Apparently Nobody Is Paying For This Great Game

Punch Quest has been downloaded over a half a million times. But RocketCat Games, the indie developers who made it, tells Pocket Gamer that “almost none” of the gamers who downloaded the free-to-play iOS app have coughed up cash.

“Free games can usually expect one per cent of people to buy anything,” Punch Quest designer Kepa Auwae told Pocket Gamer. “We’re way, way under that. Maybe 0.1 per cent”.

The reasons for this range from an unassuming in-app purchase system to, well, the fact that the game seems to have no pay wall whatsoever. For players, that’s great. For those trying to make a living, it’s probably not so great.

That doesn’t mean, as Pocket Gamer points out, RocketCat is giving up: an update is planned, which *should* help with cash flow.

“As a paid app, we would have made much more money, but we wouldn’t have been nearly as visible or gotten even close to as many downloads,” said Auwae.

“Other than the ‘it’s making no money to speak of’ part, we’re thrilled”.

‘Almost nobody’ is paying for critically acclaimed Punch Quest [Pocket Gamer]


    I feel so bad now... Once I finish exams and start working I'll make sure to chuck something their way. It's sad that in this case the lack of a paywall is devestating them

      Financially. O_o Yeah I'm on my phone and I have fat thumbs.

    "the app we released for free isn't earning much money, oh worries me"

      I'm sure you're being funny and you're aware that free apps have the potential to earn much more than paid apps through in-app purchases. :)

      This just shows that they didn't understand how to properly monetise their game. I hope they've learnt a bit more and the update boosts their conversion rate. Having that install base isn't a bad thing, and if the update works out they could still end up in a much better position than if they went paid from the start.

    No use whinging about no one wanting to buy their game.

    Its harsh, but this is a failure in game design.

      Not really. I see it as a failure in game design when you NEED to use IAP to finish a game, its one of the worst systems/options to ever hit gaming in my opinion. What they did wrong was release a free game and hope people would buy stuff to finish it.

      In the end it was their greed that got them - sell millions of free games and take a chance to make a lot more cash via IAP or sell less copies for instant money?

    Release it for $3 on Android.

    This is why i still say lite games are the better option if you want to make money. Give them a taste. get them hooked. make them buy.

      thats exactly what kairosoft do

      release the lite version that would let you play until the second year in-game
      that would probably took you about an hour or so, which would be enough for you to make a decision to like the game or not

        i can see a lot of studios see the one off purchase as being less value than the potential multiple purchases on IAP. but , clearly ,anything would be an upgrade for these guys.

    I actually feel that this is something that... Wait for it.... Microsoft have actually gotten right for windows phone and xbla

      Stoopid phone...
      Anyway, Microsoft have a great system where if you want your game on their marketplace, you must have a free trial to go along with it. This way people can play your game, and make their purchase choice afterwards.
      I do hope they fix this is their next update, as I hate to see good Indy devs go out of work.

    Interesting dilemma. They've made the game work as a game so well they aren't making money from it. Damn, should have released it for a buck :/

    I heart RocketCat so I'm buying some shit from PQ now :)

    Just because you make a game doesn't make it any good and make anyone want to buy it.

    Why not just charge $1 for the game like others? I would have bought the game for $1 EASILY.

      Agreed. The IAP aren't of any value as they make me feel like cheating. Why not limit the run to 60 seconds. Unlimited Runs for $1!

        this is actually a valid idea
        if you want more seconds in run, buy it with the in-game coin

        people would throw $1 at the IAP without thinking if they like the game

    Well they should have done like others said, released it for $1. As soon as I see IAP I back away from the though of purchasing anything - I expect to be able to play the game without having to cough up $2-3 every couple of days to continue playing.

    They choose to get it out there and put it in as many peoples hands as they could at chance of getting very little in return, bit late to complain about their choice. That being said - I applaud them for launching a free app that DOESNT force you to buy crap just to play it! Well done.

    Free to play.. is well.. free. What do you expect. Better to slap a $0.99 price on it than whinge about people not paying.

    That doesn’t mean, as Pocket Gamer points out, RocketCat is giving up: an update is planned, which *should* help with cash flow.

    So they're going to lock down levels and features that currently are free, gg.

      Some strange conflicts going on at the moment Kotaku, I only wrote the second part of this comment.

    Morons release something as free to play and cry when no one hands over cash...... Maybe they shoulda bought a dictionary and looked up free 1st. The stupid devs are their own worst enemy in this case.

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