May 06

Portals not interested in high quality games?

StoneLoops! is a good game but not a great hit. At least not as big of a hit as we have hoped for. This is due to the fact that the game was launched about a year late off the schedule and with passing time the market became very harsh for marble poppers. I will be writing more about it in the postmortem of the game later on. Anyway, StoneLoops! has already been launched on several portals (Bigfish, Reflexive and Iwin) and is on its way to others, but still there are some distributors that passed on launching the game.

We asked a representative of one of such portals (which I won’t name here) about the reason for the rejection of the game’s submission. To our surprise we received a very honest answer, which went something like this:

In fact we haven’t played your game at all and we know it could be of high quality. We just looked at how it performed on BigFish and decided that launching it is not worth the effort – especially if we can have plenty of better performing hidden object games to launch.

This is a very brutal truth and it shows the way the market is quickly heading. If a developer wishes to take advantage of the portals aggregated audience he has to play according to the rules they make. And you can’t blame them for launching and promoting the games that sell best for them.

Still I’m sure that StoneLoops! is a very good game. But being very good is apparently not enough – especially for the portals nowadays. We’ll just have to do better with our next game.

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6 Responses to “Portals not interested in high quality games?”

  1. Roman says:

    Lovely answer. At least it’s honest.

    It looks like it’s better to not release on Big Fish Games before contacting other portals.

  2. Karl says:

    Yes,good answer. Honest and straight to the point.

  3. Bob says:

    It really doesn’t matter if you release it somewhere else.

    If it tanks elsewhere, the other portals that don’t release 1 game everyday will not take the game.

    Also, methinks you should change your title to “Customers not interested in high quality games?” Portals are always interested in high quality games, providing that they’re high quality games that sell to the audience.

  4. Another developer says:

    Wow! That is a very good reason for not releasing on BFG first.

  5. Maciek says:

    The bottom line is that there is currently no point in making a casual game from one of the passé genres (such as marble poppers) regardless of how much effort you are going to invest. That is of course if you are targeting portals as your primary channel of distribution.

    Also note that this could have been any other of the major portals instead of BFG. It is simply better to strive for a simultaneous launch than to give later portals a reason to scrap your game basing on earlier performance on different ones.

  6. 2 great replies from portals | Sell More Games says:

    […] It’s about Stoneloops! of Jurassica. I read about it on Maciej’s blog. […]

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