News Article

Gunman Clive Developer: 3DS eShop Is "Healthier" Than iOS

Posted by Damien McFerran

3DS version of Gunman Clive has outsold Its iOS counterpart

Gunman Clive recently made quite an impact on the 3DS eShop, earning a positive review from us and bagging some decent sales.

You might assume however that the Nintendo version of the game trails its iOS and Android siblings quite badly - after all, the smartphone editions came out in April last year, and the 3DS version was only released in Europe on December 20th and North America on January 3rd.

However, the developer has revealed on NeoGAF that the eShop version has now outsold the iOS edition of the game. Android remains out in front by quite some distance, but it's still a pleasant surprise. Many people consider iOS to be the most popular digital platform for games right now, but it just goes to show that the bigger something becomes, the harder it is to get yourself noticed.

Gunman Clive developer Bertil Hörberg also gave a few closing comments regarding the state of the portable download market as he sees it:

Obviously iOS is a much larger market and it might not be possible to become an overnight millionaire on the eShop, but for a small game with no marketing and little prerelease hype it does feel like the eShop is a healthier market, and while it's received some promotion from Nintendo it doesn't seem to be as reliant on it.

We'd guess that the healthy sales might have something to do with the high price of other 3DS eShop games, but it's certainly encouraging to see that the platform is providing developers with a profitable alternative to iOS and Android. Gunman Clive's success might also result in cheaper downloads on Nintendo's handheld - something that can only be a positive thing for all concerned.

Has Gunman Clive's commercial performance surprised you? Let us know by leaving a comment below.


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User Comments (65)



KnightRider666 said:

I'm not surprised at all. It's no secret... When you make and release a quality game at a ridiculously low price, it's bound to sell like hotcakes! I'm happy Gunman Clive is doing so well. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a sequel in the works...



LztheQuack said:

I think it's a matter of quantity myself. With so many games on iOS, it is hard to get noticed. Perhaps eShop is the superior market! >:3



Windy said:

Congrats Bertil Hörberg Very well deserved I hope we see more Titles like Gunman Clive on 3DS. Just an Excellent job and you guys are an Excellent developer. Thank you and see you again hopefully. I hope you guys sell a Gazillion Gunman Clives cause i'm going to say already it's a Classic! When Awards time comes around I hope that Gunman Clive is considered



Ignatius_Cheese said:

Well, it may also have something to do with the fact that the eShop has relatively few titles compared to the AppStore/Google Play...

Still its a great little title!



pashaveliki said:

Honestly, I had this game on my iPhone and liked it well enough, but having a few bucks left on my account, i snagged it on the eShop and... the 3DS version is, in my mind, the best version.



Windy said:

@Lan I thought the Music was very High Quality and very appropriate for the game setting. why did you not like it?



Scollurio said:

I love this little gem and like someone before me already said: quality games sell and yes I think there's three more things that helped the 3ds version:
The 3d effect making it look really nice, physical buttons and the fact that on 3ds we are GAMERS that want solid games!

Anyways how can someone NOT like the music if this game?!



TheInvisibleTor said:

@Windy I agree that the music wasn't bad. I actually found it to be a highlight to the game itself that actually led me to play over levels again.



Windy said:

@pashaveliki The Music had a Good the Bad and Ugly Feel to it. (reveals his age a bit) Spaghetti Western synthesized. I thought it was awesome



samstreet101 said:

Sorry to nitpick but my geeky nature just won't let it pass...That is one awful graph, it tells you absolutely nothing. I assume it's total sales on the y-axis and time on the x-axis but one is not labelled and the other doesn't specify the units. Also a source for those figures would be good. I appreciate it must seem like I'm being a total jerk but I assure you it's just as I feel compelled to point it out...good data presentation and citing is important if you want to keep people accurately informed



XCWarrior said:

Great to see a game of quality getting support. Just doesn't look appealing to me, but I'm sure it's good for what it is. Hope 3DS users continue to buy it and it somehow gets back Android as well.



ejamer said:

Source is the NeoGAF article linked immediately before the image. That could've been made more explicit... but it's certainly not just posting unreferenced info. Click the link and you'll be able to see more details and read the developer's own comments.

Speculation: details are probably missing from the graph because of contract details restricting that information. However, a general comparison without numbers is likely acceptable.



ejamer said:

Gunman Clive is very short. That is the only negative I can give, and even there it seems like a steal considering the price. Hopefully more 3DS owners give this game a shot, and Bertil Hörberg releases more great eShop software in the future!



SteveW said:

IOS has literally hundreds of releases every day it is becoming more rare that something actually worthwhile is released and when it is the game is surrounded by hundreds of crap games, I'm sure that hurts things.



Hardy83 said:

Pretty obviously why. The IOS market is absolutely flooded with games. Eshop on the other hand is a barren dessert in comparison.
It would take a high profile IP, or a lot of marketing push to get noticed in IOS now.
Eshop on the other hand relases software at a snails pace, with usually less than a handful of games a week.
ALSO while there are thousands of free or .99 apps on IOS, cheap 3DSWare games are few, especially actual 3D games.

So it's not surprising actually.
What IS surprising is how Android is selling more, since everyone assumes people pirate more on that, as well as it's market being almost as bad as IOS's in terms of how many apps have flooded it.



Ichiban said:

I just assume that if its not Angry Birds or the latest Draw/Spell Something then nobody's gonna even be aware it exists!



Lan said:

To me it just didn't fit the action. The setting, sure, but for such a Mega Man inspired game, I think it should have had more upbeat music to murder birds to.



rayword45 said:

I wouldn't call this shocking. More shocking is that Pop was a bigger success on WiiWare and even DSiWare over iOS.

But yeah. Good news to the market. Maybe increase that market with some goddamn sales.



SteveW said:

Honestly I overlooked this game, it may very well be a fun game but when I saw the graphics I just thought yuck and I'm not really picky about graphics, I still play NES... I may check out a video on YouTube, maybe... but if you want even more sales you should give us something that looks more professional.



Lan said:

@SteveW I think the graphics look really nice. Buy it, if you don't like it, you're out two bucks.



rayword45 said:

@Hardy83 I'd compare the Play Store to Steam. If enough decent people like it, you'll be fine, even with stupidly easy piracy.

@SteveW How is this not professional? It's stylized in the most obvious way possible, and the textures look better then any homebrew game (which is what I assume to be amateur).

For comparison, Sakura Samurai was also stylized, but that game looks like a 1999 reject.



theblackdragon said:

The game looked fine to me, and I had fun playing it. It takes all kinds of people to make the world go 'round, i guess :3



SteveW said:

I just don't like the washed out look, it needs better contrast, the dark lines should be black and it would look much better.



FarukoSH said:

Great news ! Gunman Clive its such a great game even thou i finished a long time ago, i still play it from time to time



Klimbatize said:

I love this game, and I'm glad a lot of other people do, too. I've spent more time on this game then I expected. It's the most fun I've had with a $2 game on the eShop, and even though it's a quick game I've spent several hours on it trying to get all the speed badges.

I'm very happy for the developer's success, and I hope it leads to more great games. I would love a sequel, too.

That said, what do the numbers on the x-axis of that graph mean? It's not days or weeks. How much time does each segment represent?



Kirk said:

The iOS ecosystem is a total mess right now.

Basically, the big well know Apps continue to sell crap loads and pretty much everyone else gets it up the a**.



Bucbanzai said:

you should read the thread on NeoGAF as well it has more details. The game is a good deal and I give hime props for release it at the same price for all markets. Most games of this type always play better with button controls. I've finished 3 times with three characters, and that took about 6 hours, but I will be going back to it to try to reduce the number of lives I use and add some no damage runs because most the levels are a lot of fun to play



Birdman said:

If we can shove these facts into the face of every iOS dev and get them to put more quality 3rd-party titles onto the eShop, when combined with the rumor of the "physical office" requirement going away ... I would be so happy.



McGruber said:

I def need to get around to getting this. We need to support good 3rd party games so our systems dont just turn into Nintendo boxes



Retro_on_theGo said:

This is honestly surprising to me. Good for him! I've been holding off on buying this but I think I'll be getting it soon.



SteveW said:

@Birdman - Physical office is going away but what about the upfront costs? I can get a cheap MAC and develop for IOS for $99 a year, isn't 3DS like $10,000 to get started?



rayword45 said:

@SteveW You can probably cut that by at least 4, since WiiWare was around $2000 and this is supposed to be more indie-friendly



WaveGhoul said:

So...What exactly is so great about Gunman Clive, or should i say unique? It seems that it borrows heavily from the classic Mega Man series, while doing absolutely nothing new in it's own right. The lead character design is absolutely forgettable, the music seems like a mixed bag, the Art style doesn't seem that appealing(forgettable generic throwaway enemies and boss designs)and the jumping seems on the
floaty side...Why play Gun man clive when i can go and play the far superior classic mega man series? ahem, slowly waits for the new Shante Sequal and Mutant Mudds 2.



rayword45 said:

@WaveBoy Bizarre that you compare this for not being unique to freakin Mutant Mudds. NOTHING NEW THERE. Even Shantae borrows heavily from other Metroidvania games. It's like you choose the most generic games possible to make uniquity arguments (Mutant Mudds/Mario 3D Land)

So what's unique? Well, there's the duck mode and lady characters. That's about it.

But this is $2. You want revolution? Too bad. Mega Man 9 cost $18 for the whole package after all.



rayword45 said:

Also, other then a few bosses, I'd compare this moreso to Contra then Mega Man. The way the character controls reminds me a lot more of Bionic Commando (with jumping) then Mega Man.



Kyloctopus said:

There are plenty of reasons Gunman Clive sell on the eShop version
Less Competition (As in weekly release and in overall)
Gunman Clive is one of the few eShop titles marked at $2.
Platformers are more respected on the eShop (Thats what I believe in anyways)
It was released in the Christmas Season. I believe this is the big reason Gunman Clive sold so well.



Bankai said:

One indie has one positive experience with the eShop - almost certainly because of discoverability, does not make eShop healthier than app store.



ecco6t9 said:

One can hope that this is a turning point. There are many great iOS and Android phones that can become classics with button controls.



Windy said:

@ecco6t9 Agreed. I hope we see more conversions from iOS and Android. There are lots of Goodies out there that would be just great on 3DS



rayword45 said:

@Bankai It's not healthier per say, but you must admit you have a much easier chance of getting paid.

With the removal of terrible policies that plagued WiiWare, people have a much better chance of getting paid due to how barren the eShop is right now. And it'll be easier for forever inevitably. You'd be lucky to sell 400 on iOS without Angry Birds or Cut the Rope or some big-name casual appeal in there.

Plus, no piracy on 3DS.



alLabouTandroiD said:

It seems to be very well suited to a platform with physical buttons and a dpad.
Will buy as soon as the patch is released.



Bankai said:

@rayword45 There are new iOS hits regularly. Right now Wreck it Ralph is way on the top of the charts.

Developers need to market on iOS, while some marketing services come built in with releasing a game on eShop. The first time I heard of Gunman Clive was its eShop release, and I have been playing games on iOS for years.

That doesn't make eShop healthier. Where's the news story about Cut the Rope DSiWare not coming close to its iOS sales numbers?



rayword45 said:

@Bankai The people who made Cut the Rope probably didn't give a damn considering how they made loads on iOS.

I consider Wreck-It Ralph a big name, but that's beyond my point.

For every single success on iOS, there must be at least 3042 failures or some huge number. The eShop on the other hand is so empty that your game would have to

A. Look really, really bland (Nikoli games which all have numbers as images and incomprehensible names)
B. Be priced awfully (Riding Stables 3D)
C. You're just unlucky as hell.



rayword45 said:

Note that I am not saying the eShop is healthier per say. I'm just saying that the success-to-failure ratio is really high versus iOS when standards are considered.



Bankai said:

This is one success. How does that in any way demonstrate a success-to-failure ratio higher than iOS?

Gameloft is not supporting the eShop (despite trying with Let's Golf - the very first eShop game and you would assume that meant great sales). Chillingo is not supporting the eShop. The guys that made Zenonia didn't bother supporting the 3DS with ports of the other four games in the series. In fact, none of the really big publishers, aside from Nintendo, is actively supporting the eShop.

That's far more telling about the 'health' of the eShop than one indie's comparative success for a completely forgettable game. The only standout feature of Gunman Clive (from a marketing point of view) is that it is cheap on the eShop.

It's not cheap by iOS standards. That is the only reason for this happening. Not the eShop's health.



rayword45 said:

Don't compare DSiWare. That's a failure, no set standards.

Other people have praised the eShop as well. And it'd be impossible to have as high a failure ratio unless literally ALL games on the eShop were failures.



Bankai said:

@rayword45 None of those publishers have bothered with the eShop at all. Still proves my point.

When Square Enix, EA, Activition, Gameloft, Ubisoft, Namco Bandai - when these companies start bothering with eShop THEN you'll have a point. Right now they're not even that interested in releasing the retail games for download via eShop.



rayword45 said:

Gameloft doesn't belong out of those 6 since they have a much different focus. But I get your point.

Still, for indies, it's much safer ignoring devkit price. It's the same argument you used for the Vita. It's so barren that some will simply take a shot since they'll be noticed for existing, and a good game will wow consumers.



RR529 said:

Haven't got it yet, but I'm planning on giving it a DL on Wednesday (along with Crimson Shroud).



GreenDream said:

Word of mouth and reviews from sites like Nintendo Life still mean something worthwhile to the 3DS eShop, unlike iOS...

I would be interested to know where that huge jump Clive made in the Android market came from!



DaveC said:

Too bad the e-shop is terrible when it comes to it's users. It is too restrictive with it's DRM. With Android you can use it on any device at any time as games are registered to an account not the hardware. With the 3DS games are locked to the unit and if it breaks it is a major hassle to get your stuff back. Moving games between units is another major hassle. Nintendo needs to fix that.



Kage_88 said:

For me, the reason why I would see eShop as being more "healthy" than iOS is because the lack of overwhelming garbage that is found in the app store.

Bertil Hörberg has point in implying that iOS is a victim of its own success; it is getting harder and harder to seperate the wheat from the chaff, and it seems developers are struggling to get their products noticed. It could be seen that the eShop success of Gunman Clive could be attributed to the relatively barren landscape of Nintendo's digital store - rather than any form of 'stand-out' service.

Still, it is a great sign that games on eShop CAN do well, regardless of the determining factors. It is also encouraging to hear the positive reactions to Nintendo's improving relationship with indie devs.



Windy said:

The Eshop has a longway to go and I do hope they start getting it right. There are some Devs missing in action which is a bummer but it seems it might be a good place for new devs to make a name for themselves. I hope so anyway.



Henmii said:

This really surprised me! Especially since I guess the ios version is cheaper, or am I wrong?

Anyway, good news! I also downloaded this game on the 3DS! A pity that it is so short, but it's a fun game and I can still try it on other difficulties with other characters, trying to beat levels as fast as possible and with no damage. By the way: Duck mode seems impossible! Oh man, that's cruel lol!



Windy said:

You know? one thing about Gunman Clive is that the game is so fun that you will go back and play it over. Last time I felt that way about a game was Strider on the sega Genesis

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