When we developed the mobile version we really wanted to say thanks to our current PC owners too and that’s why we decided not just to port the game to mobile but also add new content and then add that same new content (piracy mode, new platform and topics) to the existing PC version. We also did substantial updates to the UI which all took us months to do. All these updates where released absolutely free of charge to PC:
There are several reasons why we did not give away the Android/iOS version for free but the most important once are:
- The Android/iOS version isn’t just us pressing a button and publishing the game on mobile. It took a collaboration with the talented developers at Rarebyte and around 190,000 USD to create the port.
- It’s incredibly hard to verify ownership on all distribution channels on PC. It’s also not easy to give access to the mobile version en-masse to people and probably would violate several T&C’s anyway. We’d essentially need a totally different system to verify and cross-enable purchases. A system we’d have to hire talent and manage an entirely new project for.
- If we give PC players mobile for free, why not mobile to PC? But mobile pricing is half of that on PC due to market pressure. How is that fair?
- What if we then spend even more money to port to other/newer platforms? Why would we invest to widen the platforms if with every platform we have fewer and fewer people who would pay for it?
- How can we get app store visibility if large parts of the playerbase don’t register as purchases? We likely wouldn’t have been in the charts at all.
There are dozens more reasons but the bottom line is if we couldn’t have charged the already cheap price (5USD or lower) on mobile to everyone who wants to play it, we wouldn’t have risked porting the game at all.