John Bedford (Modojo): When Whale Trail launched in October 2011 it did so to critical acclaim, receiving comprehensive coverage in both the specialist and mainstream media. The game was lauded for its psychedelic visuals, simple yet compelling gameplay, and an infectious soundtrack from the typically eccentric Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys.
Yet despite all of the exposure and plaudits, the game failed to turn a profit for developer ustwo. Earlier this month the studio released a revised edition of the game on the App Store, introducing a freemium business model that tied into fundamental changes to Whale Trail's gameplay.
It led to a flood of negative reviews on the App Store, particularly from those who had purchased the game in its original form and who now face the choice of either playing the revised version, or abandoning the title entirely. Recently, we got in touch with Matt 'Mills' Miller, co-founder of ustwo, to discuss the changes made to the game, the fan reaction to the new Whale Trail, and the advice he'd give now to budding developers.