If you haven't purchased DSiWare title Go! Go! Kokopolo then you might want to get your skates on, as the title is going to be pulled from sale on the 31st of this month.
Creator Keith Webb has gone public to outline the thinking behind the move, and while it's tempting to speculate all manner of reasons, there's actually a somewhat more mundane explanation:
Even though my company, Tanukii Studios Ltd (basically just me at the mo) owns all the rights to Kokopolo, the company that helped publish the game was/is called Room 4 Games ltd. They are based in Hungary, but in order for us to work together on the game, they had to set up a company over here in the UK. Their UK company was the one who had the contract with Nintendo to release the game on the European and USA DSiWare and eShop stores, so basically they are the publisher of Go! Go! Kokopolo.
After 3 years, as sales started to dwindle to about a handful a month, it seemed a little counter-intuitive for them to keep their company open only to get the revenue from the sales, whereas in actual fact, is was costing them more on the company insurance to keep it open, than they were making.
They chatted to me, and asked if it was okay to pull the game from the stores, so that they could close down their UK company, and concentrate solely on their Hungarian company which is much easier for them, as that is where they are based.
I reckoned a nice time to take the game off the store would be on the anniversary 3 years after it was released, as I reckoned by now everyone who wanted it would likely have brought it. I emailed a few sites telling them about it just to allow anyone who didn't have a chance to buy it before, or forgot, that they could get their hands on it one last time.
Talking with Nintendo of Europe, they reckoned that anyone who already purchased it would still be able to redownload it if they somehow lost all their digital content, so don't worry about that if you already purchased it
The other thing is, although Nintendo of Europe confirmed to me that it was going to be unavailable in "all territories" after 31st August, I'm not 100% sure they included the US in that or just all European territories. We did request from NOA to remove it as well, but if you are in the US, could you check on the eShop notifications this week and tell me if it mentions anything about it? If not, you USA peeps might have an extra week or so.
Anyway, that's the basic premise. In a way, I think it's quite nice that this version will become a limited release exclusive, and hopefully everyone who got it had a good time playing it (hopefully not too frustrating in areas.
So there you have it — you've got a few days to get your hands on this title before it's gone forever. It's not all bad news, though — Webb had some more details on Kokopolo 3D, which is still in development:
Now, onto "Kokopolo 3D - Space Recipe For Disaster". I can confirm the plan is still to release this sometime ... but I'll be 100% honest, I ain't got a clue when. In terms of art assets and level layouts etc, it's about 60% complete...but I am just waiting on the coders to finish porting the gameplay code from the original over to the 3DS hardware. When it is finished, however, it will be a brand new game, rather than a straight port of the DSi version, with all new levels, bosses, music intro's, endings etc...so if you already have the original Kokopolo, this will be a new adventure for you
Circle Entertainment will be publishing "Kokopolo 3D", but they have been very patient with me as I try to get everything done, so kudos to them. Chances are, I'd also like to release Kokopolo 3D around the $4 mark (the original had to be $8 as per Nintendo's policy back then based on file size). This should hopefully make it more palatable for players who were on the fence with the first one.
How do you feel about the original game being pulled, and are you excited about getting your hands on the sequel? Drop a comment to tell us what you think.