The slick indie game Whale Trail is one of our favorites here at TNW and we’ve been following it for some time. After garnering some 140,000 downloads, with a current rate of 500 a day along with 5200 five-star ratings on the iOS App Store, it is launching today on the Android Market.
After an initially beefy launch, with some 38,000 downloads in the first weekend of sales, the Whale Tail train has continued to chug along, but at a lower ebb than the developers had hoped. At this point Ustwo has incurred roughly £250,000 in development costs across both platforms and estimates it needs around 45,000 sales in the first couple of months in order to make Whale Trail the kind of success it hopes to.
Out beyond that, if it is unsuccessful, Ustwo says that it will focus on freemium content instead of ‘premium’ content to try for a better return on investment over a shorter time. The team initially calculated that it would need 300k downloads to hit the profitable point, but that number is higher now with the added cost of dual-platform development.
Ustwo has apparently done everything it can to ensure that the game is a success on iOS and now on Android. It has a massively well-rated app (some 93% of ratings are 5-star), decent coverage by the media and extensive upgrades to the app have been released after launch.
So at this point it’s a waiting game to see how well the launch on Android goes. If doesn’t deliver the numbers that Ustwo is eager to see, the team says that it will refocus on fremium apps in the future. This will, hopefully, enable it to gain more traction earlier than a ‘premium’ app with a higher cost up front.
This would all be academic if not for the fact that Whale Trail is actually a very, very fun game to play and offers great production and play value. Let’s hope that the Android platform treats Whale Trail as good as it has other premium apps like Read It Later.
If you’re an Android user looking for a great game to play, do yourself a favor and check it out now.