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Fieldrunners 2 surpasses $1 million in sales, Subatomic defends premium App Store pricing


Fieldrunners 2 recently broke $1 million in sales, about a month and half since launch. The original Fieldrunners by Subatomic Studios launched during the infancy of the iOS App Store nearly four years ago and was a runaway hit, eventually being ported to several platforms. It wasn't a sure bet by Subatomic that a sequel would do well, given the increased competition in the marketplace now and, particularly, at the premium price of $2.99 for the iPhone version and $7.99 on iPad.

"These high price points have generated a lot of criticism," Alec Shobin, marketing manager at Subatomic, told Joystiq. "But when I explain our strategy to fans, they always understand our situation. Fieldrunners 2 was made over the course of two years by a team of about 20 people. When I explain that we have to go with premium prices because we want to cover our costs in order to continue making super high quality games for a niche, hardcore audience, it really clicks with them and makes them want to support our cause."

Shobin notes Fieldrunners 2 launched and immediately became the second-highest paid app on the US App Store. What he thinks is more important is the game reached number eight in the top-grossing category without being free-to-play nor having in-app purchases.

"So many developers try to minimize their risk by reducing the time a game is in development," Subatomic CEO Jamie Gotch said. "Unfortunately, this limits the types of gaming experiences that are possible and, as a result, the market gets saturated with a lot of shallow, incomplete games. It's only after the game launches that its developers determine whether or not to continue to support the game. This usually only ever happens if the game has proven to be successful. But at that point the core game mechanics have already been established and cannot easily be changed. Because of this, many games that began as a light, shallow experience stay that way, even when new content and features are added in future updates."

Shobin added, "Explaining your high prices to fans was previously seen as futile, so getting fan responses that go against this mentality show that iOS gamers have really evolved. This change in consumer mindset is indicative of a healthier mobile marketplace that is now suitable for a wide variety of different business models."

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