East Side Games has re-launched Ruby Skies on iTunes as a self-published title, meaning 6waves is no longer involved with the game.
The game originally launched in September, part of a publishing partnership between East Side and 6waves. At the time, East Side Games CEO Jason Bailey told us his company decided to partner with 6waves after talking to several other publishers and receiving unsatisfactory offers based on outdated publishing models that don’t work for social and mobile markets.
“When 6waves came to us, they were the only ones who had a reasonable offer that actually worked,” he told us at the time. “They actually said, ‘hey, if we don’t meet what we’re actually promising you, you get the game back.’ They were the first ones to stand up and admit the publishing model was broken and help us to find a formula that was agreeable.”
Although East Side Games says it’s happy to be self-publishing its games again, this is the second high-profile mobile developer to leave the 6waves stable. In October, Vampire Season developer Brainz ended its relationship with 6waves and pursued publishing its games on a wider array of platforms. That said, 6waves is still publishing over 20 iOS games in the United States alone.
For East Side Games, re-launching the game on iTunes as a self-published title has both pros and cons. Without a third-party publisher, East Side Games is able to react to user feedback much faster than it would otherwise. East Side Games tells us the initial launch was invaluable, too, since it let the developer iron out some pretty big bugs. However, the game’s user reviews on the store page are all gone, which means new players might be slower to download Ruby Skies when there’s a dearth of feedback about how it plays. Also, players will have to download the new version of the game if they want to keep playing, which will probably be an irritation to some, but users’ progress won’t be wiped clean when they update.
Since we reviewed the game, East Side Games has been busy updating it to improve stability and performance issues, as well as adding story elements and making gameplay more enjoyable from the users’ perspective. We’re also told more content is ready for submission, which means the game will likely see more maps and the like in time for the Holidays.