Why Black Lab Games pulled Star Hammer Tactics from the App Store and quit making games
In November 2011, Digitallydownloaded.net gave Star Hammer Tactics on the iPad a glowing review with a four out of five star rating. Fast forward half a year later and you won't find it any longer in Apple's App Store, and the developer behind it is no longer working on games. What happened?
Black Lab Games was founded in 2009 by Paul Turbett, a Perth based games developer with 20 years of software development, most of which is in games development. He previously founded Silver Lightning Software and also worked at other Perth games studios such as Interzone Games and Spinfast.
Paul commenced development of Star Hammer Tactics, a tactical space battle game, for the PSP Mini in early 2009 before bringing it to the iPad in 2011. He now designs mining software for a living and has put games development behind him.
Digitallydownloaded.net approached Paul to find out what happened to Star Hammer Tactics and learns that it unfortunately received poor sales which were the result of many factors including misjudging the target market and struggling to gain visibility in the app store, particularly since it was released during a highly competitive pre-Christmas period.
Paul gives some sobering advice for others who are looking into mobile games development. From DigitallyDownloaded.net…
MS: What advice would you have for aspiring Apple App store developers?
PT: Don't release your game around Christmas, make sure your game is absolutely spectacular, and that it's either as close as possible to the current Top 10 games when it's released, or unlike anything anybody has ever seen before. There is no middle ground.
We much accustomed to hearing about local success in mobile games development more often than stories like these, so it serves as quite a reality check for those who are just starting out to read about a veteran developer bowing out from games this way.
Paul certainly isn't the only local developer to bring up the issue of getting their title noticed in the App Store - we've had another veteran developer, Tony Takoushi, expressing the same problem just last month. We've also recently seen some extraordinary stats on the App Store which helps illustrate how highly crowded the games category is.
For the entire interview with Paul on what went wrong, head on over to Digitallydownloaded.net