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Submitted by Rearden 900d ago | news

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." (Android, iPad, iPhone, Mobile)

Smoovekid  +   900d ago | Well said
It is terrible when someone works hard on a game and people just steal it.
sinncross  +   900d 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.
cleft5  +   900d 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.
papashango  +   900d 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.
kreate  +   900d 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.
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ZodTheRipper  +   900d ago
1. Re-Release as PS4 exclusive
2. ???
3. Profit
Bimkoblerutso  +   900d 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.
HammadTheBeast  +   900d 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.
papashango  +   899d 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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grailly  +   900d 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.
SatanSki  +   900d 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.
SilentNegotiator  +   900d 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.
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Anon1974  +   900d 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.
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zeroskie  +   900d 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.
Anon1974  +   899d 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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SilentNegotiator  +   900d 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.
mydyingparadiselost  +   900d 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 :)
kreate  +   900d ago
Can u let us know what the name is?

I would love to support a game made by one of the n4g users.
coolasj  +   900d 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_null  +   900d 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!
SilentNegotiator  +   900d 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.
#1.3.5 (Edited 900d ago ) | Agree(6) | Disagree(0) | Report
grailly  +   900d 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.
miyamoto  +   900d ago
bring your game inside PlayStation eco system where gamers actually buy games. I see that trend has benefitted many indie developers
starchild  +   900d ago
Yeah, it's sad. People need to buy their games. The talented people making our games deserve to be fairly compensated.
kenshiro100  +   900d ago
I agree. I hate when people steal from others like that.
PSN-JeRzYzFyNeSt  +   900d 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
RyuCloudStrife  +   900d ago
Yeah that's a shame...
the worst  +   900d ago
thats the all mighty PC and Mobile machine
SynGamer  +   900d ago
I've never even heard of the game...
ghoh1  +   900d ago
Godchild1020  +   900d ago
There is always the PlayStation network and XBLA.
user7402931  +   900d ago
blame the recession. there are hardly any jobs.

jesse ventura 2016.
ashahab861   900d ago | Spam
Foxgod  +   900d ago
Most of them where pirated in china and russia....
SilentNegotiator  +   900d ago
Go figure. The Chinese have zero shame when it comes to stealing non-Chinese IPs and Russia probably doesn't have means to easily buy legally, like he said.
ashahab861   900d ago | Spam
AceBlazer13  +   900d ago
Dem pc elitists at their finest.
SatanSki  +   900d ago
Having complexes?
Corpser  +   900d ago
Android gamers are pc elitists now?
AceBlazer13  +   900d ago
Cause the average mobile gamer even knows a thing about "Indies" or pirating.
come_bom  +   900d ago
Too bad it's an article about the Android version of the game... ignorant console "elitist".
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sorane  +   900d ago
Learn to read. Guess your eyes are bad from looking at those low res graphics.
#8.4 (Edited 900d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
TheGrimReaper0011  +   900d ago
Wow. Okay, I will not lie and say, I do pirate a game or two.
But indie games? They cost no more than 10 or 20 dollars!
Are you serious?!
Besides, most games I pirate is to test the game.
I pirated Borderlands 2, Skyrim, Far Cry 3, Sonic Generations
I now own all these games legally, because I thought they were worth my money
But indie games? Really? These people already have trouble with money as it is. Most times, they only get one shot!
I_am_Batman  +   900d ago
If you are unsure if you like the game or not why don't you just rent it before downloading a 10 or even 20GB file on your computer? I honestly don't believe you when you say that you buy your games when you've liked them but if it's true you're one of very few people that do it this way. A friend of mine always uses the same reason to justify the illegal downloads but he never buys a game even if he liked it.
ssj27  +   900d ago
Maybe he will in a future, I will always approve piracy.

Most games are over priced.
Most gamers have no money and should be able to enjoy a game.
Most of the time the corporation are the ones that get rich and most money goes to them, not the devs.
Most games just need to sale enough to make a profit.

It's just a balance, those who can buy and feel like is worthy to spend their hard worked money into it let them buy the game and those who don't want to or can't, who cares? They will not buy the game in the first place any ways.

My ps2 era was 95% of pirated games, my PS3 era I will say 100% original games but buying a gane used for me is like doing piracy so.

My points are fair and non privacy does not equal more sales but more people who will enjoy the hard work someone did.
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TheGrimReaper0011  +   900d ago
Thing is, I would do that, but where I live, renting games is not allowed anymore. I can use a service from another country, but that would cost even more. Besides, I don't know alot of PC games you can rent.
And yeah, I know alot of people would just continue to pirate a game. But its the honest truth. I only pirate a game, so I can try it to my heart content and only buy if I feel its worth my time and money.
Demo's are usually too short or there is no demo at all!
I already got disagrees before when I mentioned this, but the thing is, not everyone can afford to waste 30 - 60 dollars on a game that in the end isn't worth it.
That's what people also like to forget! We dont have Gamefly or shops where you can rent games =(
Because I also understand. If everyone starts pirating, the games industry would crash.
Developers wont make games that nobody buys, but instead pirate games.
If it's a good game, I wanna support it and it's developers.
I know that it may be hard to believe, but it's the truth
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I_am_Batman  +   900d ago
@ssj27: Pretty much everything you said is wrong. Most games are overpriced? You can get most games for around $50 day one. That isn't overpriced in my opinion. But that's pretty subjective. You can see it as an offer. If it is to expensive for you then don't buy it right away. Buy it when the price drops. The piracy won't help the price eihter. If anything games become more expensive the more piracy there is.

"Most gamers have no money and should be able to enjoy a game."

Really? So what gives them the right to play a game for free that devs worked hard for several years on and others have spent their hard earned money on? Next time I want to see a movie I'll just go into the cinema and watch a movie for free cause I don't have much money and should be able to enjoy a movie right. Or I'll steal a car cause everybody should be able to drive a car no matter how much money he has.

If people do not have enough money to spend on games they can still play free to play games.

Yeah the publishers get most of the money but they are the ones that gives the devs the money to make great games. If you pirate a game neither the publisher nor the developer gets anything from that.

"and those who don't want to or can't, who cares? They will not buy the game in the first place any ways. "

Again. If they don't buy the game anyways then they can't claim the right to play the game. Easy as that.

Buying a game used is not like piracy cause someone already paid for it. It is hard to explain the difference when you don't seem to understand the basics of economy.
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HappyWithOneBubble  +   900d ago
This is why I get sick of PC nerds bragging about their stupid PC specs and graphics but don't actually buy the games they clam is so better on their all mighty PC. Then they get made when some games don't come to PC. If it wasn't for consoles a lot of game companies would have been went bankrupted.
Seafort  +   900d ago
Yeah that's the fault of PC gamers around the world.

$20 billion revenue says otherwise.

Consoles have actually increased the cost of game development over the years and resulted in development studios going bust because they couldn't afford to carry on making games for the consoles.

PC game development is actually alot cheaper as there is no one to charge them licensing fees or for dev kits just to put their game on the platform.
I_am_Batman  +   900d ago
Developing for PC is indeed much easier as of now but the piracy problem is much bigger there too. To say that the PC gamers are to blame is total bs though. If it would've been as easy to pirate games on consoles as it is on PC we would've have the same problems with consoles.

I think the development on consoles for next gen will become much easier but I fear that we'll have more piracy on next gen consoles as well.
Azfargh  +   900d ago
Quite true dude. Consoles are dictating... which is a good and a bad thing, concomitantly.

But I'll never leave my Starcraft 2 passion... or the good old Counter-Strike on PC.
Corpser  +   900d ago
This has nothing to do with PCs, read the article
Seafort  +   900d ago
This is primarily a tablet game for android/iOS for $5 so go blame them.

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

Most indies on PC do very well especially when they are released on steam/desura.
When released on consoles they don't seem to do too well.

Most console gamers like flashy graphics and all out action and that's the complete opposite for a lot of indie titles.
DinoNYC  +   900d ago
All the more reason for indie games to develop for consoles.
Godlovesgamers  +   900d ago
Id like to know how the dev knows the exact number of pirate downloads exactly. Sorry if i wont simply take someone's word for it.
mt  +   900d ago
this news always sad and not good for indies future gaming.
cyclindk  +   900d ago
Guess smallish devs would benefit from always online DRM.. IDK, really stinks, but I will say that it isn't necessarily indicative of what the game might have sold if there were no pirates. It just means that people who otherwise would not have played it at all because they didn't like it enough to purchase it at least played it and will perhaps purchase a legit copy someday.
spektical  +   900d ago
people have different philosophies on the term sharing.

Just because the law says its illegal doesnt mean the concept of "pirating" is wrong. Which in many case is just sharing. Once your selling that copy, well now thats illegal.

I have no problem with this. Tough luck, I played the game myself, paid for it actually. Great game. I recommend it.
truewittness  +   900d ago
I thought this was what most "gamers" on the internet wanted. NO DRM. No DRM leads to piracy and the developer not getting what he worked hard for. DRM leaves all money in the hands of the developer. Yeah, we can't resell the games we bought but digital content is an experience and it doesn't break down like a product. The quality stays the same like the first time you bought it.

But this case...this case is the exception...right?
Megaton  +   900d ago
It's not on Steam. Why would you expect anything else? Give people the access they crave, and the money will come.
InTheLab  +   900d ago
I'm sure all those pirates are just demoing the game/sarcasm....
hollabox  +   900d ago
And people wonder why game companies fail
Bobertt  +   900d ago Its only $5 guys who the fuck that broke.
Agent_hitman  +   900d ago
That's the good thing about close platform like Consoles, the piracy is minimal.
sorane  +   900d ago
The 900,000 people that pirated Gears of War 3 would disagree :P Or the 1.2+million who pirated Super Mario Galaxy 2, or etc etc etc I could go on for days. I don't know anyone who would think $60 million as "minimal"
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GentlemenRUs  +   900d ago
Ah well, Life sucks half the time :(

Some people out there have no shame!
#23 (Edited 900d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
cunnilumpkin  +   900d ago
not to be a dick but,

" it's a 2-player head-to-head Victorian dueling game for tablets. Two players required, local multiplayer only."

the fact you got 1000 sales is a miracle

this is an extremely niche title that doesn't lend itself to mass sales

had you bothered to code an ai to duel against maybe you would have gotten 3000 sales if you were lucky

but it doesn't look or sound particularly interesting at all

sorry, just giving honest feedback based on initial impressions
kostchtchie_  +   900d ago
Exactly, well said mate, it sucks that people pirated there indie game, but plenty of indie game do really well, this game was just not that interesting enough to warrant buying, but i am sure people will over look these details you posted
#24.1 (Edited 900d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
coolasj  +   900d ago
Only legitimizing Shahid Ahmad's claim : "If you want to play the lottery, then putting a game on iOS is more like that,". Gonna be brutally honest, this is why DRM and dedicated platforms exist. DRM can be as simple as not allowing unsigned packages, Vita, and if this game was on a dedicated game console, it would have been covered along with everything else that releases during the week.
meday354  +   900d ago
Going to check this game out.
kostchtchie_  +   900d ago
make sure you have friend

" it's a 2-player head-to-head Victorian dueling game for tablets. Two players required, local multiplayer only."
Tiqila  +   900d ago
ios and android games, couldnt care less
M1chl  +   900d ago
I would like to buy it, but none of my device are compatible. I have S2, S3, S4 and Nexus 4 a I can't download it from PlayStore. How do you expect good sales, when game isn't compatible with most of the best selling Android handsets?
Knushwood Butt  +   900d ago
Mobile / IOS gaming seems to be the latest white elephant. Sure, you can hit the jackpot, but the vast majority seem to be reaping few rewards.
mmj  +   899d ago
Try to think up a better name, "Gentlemen!" sounds like some seedy Japanese porn game.. first impressions count.

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