Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The 2016 Panic Report

Cable Sasser:

2016 was clearly the Year of Firewatch for us. Thanks to Campo Santo’s heroic efforts, Firewatch shipped right on time on Mac, PC, and PlayStation 4. We later added an Xbox One port.


We shipped 34 software releases over the course of 52 weeks in 2016, and three of them were significant new-feature updates. Each one of them was fully tested and qualified by our expanded and improved QA team.


Trying to do macOS quality work on iOS cost us a lot of time for sadly not much payoff. We love iOS, we love our iPhones, and we love our iPads. But we remain convinced that it’s not — yet? — possible to make a living selling pro software on those platforms.

Congratulations on 20 years!

For 2017, I’m looking forward to Transmit 5 and its support for a lot more cloud storage services. And hopefully Apple will remove the Firewatch rip-off from the App Store.

Update (2017-04-07): Nick Heer:

There are probably plenty more pricing models than what I’ve written here, but none I’ve seen yet seem capable of addressing the financial viability of this specific software niche. It’s a tricky problem. Without a solution, though, I question the long-term viability of independently-made professional-grade software on iOS.

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