Bridge, tower, something building simulator, World of Goo has had a decent first month of sales shifting 125,000 units on the iPad which pleases developers 2D Boy to no end. So much so, they believe that maybe the traditional methods of indie game distribution has come to an end with the iPad being the way to go. Over at their site (via Eurogamer) Ron Carmel flooded an article with all sorts of stats and figures regarding World of Goo‘s sales revealing a startling truth that these kinds of games sell the best on an iDevice: “In 2008, with the successful releases of Castle Crashers, Braid, and World of Goo, it became fairly clear that consoles were “where it’s at” for independent developers, and a lot of attention was given to which console provided the best distribution opportunities. Nintendo had the largest install base, XBLA had the largest number of registered users, and PSN had the strongest growth momentum. This discussion is still going on today and the landscape is constantly shifting. World of Goo’s launch on iPad gave us a new perspective on that discussion.”
The Wii with it’s largest install base sold half the amount of the iPad’s sales, 68,000 units, whereas on Steam, the figure was around 97,000. Both Wii and Steam had successful marketing promotions too so it’s not as if either didn’t have a fair old crack. Carmel said: “So far, the iPad version is by far the fastest selling version of the game, both in terms of number of units sold and in revenue generated. What makes this even more amazing is that this is a two year old game released on a platform that is less than a year old. The iPad doesn’t have the benefit of an install base built up over several years.”
But Carmel still thinks that it’s safer to release a game for consoles rather than “playing the App Store lottery,” with the seemingly endless amount of Apps to fight for the consumers’ attention though wondered if the winner of the downloadable space on consoles will be inconsequential to the strength of the iDevices. Again, I’d use the words ‘for these kinds of games’ because something like the wonderful Limbo or charming Braid are simply not suited for touchscreens. Games on iPhones, iPads and other Smartphones are best when they use the limitations of the systems to their advantage. World of Goo is perfect for a large touchscreen and no doubt why it was so popular. Add that too the youthful existence of iPad gaming where titles of that ilk are highly desirable and the 125,000 units begins to look unsurprising. Though still impressive.