We found that the average iPhone/iPad gamer is more interested in pleasantly passing time than being intellectually engaged or challenged, at least when compared to the average PC or console player.
We playtested World of Goo extensively on six year olds, parents, grandmothers, and random people at coffee shops who either donâ€™t play games or actively avoid playing them, so we know that the game is intuitive and self explanatory. Weâ€™ve also never received this type of complaint for either the PC or Wii version. What we neglected to consider is that the iOS audience might be looking for a different kind of fast-fun entertainment, where punishment for failure, no matter how slight, is not an option, and no matter how badly you play the game you always feel you have a reasonable chance of success. To address this, an updated version included a more prominently featured â€œskip levelâ€ button, and allows an unlimited number of skips.
Even after making it easy to skip levels, the game will likely still be too challenging for some playersâ€™ tastes, but weâ€™re OK with that. Itâ€™s a puzzle game, not a scenic tour of Kyleâ€™s artwork.
World of Gooâ€™s launch on iPad gave us a new perspective on that discussion. In the first month of sales on the iPad App Store, World of Goo sold 125k copies (thanks to being prominently featured by Apple). In comparison, World of Gooâ€™s best 31 day period on WiiWare was 68k copies (thanks to a mass mailing by Nintendo), and on Steam it was 97k copies (thanks to two promotions at discounted prices). 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 doesnâ€™t have the benefit of an install base built up over several years