazing is that this is a two year old game released on a platform that is less than a year old. The iPad doesn't have the benefit of an install base built up over several years."

Having enjoyed buoyant sales (and a leap from #21 to #2 in the iPad App store chart) when halving the game's price to $5, 2D Boy was resistant to claims by other game companies (including Nintendo) that declining App Store prices was bad news for revenues.

"If a game earns 50% more revenue at a lower price point, it's a pure win situation as the developer makes more money and more people get to enjoy the game. And if those two things are true, does it really matter what the sale price is?"

However, lowering the price late in the day does not seem to have prevented long-term decline, the developer claims, and feels that "if we end up releasing an iPhone version we would need to sell it at a very low price point if we want it to be a top seller in the long run."

World of Goo's success may also have stemmed from an oversight by Apple that saw games promoted in iTunes during the week of December 16 stay prominent for twice as long, due to a Christmas content freeze. Getting featured in the first place was key.

"The only thing we could think of to increase the chances of getting featured was to build awareness of the upcoming release within Apple. We emailed the one person we knew there and were fortunate that the news was received with excitement. We sent them a pre-release build, got some great feedback, and continued to work closely and seek advice up until release."

While Gabler and Carmel agreed that App Store success remained a "lottery," they did "wonder whether, in the long run, it even matters who wins the PSN / WiiWare / XBLA race."

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Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.