So a few weeks ago I released my first game on iOS and Android. It was done in my spare time and the game is a free download. It's an endless arcade style game where you try to stay alive in a spinning ring of platforms.
I'm a big fan of old school video games and dislike how many video games these days seem to be developed with the goal of making sure that anyone can finish the game. It's a GAME! You're supposed to feel some sense of achievement if you finish it!
Anyways, 2 weeks after release I decided to look at the stats from the first 300 or so downloads. Not a particularly pretty sight for a gamer:
*Note, only players who have played more than 20 games have been included in this analysis
90% of people score less than 500 points in 20 or more games! To put this into context, if you literally don't press anything and let the game do it's own thing you'll score ~150-200 points. At first I thought maybe my tutorial was flawed and people didn't grasp the goal of the game but after showing the game face to face to a few non-gamer fans and looking at how they play, I've realized that the game mechanics might just be too difficult for most casual gamers.
This puts me in a bit of a tricky spot! The game was made for people who enjoy video games and in my personal opinion, the quality of the game would be greatly reduced if I lower the difficulty. It might open the door to getting more players but ultimately the experience would be slower and less rewarding for those players that actually manage to conquer the game mechanics and play it properly.
So, do I cater to the mobile masses by lower the difficulty of the game or maintain my integrity as a developer and simply come to grips with the fact that my game has limited potential to significant success in the mobile gaming world?
PS. The game is called (Redacted) if you want to try it out:
Google Play - (Redacted)
Apple Store - (Redacted)