The gaming world rejoiced and celebrated the announcement of Fallout 4, but until then Bethesda Studios has their own party to throw when mobile app Fallout Shelter pulled in unexpectedly big numbers.
No one, including game developers and company directors, expected a game initially intended to promote their upcoming game to stand well on its own. Especially since major gaming brands have not seen success when dipping their toe into the waters of mobile gaming.
Regardless, Bethesda Studios seems to have found a way to bridge the gap at least for a little while when Fallout Shelter brought in $5.1 million in the first two weeks. For a little while, the world of mobile gaming wasn’t dominated by Clash of Clans, Candy Crush or Angry Birds. There was a different kind of player joining the game.
The app summarizes what a mobile game should be like, it’s simple, fun and time consuming. It implies a multiple-storied bunker, called “the Vault”, in which players need to keep their people safe from nuclear bombs. Essentially, they are tasked with the job of building rooms, caring for relationships between the Vault’s dwellers and making sure they stay alive.
Think Farmville meets a post-apocalyptic wasteland.
The app following the popular Fallout franchise is free to purchase and to play, but what brought in the big bucks are the optional “lunchboxes” that players can buy in order to speed up their progress. For building rooms or getting items, users need to send out some bunker dwellers in order to gather resources that will pay for lunchboxes.
However, real money can speed up that process. Whether the player is in dire need of more room or perhaps looking for a way to skip through the tiresome waiting time, Fallout Shelter offers that opportunity. And that is precisely the reason of its unexpected success.
For the next three weeks after its release, Fallout Shelter was the most downloaded game app in the United States and 48 other countries, even reaching the top 10 grossing-games nearly every single day. Bethesda Studios refused to report how much the app cost to develop, but there was no doubt in its success when it was admittedly “infinitely profitable”.
While the sum of $5.1 million is not exactly substantial to a major company like Bethesda, with hit games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls RPG series on their resume, the app has certainly been much more profitable than imagined.
Furthermore, according to company’s director, Todd Howard, this has revealed that console and PC gamers are not completely rejecting the idea of turning to mobile gaming. It opens a new area for them to explore, which was previously thought not be travelled by so-called ‘avid gamers’.
Fallout Shelter has been released only on iOS and is currently seeing decline due to its unexpected success because game developers haven’t foreseen the need for an expansion, but now it could be said that they might’ve changed their minds.
The mobile game app will be available in August on Android systems as well and Bethesda are hinting at expansions that could stop the decline in its tracks.
Image source: imore.com