Gentlemen! Or, how our most successful game is also our least profitable.

Yann writes: "Without a doubt, Gentlemen! was one of the best-reviewed projects we have ever produced. We received a coveted 8/10 on Edge, 4.5 stars on Touch Arcade, and a 9/10 Gold Award on PocketGamer. This was totally brilliant, and we are so proud. It’s interesting to think about why we got such great reviews. Obviously it’s a game that we’re super proud of, and we think it’s amazing, but that’s not always enough to secure great critical acclaim.


So! Great reviews? Check. How does this translate into sales? So far we have sold 1,114 copies on iPad, and 144 copies on Android."

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Smoovekid1729d ago

It is terrible when someone works hard on a game and people just steal it.

sinncross1729d ago

Man... that really sucks >.<

They should look to bringing this to a gaming device, maybe they will have a little more success (I mean just for this game due to what has happened), spread out where they can make money from.

cleft51729d ago

It really is horrible, hopefully when indie games start coming out on the PS4 and Xbox One they can get more sales for their games. Closed platforms do have their advantages, I just hope that indie games continue to come out on the PC as well.

papashango1729d ago

this game is nowhere to be found. If they wanted to sell the game instead of writing articles about how much it's been pirated they should give it some exposure. I spent a minute looking for it on google and gave up.

Who's to say the only reason it sold was due to some of those pirates buying it.

kreate1729d ago (Edited 1729d ago )

If they would of released this game on a console, it would of sold a few hundred within the first 5 mins of its release.

A few thousand within the first few days.

ZodTheRipper1729d ago

1. Re-Release as PS4 exclusive
2. ???
3. Profit

Bimkoblerutso1728d ago


That's ridiculous. Let's just assume that every copy of the game that was sold was by someone who first pirated it (which almost surely is not the case, but for the sake of argument).

You see nothing wrong with a 50,000:144 ratio?

Perhaps they do need to work on advertising and exposure, but that is in no way a justification for piracy...ever. Especially not for a friggin FIVE DOLLAR INDIE GAME.

HammadTheBeast1728d ago

The game's a 2-player local multiplayer game for tablets/devices 7" or larger.

Not exactly what you'd call a "broad" audience.

papashango1728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

The only market exposure this game has and will ever get is this article.

Then try and say piracy killed it.

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grailly1729d ago

it must be horrible for the developers, but in this case, when the game is pirated to this extent, you might think that it was badly priced.

SatanSki1729d ago

It is. Judging by the video the gameplay is pretty awfull and dull. Probably wouldnt play it even for free and the fact that it was pirated 50k times doesnt mean people are actually playing it.

SilentNegotiator1729d ago (Edited 1729d ago )

I just skimmed the blog:

$5, local multiplayr only (and the game is ALL multiplayer), actual sales are "1,114 copies on iPad, and 144 copies on Android"...uhhh, so I guess I'm not surprised. Glad I read the Gamasutra blog; it put my mind at ease knowing that my idea, unlike this one, is not doomed to do that bad (pending proper marketing) and that he sold WAY more than the supposed 144 copies.

Anon19741729d ago (Edited 1729d ago )

It doesn't matter the price. Our last game was priced initially at 0.99, and there was a free demo version available. In the first couple the free and paid version were hardly touched, but we could see from our tracking that tens of thousands of copies had been pirated (96% of active copies on Android were pirated). When we looked at the region specific data, Russia and China were up there for piracy but the bulk of the pirated copies came from English speaking countries.

Our latest game, Vex Blocks, has since been nominated for a couple of different awards and was positively reviewed for the most part. After a few bugs were ironed out, user feedback has been almost 100% positive so it's not like there's something wrong with our game. So it's not the price point because you couldn't charge any lower, and there was a free version available. It's just people on mobile, specifically with Android, would rather pirate the full version than pay a buck or try the free version.

Even though I know those aren't lost sales, when 96% of people would rather pirate your game, that means that you really only have 4-5% of the entire market on which to make enough to pay your bills. And had those pirates just tried the free version to see if they liked the game, we could have at least benefited from the downloads in terms if visibility. If all those pirates had tried the free version, it would have helped us because we would have had a chance to chart and increase our game's visibility.

Our company is hoping to make the leap to console if we can nail down the investment capital we need. Mobile developer, as Sony pointed out a few days ago, is akin to playing the lottery. Pirates have reduced the market to a complete wasteland, and then people complain about the quality of apps out there. They really don't need to look very far to find out why developers are simply churning out titles and hoping something sticks rather then putting the time and effort into crafting better titles.

The sad fact is due to piracy, the money to be made in mobile is in quantity, not quality. We've been cautioned by other mobile developers the only way to succeed is once you have a game, reskin it and release as many copies as you can. It's the only way to make any money at all due to the piracy problem.

zeroskie1728d ago


I sympathize with you, sir, but honestly what are you going to do about the pirates? There's not really a good solution except to try to draw in legit customers.

FYI, I buy games from iTunes all the time, but there's no way I would immediately invest $5 after seeing your trailer. Recently, I paid 0.99 for Infinity Blade I and II, got Lost Winds for free and Horn for 0.99. You can't deny those are all quality, original, games (rather than quantity) for cheaper. Just saying.

Anon19741728d ago (Edited 1728d ago )

@zeroskie. No one is asking you to pay $4.99 for our game. It's free and you have to work to unlock all game modes, or you could pay 1.99 for the full, unlocked version. But that's beside the point. Infinity Blade can afford to charge $0.99 cents for both titles, they made almost 2 million the first four days their first game released. We're just a self funded indie, trying to bring the best games we can to the mobile market place.

Of course there's some great content out there. How can you not have gems on the app store out of the 900,000 titles currently available, when there are studios out there investing millions in their apps? You ask what we're going to do about pirates?

I told you what most mobile developers are doing, they're either ignoring the problem or churning out multiple versions of the same game. Or, the lucky ones are buying their way to the top of the charts where visibility can bring in enough paying users to make it worthwhile. According to a recent Venturebeat article, $96,000 should buy your way to the top of the ios charts, in the US at least. Sometimes, the odd one will win the lottery and their game will go viral, but the rest of us do what we have to do to feed our families just in case the big win isn't coming. Pirates are actively shrinking the potential customer base, and that just makes it all the more difficult. It's why we're currently trying to get out of mobile gaming into console gaming, but for that you need investors and those aren't just falling off trees.

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SilentNegotiator1729d ago

I've been working on an Android/iOS game for the last couple months, so seeing one of these sorts of article every couple weeks is really disheartening.

mydyingparadiselost1729d ago

Ignore releasing in Russia or China and make sure not to release with the same name as a pop song and you'll be fine :)

kreate1729d ago

Can u let us know what the name is?

I would love to support a game made by one of the n4g users.

coolasj1729d ago

Just giving your game exposure right will do you wonders. When you release on either of those markets, I have both devices, I sure as hell won't be able to find your game easily.

Indies really need to start reaching out more.

N4g_null1729d ago

Hey silent think about making it have ads just incase it does not connect to your server with in 15 days. Or make it free to play with ad support. Dont forget to make it fun!

SilentNegotiator1729d ago (Edited 1729d ago )

That's the plan; f2p with ad support and a premium version for a buck or two. Nothing too annoying, but maybe a banner on the bottom and a short ad screen in between with a friendly message asking for the support by clicking an ad. I've never liked the F2P model, but it seems to be necessary on the mobile scene these days.

I really appreciate that, but I would like to keep my N4G account anonymous and giving away the title from this account would risk losing that anonymity.

grailly1729d ago

good luck with that. I'm really afraid of releasing content into the wild like that, even for the greatest content there's always a risk it'll go unnoticed.

miyamoto1729d ago

bring your game inside PlayStation eco system where gamers actually buy games. I see that trend has benefitted many indie developers

starchild1728d ago

Yeah, it's sad. People need to buy their games. The talented people making our games deserve to be fairly compensated.

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kenshiro1001729d ago

I agree. I hate when people steal from others like that.

PSN-JeRzYzFyNeSt1729d ago

and that is why PC and MAc are so great right? and thats why PC get no exclusives.. and thats why i never heard of this game and im about to go check it out

the worst1728d ago

thats the all mighty PC and Mobile machine

SynGamer1728d ago

I've never even heard of the game...

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Godchild10201729d ago

There is always the PlayStation network and XBLA.

user74029311729d ago

blame the recession. there are hardly any jobs.

jesse ventura 2016.

1729d ago