2014 wasn't our best selling year and we didn't release much new, but it wasn't our worst year either. A lot of what we did in 2014 is setting the foundation for a much more successful 2015. This includes our first forays into PC development, a very far along PlayStation 4 port of VolChaos, Hypership Out of Control being Greenlit shortly into 2015 (but as of yet unreleased), and VolChaos being very close to being Greenlit now. We also (for the time being anyways) are waving goodbye to mobile development and micro-console development and focusing mainly on PC and console (PS4) releases going forward. Besides financial reasons, we simply like developing for these platforms better.
We generally write these each year, although some of the older ones were posted on our personal blog. Read them for a more in-depth history of Fun Infused Games if you dare.
Games Released in 2014
2012 Wrap-up (does not exist online currently and possibly not at all)
- Abduction Action Plus - XBLIG, January 6th
- Hypership Still Out of Control - iOS, January 20th
- Hypership Out of Control -PC, August 7th
- VolChaos - PC, September 26th
We released four games in 2014 although they were primarily ports of existing titles. Hypership Still Out of Control (HSSOoC) was the exception to that, although it was primarily just new levels using the existing Hypership Out of Control game. Based on how well the original Hypership on iOS sold, HSSOoC sales were pretty disappointing. The original game got featured by Apple and picked up a lot of early sales, the semi-sequel largely fell into the abyss that is the AppStore. Based on our experience with HSSOoC, the growing trend toward FTP releases, and the fact that our Apple dev hardware was basically made obsolete and unusable for development by Apple updates we cannot apply, we don't currently have any future iOS plans (see Hypership Out of Control 2 section later).
One small note on Abduction Action! Plus. We actually listed the XBLIG version as a release in the 2013 wrap-up too. It was approved prior to the new year but it did not go on sale until after, per our decision not to complete with Christmas and New Years. So it was done in 2013 but released in 2014, that's why you're seeing it twice.
Sales Per Platform
For this year we decided to break down what we sold per platform, as we now have four platforms we're actively selling games on.
Bundle sales are where it's at on the PC if you are not on Steam, making up approximately 95% of our PC sales. We hope 2015 will see better non-bundle sales as we learn the market more and hopefully experience our first Steam releases (VolChaos is #67 on GreenLight at the time of this writing and Hypership has been Greenlit already).
Hypership Still Out of Control sales disappointed and Hypership Out of Control sales continued their yearly decline. Free versions of Hypership Out of Control increased in downloads although the game has limited banners and doesn't monetize well. It's hard to imagine our iOS numbers doing better in 2015 with no new releases planned. It may be worth doing some updates to the free version of Hypership but that is difficult without working Mac dev hardware.
We'd hope at this point in time, having not actually worked on an XBLIG release in over a year, that we'd be making more money off other platforms but that is not the case. Abduction Action Plus! sold poorly compared to the original Abduction Action released in 2010 but those sales added to reasonably strong sales (for games several years old) of our two Trivia Or Die games made this platform our most profitable in 2014. Our XBLIG membership expired early in 2014 and we haven't done anything with the platform since (besides cash paychecks, which Microsoft sends increasingly later each quarter).
Developing games for the Ouya was probably the most colossal mistake we've made as a game developer. We spent $300 on a Xamarin license so we could port our games and a couple months of our time doing so and have yet to make a single cent from the platform over a year later (we have two releases, VolChaos and Abduction Action Plus!). On the plus side, we're only a few more sales away from hitting the $150 payment threshold and may actually get paid in 2015! Our game Bad Caterpillar is reasonably close to being done for Ouya but we've got no intention of finishing it after the extremely poor sales of our other titles. We will port it to PC though so not all that work is a waste since the work of porting from XNA to MonoGame was needed to do a PC release too (well, technically you could release on PC using XNA but the install prerequisites are painful and slow to install).
We try not to be too negative these days but Ouya really dropped the ball. The hardware itself is fine in our opinion but they've done a very poor job of marketing it to consumers. It still feels like outside of game developers, no one knows what this thing is. A console, no matter how big or small, is doomed to fail without an audience.
Sales Per Year
Without giving away actual numbers (although you can figure it out if you look at past wrap-ups), here is how our 2014 compared to other years. Of the six years we've been developing games, this was our third highest (or our fourth lowest if you're a pessimist). While we did have several releases like the other higher sales years, the platforms we released on weren't as healthy (2011 XBLIG vs 2014 XBLIG, Ouya, and non-Steam PC) and a lot of work we did, probably more so than any other year, went unreleased. Based on the foundation we have built going into 2015 (PS4 and Steam releases on their way), we would be really disappointed if 2015 is not our highest sales year of all time.
We worked on a number of titles that we simply did not finish in 2014 and got backburnered for various reasons. In the past, we typically haven't worked long spans on projects and not finished. Ideally we won't do this in the future either.
Bad Caterpillar for Ouya was near done but we had some technical issues with the process of debugging on the Ouya and then with Ouya sales being so bad, it didn't seem worth finishing. We will release this on PC at some point in 2015, as many of our Ouya changes help to facilitate that. A Steam release seems unlikely because its Greenlight votes are so low, but expect it on Desura and itcho.io at minimum.
Hypership Out of Control 2
Hypership Out of Control 2 just got pushed back for other various projects that were nearer to completion and required less funds to complete (lots of new artwork is still needed for Hypership 2, which we've spent a lot of time planning a Kickstarter for). We also designed this game with iOS in mind and with the changing iOS market and being unable to create new iOS games without spending a significant amount of money on new hardware, we are most likely going to focus this game on PC or console now instead which means a lot of rework. Given that we have been approved to release the original Hypership on Steam, it makes the most sense to finish that game first and use its success to help our Hypership 2 Kickstarter efforts.
Unnamed platformer (that is in dire need of a cool working title)
The scope of this game is just really big. We worked on it for a couple months and it's still a long, long ways off. Ultimately we opted to put it aside while we finish some more near-term projects. A 2015 release is probably too optimistic given everything else we have going on, but we certainly expect to do more work on it in 2015.
Updated version of VolChaos with new artwork, enemies, and levels and PS4 specific features (like Trophies). We will be giving it some kind of subtitle to indicate this is not standard VolChaos, although we aren't sure what that subtitle will be just yet. Hoping for a March or April release.
2014 was not a great year but not a bad year either. We came to grips that Ouya dev wasn't worth the time, threw in the towel on mobile, learned more about the PC market, and ventured into next generation game development on the PlayStation 4. While it would have been nice to release a few more titles, we really set ourselves up well for 2015. Expect big things from Fun Infused Games this year! Let us know how great we are in the comments below.