iOS Release - Day 1 Analysis: A Rough Start


I bought the game when it first came out on the Microsoft store. I even searched for this game about a month ago on my IPhone but sadly it wasn’t there.

So when I got the Email the other day and saw it, I immediately bought it! I’m not sure if I could have ported it for free or whatever, but I WANTED to pay for it. I’m more than happy to help support your efforts to be a good and honest developer. If there’s any other way I can help y’all, such as a patreon account, let me know! I’m more than happy to help!


I have a Samsung Galaxy phone and have this game on my steam account with on my PC. Not sure if I would purchase it on my android phone since I do not use it very much for gaming . I do in joy the game very much but haven’t played it in some time . To be honest I’m looking forward to the release of tavern keeper ! Hopefully sales will start to take off after a slow start . Just keep your fingers crossed !

Captain Bob


First off, I really appreciate the transparency and candor. I loved Game Dev Tycoon, and you guys seem like a good bunch of devs. It sucks seeing your game not live up to your expectations, and I want you to know that I empathize 100% with that.

That said, if you had told me when you were considering a mobile release, I would have told you then it was a waste of time: don’t spend more than $20k on it and only as an experiment.

However, rather than just complain, I’m going to give you guys some free, unsolicited (but hopefully helpful) advice. If you’re considering a port of a game, send out a survey first looking to test your fans to see if they would buy. As I’m sure you know, you’re much more likely to get an existing fan to buy than a new one (not unlike games in GDT). I bet that if you had sent out a survey before you started work on the mobile version, you would have heard loud and clear that people weren’t interested.

GDT was a fun game, and honestly wouldn’t be a bad mobile experience, but the mobile market is fickle as hell and extremely (I said extremely) difficult to make money on. Personally, I would have rather seen you guys put that money into a new game or the Tavern game. Your audience is also on PC, and it’ll be easier to get them to engage with another PC game than a mobile game.

Anyways, best of luck moving forward. I sincerely hope you could afford to lose the $190k on this, because I would hate to see this hurt the development of other games. I’m looking forward to the Tavern game myself.


Is it possible a lot of the steam purchasers have Android instead of iPhones? I got rid of my apple phone a while back but have always wanted to get Game Dev Tycoon on a mobile device so I will definitely be getting the game when you release on Android.


Another Android user just hanging out, waiting for our release date. Personally, I did open the email despite not having any Apple products because I hoped it would talk a bit about new features (which it did. Thank you), and I do appreciate that I don’t get bombarded with emails from you guys because it means I actually DO read the things and get to hear about what’s going on when there’s actually something going on. Basically you and Kairosoft are the only newsletters I open because my other ones send me multiple emails a week and most of those don’t talk about the games I’m interested in, anyway.

I realize that anecdotal evidence is rather meaningless most of the time, but if it makes you feel better about the possibilities of the Android launch, I know about fifty percent Apple users, fifty percent Android, and all of the people I know that play this game (four people including myself) use Android. I’m not sure if you have actual numbers that say Apple users are more common among your customers, but in my experience, they have been Android users, and I, for one, will be buying your game on Android. I have lost whole days to playing Game Dev Tycoon and others where I wished I could take it with me, and no variations of it on Android compare.


First I really love the transparency and this whole article. I’ve always been interested in app developement and getting this insider view of your sales, expectations and development costs is super intersting!

I think sales are low because there just aren’t enough people aware of the launch. Your email subscribers already own this game, so there is a very low chance they will purchase again, unless they are super fans, which I think is the reason for the sales you were abale to achieve.

To achieve sales I think its all about new users and you haven’t mentioned marketing besides trying to reach your already active fan base through social media.

Have you reached out to publications? Offered free review copies? Taken interviews? You need free publicity and you can do this through traditional publications, but also online personalities.

Finally I think if you want to convince your current fan base to purchase the iOS version, there needs to be huge new features or expansion that is exclusive to the iOS version for at least a period of time. This however would cost more money, so its maybe an option down the line, but for now I think you should consider your marketing strategies and getting the word out to as many people as possible.

I’m currently a Political Science Major in my 4th year, but have always been interested in game/app development. I would love to help you in anyway I can, discussions on strategies, reaching out on your behalf and so on. I really feel I can help your company. I would do anything you needed for free because it would give me increased knowledge of the space and valuable experience.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me, I would love to help. Before anything I could tell you more about me and my work expirence.

Thank you,


Appreciate you sharing this info!


I would just like to point out that iPhone is probably not where the majority of potential customers are. I’m not an expert and I’m certain research was done, but relatively none of my gaming friends use Apple, and neither do I.

Just seems slightly out of place, for what I consider an indie developer, to even go the iPhone route at all.


I tried to find the game on the App store on launch day and even searching “Game Dev Tycoon” it wouldn’t show up in the results. I had to click the link from the newsletter to actually find the game.


Well it seems like a good start. I personally will never own this version, because I dislike Apple, but am very excited for the release on Andriod and the update for the Steam Version.


I’m likely repeating what a lot of other people have replied to this post but I haven’t yet read through all the other comments and I’d like to be a part of the discussion.

Firstly I want to thank you for providing an insight of what’s going on behind the scenes. The primary reason I signed up for the news letter was to learn about new games that you guys are working on but hearing about the process behind that is just as interesting. I also want to say that I have no intention of purchasing the game a second time, personally I wouldn’t usually play games a second time through but even if I did, it seems unnecessary to buy it a second time to do that. Unless perhaps there are new features, but I don’t recall seeing anything about these and I would expect those to be added to the Steam version of the game anyway.

Relating to what you said about the newsletter being your strongest source of outreach, I think this could have been the case but as you said yourselves there have been very long periods where you haven’t made any contact via email and it’s a little disappointing. I signed up to the newsletter precisely because I want to hear news from you, not because I want to go however many days to not hear anything. On a side note too, if you don’t send emails, no one on the list will feel the need to unsubscribe because they never see an unsubscribe button, not because they are happy receiving the newsletter.

On a more positive note, I do hope sales increase and that the Android build goes well. Please keep these updates coming and start working on something new that everyone can get excited about.

Good luck for the future!


Yep, I don’t think an in-browser option via FB is something they’d want to do. But…it could get them more availability to more people. And GHG, by all means steal this idea: If you do go that route, you’d probably be able to cash in by making it semi-competitive by adding a multiplayer component allowing an “ebb and flow” to the market(artificially created) for example and allowing the people on the platform to compete against each other.

That might also require serious rewriting of some parts of the game as well. You’d also be right on the piracy gimmick, but it’s usually the very odd thing that hits people. Look back at famous “well, that really grabbed my attention” types of marketing vs ham-fisted marketing(new coke/car makers in the '70’s not following the market tends/etc).


Day 1 buyer here and loving every minute of it!


Your Emails ended up in my spam folder (Yahoo Germany).
I don’t know why but can this be a general problem for Yahoo users?
The post itself is very interesting, but my iOS device is nearly 10 Years old…
When it comes to Android I don’t know wether it will run fine. Would it be possible to release a Demo or an ad-supported “lite” version?
Plus there are so many “free” games that it’s probably even harder to sell games which cost a few bucks.

Anyway, I wish you good sales and good luck for the future :slight_smile:


It seems GrPhone is not perfect for a release like this. I would say 7 over 10. But real fans are here, so you can count on us and of course you alweays will get new fans :upside_down_face: :stuck_out_tongue:


So whens the release to the appstores in the rest of the world, Im in south africa would love to play on my iphone 6s plus