Fruits and jetpacks catapult Halfbrick to success

If you make a good game on iOS and charge for it, people will pay to play it and you get some dough. If you make a great game and still charge for it, people will still pay for it and you start to get rich. But, if you make an awesome game and make it free-to-play, you become a tiny millionaire, a fact proven by developer Halfbrick and one of its huge success stories, Jetpack Joyride.

At the DICE conference in Las Vegas, chief marketing officer Phil Larsen gave an interview in which he stated that Jetpack Joyride, the $1 app (at the time) sold about one million digital copies before going free-to-play, which happened mid-December last year. After the brave — but not surprising — move, the downloads have been ticking like a timed bomb, one that seems to go on forever as the number of downloads reached now has surpassed 13 million. And with a healthy 5 to 10 percent of people spending more than a buck on in-game purchases, the game is now making more money than ever before.

Larsen also said Fruit Ninja Kinect — the other half of the company — has reached a prolific 500,000 in sales on Xbox 360, making it more than a successful console experiment. In addition, Larsen offered a comment on Fruit Ninja, the iOS app, making it clear that the company is to continue to support the title in the future by releasing further updates for it rather than make a sequel to it.