Friday, September 8, 2017

Breaking Eggs - Making Omelettes

The transition from 3DS to Switch is upon us! Today is September 8, three weeks after Chicken Wiggle released on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. I was confident all of the effort we poured into Chicken Wiggle for 3DS would pay off. The excitement level built up from releasing screenshots, and then short video clips, ultimately culminating with the trailer and footage of new gameplay features seemed to have folks excited about the game. My calculations were very wrong, apparently.

First day sales were shockingly low. Worldwide sales for Chicken Wiggle on day one were about 10% of Xeodrifter's day one sales in North America. Xeodrifter’s numbers dwarf Chicken Wiggle’s, but Xeodrifter’s numbers weren’t particularly impressive compared to what is considered a “success” on the 3DS eShop. Chicken Wiggle’s first day sales were so low, I thought there was an error in the sales report. Many of my developer friends thought the same when I shared the news. “That can’t be right!” echoed in my mind.

I gave it a few days to see if the report changed the next day or the next, hoping there was a delay in reporting and the real day one numbers would catch up. Sadly, the numbers never changed. It was indeed the real data. The next logical step was to hope that sales would increase the following days. Maybe the release day was just a slow day for sales? Nope. Less copies were sold on day two, and even less on day three. It continued to drop each day. As of September 8, the number of copies sold worldwide in 22 days is a little more than half of what Xeodrifter sold on its FIRST DAY in North America. Wow!

Clearly, I misjudged something. Perhaps the game is not appealing to the 3DS eShop audience? Perhaps it is overpriced? Perhaps the 3DS eShop audience has moved onto the Switch? Maybe it is one of these things. Maybe it is all of these things. Maybe it is something else that I am unaware of. It is shocking, to say the least. Trying to find answers, I am torn between trying to find someone else to blame and asking myself what mistakes did I make? It’s not a fun place to be, but it is important that I try to find answers and learn from it so I can try to avoid it happening again.

This feels all too familiar to Mutant Mudds Super Challenge. After tremendous effort in the development of the game and what I thought was a successful PR campaign, the sales results were less than stellar for Super Challenge. At least I could blame the possible confusion with the name of the game. Was it a sequel or an expansion? Should I have called it Mutant Mudds 2? The other factor that seemed to contribute to low sales was the increased level of difficulty. Most people felt that the original Mutant Mudds was challenging enough. Ratcheting the challenge up even more was simply not interesting to many players.

I can’t adopt the same reasoning for Chicken Wiggle. It was clearly a new game – no confusion of it being an expansion. The level of difficulty is purposely approachable, but with some challenge to keep it interesting. Most folks seem to be able to make their way through it and enjoy it without too much trouble - remarking on the variety of gameplay from level to level. So, I don’t think the game itself is the main issue here. I feel confident that if you liked Mutant Mudds and/or Xeodrifter then Chicken Wiggle would be appealing to you. I could be wrong on that, though. Price is always a tricky thing, but so far the feedback that I have received suggests that it is priced perfectly, if not too low according to some. Maybe everyone is just being kind and supportive. Based on the data I have recovered, it leads me to believe that the 3DS audience has moved on.

Here's what the press had to say, prior to the games’ release:

10/10 “You need Chicken Wiggle in your life." - Games Reviews.
9/10 “Excellent platformer that fans of the genre should not miss.” – TodoJuegos.
4.5/5 “Atooi has proven it still has that magic touch.” – Oprainfall.
4/5 “Everything about this game is so lovingly crafted.” – Nintendo Okie.
8.5/10 “Novel play mechanics offer varied gameplay dynamics.” – Nintenderos.
8.5/10 “Great platforming and game design tools.” – Pure Nintendo.
8.5/10 “One of the best games with a level creator out there.” – Shigeru News.
8/10 “Blends simplicity with sophistication into a cohesive whole.” – Cubed3.
8/10 “Fun, adorable platformer with some genuinely clever features.” – NinMobileNews.
8/10 “You start playing and you can not stop.” – Nintendo.pe.

While big titles like Miitopia and Metroid will surely sell more than Chicken Wiggle on their first day, they are Nintendo titles that have a strong brand and marketing budgets behind them. Sadly, I believe the Nintendo 3DS eShop is dead for “Nindies”. The audience that buys indie titles on Nintendo platforms has moved on to the Switch. I expected the Switch would impact the success of Chicken Wiggle on 3DS, but not to the extent that it has. I would be amiss if I did not mention the fact that Chicken Wiggle was nowhere to be seen on the main 3DS eShop shelf in North America for the first two weeks. It could be found inside the New Releases folder, and the Newest Videos folder. That was all. Whereas in Europe, Chicken Wiggle scored the premium landing slot. It literally couldn’t have been positioned better in Europe. I am extremely thankful of NOE for supporting my game this way. The crazy thing is that the breakdown of day one sales is 75% in North America, and 25% in Europe. Go figure!

The low sales of Chicken Wiggle has prompted me to put the game on a flash sale for two weeks to see if it gains some extra exposure and/or energizes folks to buy it. It's worth a shot, right? It feels way too soon to put the game on sale, but I don't have any other options right now. There are over 300 user-created levels on-line to download. There are tons of excellent creations - some added to the "Atooi Favorites" search category. It is a joy for me to play and experience them. Thank you if you are one of the eggcellent few who has already purchased the game, and another thank you for the eggstraordinary levels that have been uploaded. They have exceeded my expectations. It's a good time to pick up the game and enjoy all of the great content.

I think it should go without saying that I have no plans to release any more titles on the 3DS. This saddens me, greatly. I love the 3DS. But, if a polished title like Chicken Wiggle can’t find a home on the 3DS - a 3DS exclusive at that - I don’t know what indie game can. Anyway, I do want to say thank you to those players who have contacted me to tell me how much fun they have had with the game. The levels that you have created and shared on-line are truly impressive. Many of you are doing things with the level editor that I have not seen before. It is very exciting to see.

Chicken Wiggle will go on a two week flash sale in North America starting September 14. The price will drop from $14.99 to $9.99 during that period (33% savings). A two week flash sale will start in Europe the following week, September 21, also with 33% savings. The eShop game page is located here.
  
I have already revealed that we’re working on Mutant Mudds for Switch as well as Treasurenauts for Switch. I am very excited about both titles. I will have more news to share soon on them.

39 comments:

  1. That's a shame. I hope that by putting it on sale, it sales more. That being said, I've heard and read by several persons online that they think it's to expensive. I can't speak for it since I personally prefer playing on PS Vita rather than on 3DS (don't have a Switch though). I hope Chicken Wiggle gets the sales and praise it deserves.

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  2. By putting it on sale, it sells more* lol sorry

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  3. I meant I can't speak for it because I haven't played the game yet and can't vouch for its price.

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  4. Hello sir,

    It's really sad to see your latest game have such low sales... I must also admit that I haven't bought it yet. :( A number of factors have played in my decision to not buy it at launch.

    - Huge backlog and not that much time to play these days.
    - Price. While 15$ is a fair price, in Canada the title is 20$ and that passes some kind of barrier in my mind. Call me cheap if you want (I might be).
    - The Switch doesn't factor in for me since I must unfortunately leave mine at home for the kids. :'( I might buy a second one just for me in the future. :)

    The main reason I didn't bought Chicken Wiggle yet is not under your control and is called exchange rate. I know it's sad and bluntly said, but I find myself bying a lot less game since the Great Canadian Price Hike a few years ago (2014 if I remember correctly).

    I will soon play Chicken Wiggle though as I will indeed enjoy the discount (again, you can call me cheap).

    Thanks for your continued support of the 3DS with great games, they are among my favorites. Mutant Mudds and its not-sequel were amazing, though the Super Challenge was really challenging and I haven't finished it yet; Xeodrifter is pure Metroidvania goodness.

    Are you still planning on releasing Treasurenauts on the 3DS, given the low sales of Chicken Wiggle?

    Cheers!

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  5. I first heard about the game through neogaf thread about low sales, guess it flew under the radar for most people, and for some the name could make some negative associations I guess? Switch possibly ate a lot of the sales too, but I would say those are major reasons as well

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  6. its sad to hear. actually i haven't bought your game yet but i'm going to. i would consider myself as a 3ds fanboy... like i have over 50 physical games and even more digital
    hear is why i haven't bought it yet (maybe this helps you somehow).
    -when i first heard the name i thought its something like toki tori only in cheap

    -the first screenshots looked cheap for me as well (even it isn't). i didn't want to play as a chicken...

    -took me a while to found out this is not a cheap game instead its from the makers of mutant mudds and xeodrifters... at this point i was allready super into mario + rabbids, sonic mania and some other games.

    but i will buy it soon, its sad to hear that such a game sold so less units...
    anyway my friends moved almost all on to the switch and not buying any 3ds games anymore...maybe metroid will be an exception...

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  7. I was intrigued by your game when it was released, it looks like something that I might enjoy, but I don't buy games digitally at all so I did not buy it. That being said, it is unfortunate that this game did not succeed, I always wish for independent games to succeed as small developers make the gaming landscape richer, even if they release games in a way that I do not buy them in.

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  8. The name chicken wiggle just doesn't sound appealing at all. Sounds like shovel ware. Your audience on Twitter are all die hard Jools fans that will blow smoke up your butt no matter what. I'm a huge fan of most of your games, but I passed on chicken wiggle because I like to play on my switch and also because the game just doesn't look like something I would play to completion.

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  9. Hey Jools! I think you hit the nail on the head; I am among the group who would rather play games on my Switch. I'm not even sure I will get Samus Returns, as there's not much reason to turn the handheld on with Miiverse and Badge Arcade biting the dust. I'd much rather experience indie games on the beautiful screen of the Switch (something that I've wanted Nintendo to do for so long!). It sucks that you are left trying to find your way through this, but I think your games would find a better home on Switch. Right now the library is relatively small and people are hungry for new things to play between Nintendo's big releases. There are so many indie games on Switch that I'm interested in or looking forward to, that I've created a list to keep track. I'll keep an eye out on your Switch releases! Thank you for supporting Nintendo hardware when so many developers are reluctant to do so. :)

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  10. I love this game and I was just going to check out some levels later tonight when I saw this. It sucks man but you are onto something with the 3DS indie buyer audience being on Switch now. Switch indie games are selling like crazy. And people who buy indie games are normally more serious about their gaming. They are thus likely to be there early on with a new console.

    The games that continue to sell well on 3DS are big games for the wider audience with big marketing like Miitopia and soon Metroid or Pokemon on the VC. Even I'm not planning on getting many more 3DS games except for Pokemon of course as I'll live and die by that sword.

    Anyway good luck to you folks. :)

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  11. I can only speak for myself but price was definitely a factor for me in not buying it. I followed its developement, as I do all your games, & was very intent on buying it until the price was revealed to be $15. I believe the twitter price poll you did for the game last year won at the $10 price point & so I assumed you would go with that as you had done with Mutant Mudds & Xeodrifter prior. Unfortunately not though. I still planned on getting Chicken Wiggle, but only after a sale which I figured would be around the holidays, but, for unfortunate circumstances, will obviously now be a lot sooner. I'll get the game next week when it comes down to the price that I feel is the right price. Good luck with the game during the sale & moving on to the Switch.

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  12. I can't speak for everyone, but 6 months ago, I was a BIG 3DS eShop supporter. In fact, 3DS was the ONLY console I was playing and buying games for. If a release was even just remotely interresting, I was buying it. To the point where I ended up with a collection of over 450 digital games (with a cap of 300 games you can have on your SD card, I had to do a lot of purging). I'm not kidding! I was buying games every week. And amongst those great purchases, there was both Mutant Mudd and Xeodrifter. Finished all those games at 100%. I was also waiting for Treasurenauts, and when Renegade Kids got separated, this is the Atooi side of things I continued watching. Chicken Wiggle was on my radar, that's for sure.

    But then, the Switch got released. I only managed to get one at the end of March, so for a few weeks after release, I was continuing to believe that the 3DS was all I needed. But when I first got that thing in my hands, I knew there was no way that I could go back to the 3DS. Ever! I loved my 3DS so much (else I wouldnt have bought all those games), but now, it's in a box, in a closet, and I have no plan of bringing it back. Everytime there's a new indie, I want it on Switch or else, this is a pass for me. I want to play my small indie games on that beautiful screen, in handheld mode or on the big screen. We're only 6 months in, and I'm already with a collection of 42 games...30 of them are digital eShop titles.

    And I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat. Most Nintendo fans that could find a Switch have jumped ship, and I'm also sure that the number of people who are spending tons of money every weeks on those indie titles while we're waiting for the big AAA are quite high. I saw the pics of Mutant Mudds on a Switch screen. I want to let you know that I will double dip on all Mutant Mudd and Xeodrifter releases you'll put on Switch. And if Chicken Wiggle also comes there, you'll have my money Day 1. It's really saddens me that your game didnt made any impact on 3DS, but I think that's the reality we're in now. If it's not on Switch these days, then it's on no other Nintendo console too.

    Good luck with all your futures releases! You deserve it. My wallet will be waiting for Atooi on the Switch side!

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  13. I think you're right. I think you have a lot of buyers on stand by. I barely play anything on my 3DS, I usually wait for things to come to Steam, and so does most of the indie audience I think. But I know a lot of people who do play on 3DS are now shifting to the Switch (that's a hard sentence to say "shwifting to the stich")

    I think those sales will be made! that's my point. The release might have been weak but the usual sales falloff from release will be much slower too, as you reach other platforms.

    Anyway, good luck there.

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  14. Honest truth, and I'm being honest in hopes of helping you realize what went wrong, so that you can take the necessary steps to ensure it never happens again.

    1) Indeed, many gamers are moving onto Switch. Even big Nintendo games like Metroid have fans breathing a sigh of hesitation to return to the handheld

    2) The name sounds like shocelware. Not only had I not heard of the game (get to that in a sec) when I did see an article about it I skipped it because it sounded like Flappy Bird mobile game. People shouldn't judge a game by its name, but we all do.

    3) No awareness for this game at all. For Xeodrifter, I heard about it well in advance. I knew it was from Renegade Kid. For Chicken Wiggle, I hadn't heard of it til this whole fiasco.

    4) $15 may be fair, but judging by appearances, it seems $5 too high. Perhaps if the awareness was there, with an intriguing name, $15 would be ok

    5) I think even looking past the name, a chicken is not a wise animal to use as a character. It can be done, but it's fighting an uphill battle. Too many mobile (negative) connotations associated with it.

    6) Alot of people aren't aware of Atooi. They've heard Renegade Kid, but Atooi is foreign to most. Need to associate the game with Mutant Mudds and Xeodrifter.

    7) No marketing (which goes back to awareness). Most people who buy indie games don't follow the devs on Twitter. Most rely on fan sites to look out for new games worth buying. If only one article was written on the game (due to being on 3DS- Switch would have received more exposure), and most who see it are turned off from the name, and of the small portion who do click on the article, most aren't interested because it's not on Switch or quickly dismiss based on no familiarity with developer, and dismiss due to name/character being often associated with mobile gaming... It's not hard to see how this could be skipped by most

    8) Pixelated retro style is way oversaturated nowadays. A few years ago it was novel but now, 4 out of 5 games use this style, and it just doesn't stand out anymore. I appreciated it back in the Mutant Mudds days, but now I'm growing to resent it. Just being honest

    I can only speak for myself, but that's what I see, and many of those reasons are exactly why I didn't buy it despite buying Mutant Mudds, Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, and Xeodrifter (and all of them on 3DS and Wii U that were sold on both).

    I think a Switch release, coupled with alot of exposure and a campaign to inform people of who developed the game and pitch it's merits... could do wonders. But, I think it's time for another big hit to put "Atooi" on the map. You could spend the next 10 years selling off the back of Renegade Kid branding and Mutant Mudds, or, just release another big game that will do what Mutant Mudds did years ago. Something that grabs attention. Maybe a Mutant Mudds 2, or Mutant Mudds 64, maybe a Xeodrifter 2, maybe a brand new game... who knows. It's hard to predict which games will be huge hits. But I can tell you right now, any of the above would have a significant advantage out of the gate.

    Hope this helps.

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  15. Okay, so... I have the possibility of posting this as anonymous, so I will do that because I really think that after posting this comment, you would possibly react negatively just by seeing my name elsewhere afterwards, because commenting something negative on a relatively difficult time like this might just affect anyone that way, but I am a big fan of yours, I enjoyed all of your games, and I want to share another point of view which might be helpful. And I don't know, maybe my name somehow pops up in this, but that's okay I guess.

    But firstly, this is what I've thought for a long time now... "How would you expect this to sell?" I can clearly see how the bigger portion of people react to this after seeing it... "Too old school", "Too simplistic", "Nothing really catches my eye", "Shovelware", "Too expensive, I've seen countless of games that look like this and are free/$1"
    It obviously is a well polished game, just like most of your past releases, but when I look at the gaming scene/industry as a whole right now, big things are happening, Switch is extremely exciting, BotW, Splatoon, new Mario, there's so much happening that I think it's really difficult for anyone to stand out no matter what audience supports you.
    But I mean of course the indie scene is relatively healthy, so then you compare Chicken Wiggle to other games, like Shantae, Shovel Knight, etc., there's obviously a lot of luck involved, too, but when you look at Chicken Wiggle from the surface, it's just so far away from other current succesful indie titles.. I love cute things, but maybe it's too cute and simple, straight to the point, the other indie titles I've seen have been much more explosive just all around.
    But of course... I don't know about all of the recently released indie titles and how they've done, so I might in reality have no idea what I'm talking about... But to me, it's been very clear for a longer time that Chicken Wiggle just isn't even nearly enough as a whole, mostly on the surface I guess, to stand out and gain interest.
    Maybe luck and timing were on your side when you release the first Mudds.
    And speaking of that, maybe it'll happen again with Switch. But if those somekinds of special factors which made the very first Mudds a success isn't here again... I don't think Mudds or even Treasurenauts would do well on Switch either.

    But you're still an excellent developer, and I've seen you offer collaboration on multiple larger projects through out the years, it sucks none of those ever came to be, I think that would've already taken you to places.

    And I hate to post this comment, but I decided to do it, I haven't seen anyone put it straightforwardly in somewhat detail like this. The absolute worst thing is to affect one's creative motivation, and negative comments always do (stay away from them![duh{or does it make you ignore constructive criticism too when you do it too much? ..this stuff is complicated and hard}]), but I think this was necessary.. maybe.. I've stayed up for 30h straight, so that might've affected this post...

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  16. So, I want to sound totally fair, I have planned to buy this game after returning from vacation and it's timing was a little off for me, "on a personal level." But I immediately thought that the game's price looked a little steep for something so unfamiliar. But then I remembered Gunvolt and titles like that coming out at similar prices and thinking, "that's not fair to say." Games like Shovel Knight and Shantae took me by surprise and I already know I liked Mutant Mudds and Xeodrifter so what's the deal? Maybe this is to be expected because the game is so big! But I admit, I was holding back savings because new Metroid, Shantae statue, Gunvolt on Switch, Sonic Mania, and tons of other equally exciting announcements were all being shuffled around at the same time, it just felt overwhelming! I'm no man of wealth by any means but since I started playing Nintendo consoles again in 2014 I have made a note to try to give a massive amount of attention to many beloved franchises. And I feel like I let Chicken Wiggle get caught up in all of that pre-existing mess. I'm very excited to try this game at whatever price Atooi deems necessary. But I think that it's fair to say that many people have yes, "moved to Switch" and some have come to expect that sort of thing. However to say the 3DS eShop is dead is not true at all. With the introduction of the New 2DS and the recent announcement of a Metroid release, Nintendo has seen another significant increase in the device's sales and is looking as sharp as ever! I think that a price cut could motivate people that may have put the game off before may give it greater consideration but I don't believe its content isn't worth what was initially asked. But I do think that because the majority of, should I say? "Bigger spenders" have moved to Switch maybe a lower price for a 3DS title is now what's expected. I'm excited to see how Chicken Wiggle turns out and I'm ready to play! But here's an interesting thing that I've watched Inti Creates do, they make a game for 3DS then make a sort of "Definitive Version" on the Switch, perhaps Chicken Wiggle could make use of the Switch touch screen in handheld mode and a drag and drop on TV mode, making a new way to play for the Switch! Was Mario Maker its inspiration? Perhaps wait and see how they handle a Switch version... improve on their idea! And when developing titles for Switch, perhaps come up with ways to make simpler versions for 3DS users who still count on indie games 'cuz they're on a budget or whatever! I'd be willing to pay more bucks on a fancy Xeodrifter with bells and whistles if it's on the switch, higher FPS? I'm not the developer here but I wouldn't go down quietly without a fight! Make Chicken Wiggle known! Have a fan art contest! Make an Instagram! Get Arby's to do one of those cardboard doomahickys they love so much! But don't forget that you're games are awesome and that we love them! And I'm gonna download Chicken Wiggle stat!

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  17. I have not bought the game as well. Here are my reasons:

    1.I was not impressed by the game's screenshots and gameplay. It looked like a cheap banjo kazooie cellphone game esp. with the evil witch.
    2. The title sounds like as the others have mentioned, shovelware.

    I am sorry but even if it came out on the Switch, I won't be buying it :(

    My 3ds is dusty but i will turn it on once again for Metroid and Dragon Quest but not this game.

    Sorry for being blunt.

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  18. I think you aced everything on CW, except the marketing.
    The first thing people are going to know about your game is the name, and Chicken Wiggle is not a good one, it's not catchy, unique or funny, I don't think it reflects how good the game is at all.
    Second, if I didn't follow you on twitter, I would've never heard of CW, there was barely any promotion at all.
    I honestly think the Switch has nothing to do with it, and while it's a shame you couldn't do a dual release , like say, Master Blaster Zero, the 3DS is still very alive, I'm still buying titles every week.
    That being said, I'd definitely dual dip on the Switch, and I wish you the best in your future endeavors with the system, needless to say, you have my support.
    PS: Here's hoping you finally get Xeodrifter on the JP 3DS eshop before leaving the system! I'm sure Rainy Frog would like to publish it, and maybe CW?

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  19. I've played many platformer games on 3DS, but Chicken Wiggle was one of my mistakes.

    Game is just too easy. I loved Mutant Mudds for very good quality, intresting levels, great mechanics, many hidden things like GB-styled levels... It was awesome.
    Chicken wiggle didnt had anything of these. All levels were very easy including poor final boss and plot without any sense...
    All what is good in Chicken Wiggle was level editor...

    So in short, small sales =
    1) much lower quality than expected
    2) poor marketing
    3) game on eshop looks like cheap shitty game... Its not good for great sales..
    4) Noone knows Atooi. Much players loved games from Renegade Kid. But Atooi? What is that company? Do you think that each mutant mudd player know that RK was closed?
    5) game is too expensive for it quality and content...

    And no, players didnt chamged platform. There are still more than 60 million 3DS players. Switch sold only 4.5 million units. So this isnt problem with sales..

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    Replies
    1. 60 million 3DS's sold, not 60 million players. Systems break and get replaced, collectors buy multiple systems, regular users upgrade to iterations like the New 3DS, etc. I have two 3DS's myself and know someone who three or four. I'd say the true install base is more like 10-20 million.

      As for the game itself, I'm thoroughly enjoying it and have 40+ hours logged in with no sign of slowing down. I think the name, dev branding, price (other people's opinions, not mine) and lack of Switch release (I get it, you couldn't release it on Switch in tandem) all played roles in the low sales, along with marketing and the random personal reasons, like too large of a backlog, which I'm certainly guilty of with many other games.

      I seriously suggest you consider porting to Switch and at $10 if this sale proves fruitful.

      Delete
    2. Lol. I lost a 10 minutes by writting a big text and then clicked out and got deleted xd.

      Ok, being in short now... I don't think Chicken Wiggle has an interesting theme. Put an anime style characters and decent story, and you'll a lot more.

      Gameplay seems good enough. So I suggest the reskin.

      Delete
  20. In russian eShop it is more expensive than Sonic Mania. And even with this 33% it will cost more than SM.

    Maybe you shouldn't blame platform and audience.
    It's just ridiculous.

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  21. I'm an active 3DS customer, and while I can't say I've had a great time with *all* of your previous games, I've enjoyed them enough to keep an eye on anything you release. I can't speak for the masses, but I can tell you why I didn't buy Chicken Wiggle.

    1) I barely heard about it before it was out. When I did hear about it, it took a bit before I connected it to you.

    2) The title didn't sound promising. That didn't stop me from looking into it, but it did set my expectations low to start with.

    3) I hate to say it, but the game itself didn't look that appealing in screenshots and video. It looked okay, but not much more than that. It seemed like you were pushing the level editor heavily but I have zero interest in that kind of thing. I just want to play a great game. The focus on the level editor in marketing and reviews made me think that got most of your attention from a development standpoint.

    4) Even with all of that, I had planned to buy the game until I saw the price. As someone above mentioned, Chicken Wiggle is past the $20 mark for Canadians. That may be a fair price in a vacuum, but I can get so many interesting 3DS games at that price point or lower. It feels like too much for a genre that is so over-saturated on the system, especially since it's a new and unproven IP.

    5) After what happened with some of your previous games, I expected Chicken Wiggle would get a sale at some point. Likely even a deep discount if I was patient enough. My interest wasn't strong enough to make me need the game right away. Unfortunately, I probably won't get it in this sale, either. It's still going to be north of $15 Canadian when the taxes are included, and I'm not so hurting for a side-scroller that I need another one right now. Sorry, Jools. I hope it does better for you on Switch. It probably will, as the market isn't as saturated, it's a more active console, and they're used to paying slightly higher prices for the same games. But you'd best get it on there quickly, as I think about a billion other indie developers have noticed that stuff as well, and I'd bet at least 15% of them will release side-scrollers.

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  22. As someone who lives in Canada,games are more expensive over here,so the price got just over my mental barrier just like Terraria on Wii U

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  23. I'm somewhat surprised at the comments saying that they're turned of by the game's title, but with so many people saying the same thing, there must be something to it.

    I've been following the game since you first announced it. Not once has it crossed my mind that the title sounded like shovelware or that the early screen shots were too simple. But then again, I would consider myself a bigger fan than most of the people who have commented and as such, I know your quality and what you're capable of. My point is, I can't agree with their criticisms, but the fact that their criticisms exists and seem to be consistent, then maybe there's some truth to them.

    If I had to chime in on what I think hurt the sales, it is how you limit yourself to Twitter. There are several social media sites that you could easily access and use to freely promote your brand, but you don't. I follow the Dementium page on Facebook and back before you basically shut down all hope of a third game (again, based solely on the Twitter response) there were a lot of Renegade Kid fans who didn't want anything to do with Twitter, even though the admin of the Dementium page kept suggesting it.

    Snapchat and Instagram are two social media outlets that can put you in touch with more people and all you really need to do is post a picture.

    Because you limit yourself to Twitter, I think you don't see other people's opinions of Twitter, which they comment about on the other social media sites and not Twitter since they refuse to use it. Twitter is useful, there are a lot of active Twitter users, but most people don't like it.

    It's the equivalent of posting flyers in your neighborhood and thinking that will be sufficient. No, sometimes you need to go into other neighborhoods and communities and street corners to Nail your flyers to the light pole.

    Definitely take into consideration what others have said, though I personally disagree with 90% of it, but for your own sake, I'm begging you to stop limiting yourself to Twitter.

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  24. 2D-platformers are so over-populated on eshop. Time to make something else?

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  25. For me its the price and name of the game. Not very appealing and in Canada's, it's more than $20. I personally am tired of pixelated artstyles in games and it just didn't appeal to me in my opinion. I did love mutant mudds though back in 2012. And it doesnt help that I rarely turn on my 3DS..

    Good luck and I hope you find success in your other titles!

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  26. Please port Chicken Wiggle to the Vita and / or PS4, and I promise you that myself and many other fans of your games on those platforms will get it day 1

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  27. And what makes your game special compared to the 50 billion other pixely platformers?

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  28. Hi Jools,

    FWIW, I bought Chicken Wiggle twice -- once for myself and once for my 7yo daughter. When my 3yo son is slightly older I'll get it for him too. I'll also buy it twice more -- for my and my daughter's Switches -- if you will please port it to the Switch :)

    Thank you so much for such a great game!

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  29. So this is coming from a long time Nintendo fan - I saw this story over on the r/Nintendo subreddit and wanted to weigh in as a big fan of yours AND of platformers.

    This game looks like what Mario Maker for 3DS SHOULD have been. I will probably buy this now, but damn if the name didn't throw me off. It sounds like "shovelware", if I may be frank. It's a shame because the game looks very polished and fun, easily worth the $15 for us creatives and fans of platforming games.

    I think you'd see better immediate profit on Switch where indies are more hit-or-miss, we don't have a ton of 2D platformers, and the Mario Maker community is desperately wanting something to remind us of the Wii U hit. I hope you see better sales soon, as it gains publicity!

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  30. Hello and sorry your latest game didn't sell. I've been following your work for a few years and I've been meaning to contact you somehow to express my opinion on why you haven't been more sucessful. Sorry if this sounds arrogant, I do not wish to pretend I have all the answers.

    Core gameplay feel, although still fundamental to the enjoyment of the game, is not enough to guarantee commercial success. 'Woah Dave' is an example I have to mention, a game with with almost perfect 'playability' which was mostly ignored by larger audiences. The gameplay loop has become prevalent. People fancy addictive style gameplay, hence the much larger success of far less quality playing rogue-lite games like 'Rogue Legacy' and 'Binding of Isaac'.

    Theme and visual presentation are also an important subject matter. Darker, but still PG, imagery is prevalent among commercially sucessfull retro indie games. Cute does not sell, unless you are specifically targeting very specific demographics which, on the other hand, traditionally don't play old school action games. Look at the above mentioned 'Rogue Legacy' and 'Binding of Isaac', as well as other indie successes like 'Spelunky', you will notice dark undertones to both story and visuals, as well as a choice of main caracter that goes in the opposite direction of the 90s style mascot type.

    I believe you would be enourmously more successful if your main character was a Darth Vader look alike and your game was set in a space opera style scenario. If the core gameplay loop is purposely addictive, either a construction/simulation (think Terraria) or rogue-lite, you could be looking at a huge indie hit.

    The 80s had many dark-ish but totally PG franchises you could take inspiration from. Make sure to include some form of continuous progress to your game (like a levelling system), as this would most definately help you reach a larger audience too

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  31. Sure can get depressing to read Jools...failed Kickstarters, lack of interest on New Kickstarters, renegade kid dissolution, Xeodrifter done to barely be able to pay the debts, cancelled games, delayed gamed...less success with each new game. And the worst part is that it is not just him...probable most indie developers struggle with those situations every single year.
    My two cents...

    1. I think most people.here and in many places (Neogaf, Gamefaqs, Gonintendo, Nintendos, etc) are exaggerating the name of the game as bad. As I see it, that's just using the results to judge the procedure. I went back to the whole coverage this game got at Nintendos and Gonintendo and almost NONE ever mentioned the name as a negative. Sure, the price, the graphics, the fact that it was not on switch were common complains, but the name was never one. Now that the game flopped, it's easy to look back and start looking for excuses.

    2. Speaking of excuses...the game was DOA, and Im sad the creator was not able to see it with time in order to either revamp the whole project or stop it and make another one. One can see the lack of interest, blog posts, lots of videos uploaded, a year of development well documented on Nintendo specific sites...and yet the comments were minimal, and even those had well above 50% of negative to indifferent opinions. When you Bradley have an audience, and said audience couldn't care less about the project, you know you never had a chance.

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  32. Following you on Twitter, I saw screens of this game a few times now. I did not buy it, and here's why:
    - I thought the game was an asset recycling project. I had muttant Mudd and everything looked very much the same. I thought this was a cheap title to complemented the previous games. The title, the character all added to my impression.
    - I already moved to the Switch. And, even though I will get the new Metroid, the 3ds is pretty much done for me.
    - I'm saturated of 2d pixelated graphics, Sonic mania was good, but I need to play moderns things now.

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  33. I'm going to agree with some of the feedback that naming confusion on a couple of layers contributed to this not being on my radar for 3DS.

    First, I'll agree with the sentiment that "Chicken Wiggle" did not capture my interest as being a highly-polished game. If Chicken Wiggle is a name for a style of casserole, it must be a regional or cultural one I wasn't familiar with until I searched for the phrase online; that failed to reach me on a personal/intuitive level the way it may have when naming it. Without that, it has the feel of trying to reach a 'naive' audience, cashing in on a name used by a popular children's program. Additionally, while I'm familiar with Renegade Kid's work on Mutant Mudds, Xeodrifter, and Moon [Chronicles], I still wasn't properly aware (though in hindsight I vaguely remember hearing) you have been working under another developer name. I didn't have prior knowledge to associate Atooi with your previous work. I understand those things are somewhat beyond your control, but it has a non-trivial impact.

    It's never good to judge a the metaphorical book by its cover, but with the sheer number of games being released these days and most attention focus to Switch means discovery is either much slower or more superficial. The first time I heard of your game was about a week ago on IGN's Nintendo Voice Chat where they sang the game's praises and established the connection to your history. It's certainly on my radar now, and I will look to the Sale as an opportunity to help. Without them, I would likely still not be looking toward purchasing!

    I haven't yet moved to Switch (I'm "doubling down" on 3DS and Wii U this year to experience as much of the catalog before I start another), but most of the attention of both media and my social circle has, and that's certainly a contributing factor as well.


    Thanks for being honest with your thoughts and concerns. I'm sorry you're struggling to get your investment back on your hard work, even if you are getting critical recognition. I know these responses aren't statistically representative of the main reasons you didn't have the customer response you expected, but I hope this marketing feedback is helpful for the future, and best of luck in making ends meet as a game developer. I understand the stress you must feel.

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  34. This is so sad. I love your games. I told you I would buy your game on twitter (16Toglory) and I've kept my promise. I got paid today and screw the sale. I paid full price. Pls pls support switch. Indies are having great success there.

    My options why this game didn't succeed

    Audience wants to play games on switch not on 3ds. Name was cute but seems like a cheap title based on name. 14.99 is a good price a few years ago. Maybe even last year. But 9.99 would have been more of an impulse buy in today's 3ds market.

    Love your games!!!

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  35. I am a fan of your work especially Mutant Mudds and super challenge. I plan on getting chicken wiggle and Metroid soon (probably when it goes on sale and I get paid). I think a lot of peoples attention has moved to switch as well, mine included. Best of luck

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  36. Honestly it's a game no one wanted, looks like an app store title, (I bought it btw it's not entertaining enough to warrant even the sale price, xeodrifter is, and so would have treasurenauts. ) I'm saddened to see you rage quit, but the market base for the 3ds has not "moved on". I was looking forward to treasurenauts, however since you won't be developing any further 3ds games, I guess you'll have unexpected low sales on the switch as well, and miss out of potential sales for the 3ds. I've seen many, many people talk about wtf is chicken wiggle and where is treasurenauts. Nintendo isn't your advertising department, but you gave up. No sales from an install base that looked forward to treasurenauts and aren't buying into the switch.

    I guess you'll just be getting low sales. Sucks to hear, and I'm sorry it didn't work out tho. I'll miss thanks of having treasurenauts as I know many others will, but they won't go buy a Zelda player for it.

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  37. I saw the gane on the eshop and it didn't interest me. Pixel graphics, Mario maker clone, overpriced, trailers and promo didn't seem like anything interesting. I figured my money was best spent elsewhere.

    As far as marketing goes i never heard of the game before i saw it on the eshop.

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