Savant Ascent, Gentlemen, and Why the Humble Store is Becoming an Interesting Way to Distribute Android Games

Savant Ascent, Gentlemen, and Why the Humble Store is Becoming an Interesting Way to Distribute Android Games

Aug 16, 2013

Interestingly, Humble is slowly expanding from just offering Android games as parts of bundles, and is starting to become an option for developers to distribute their games in unorthodox ways.

Savant Ascent from D-Pad Studio, an arcade shooter featuring the music of Savant, isn’t available on Google Play yet. But an Android version can be had from the game’s Humble widget on the site. Buying a copy of the game on PC gets the Android version as well, and it’s the only way to get it at the moment, though a Google Play version is planned.


What Lucky Frame is doing with Gentlemen!, their multiplayer-focused title, is a bit different. It’s designed for tablets, but people have wanted to run it on their phones. Now, Lucky Frame advises against this, but it’s something that they can provide now. By buying the Humble version of the game, players get the PC/Mac version of the game, along with access to the APK. They can run it on whatever device they want,, and see why it probably is better on tablets. However, Lucky Frame sitll is selling the game on Google Play, and the advantage there? They can provide a more curated experience as far as compatibility goes.

I’ve also talked to at least one other developer who is interested in using Humble to fulfill backer rewards from Kickstarter. This would allow them to distribute the game freely to backers without having to worry about Google Play’s lack of promo codes.

Thanks to the bundles that have been selling, users might just have an awareness that Humble exists as an option, and with various new distribution scenarios popping up, especially in light of Google’s lack of support for distributing promo copies, it could be a route more developers go down, especially with the rise of cross-platform tools like Unity that make releasing on Android easier than ever.

The Hills Are Greener: Who Would Want to Steal From a Gentleman?

The Hills Are Greener: Who Would Want to Steal From a Gentleman?

Jul 22, 2013

I’ve ranted a lot about piracy and the benefits of Android’s openness recently. However, a recent revelation from developer Lucky Frame seems to underscore how bad the problem is: their new game Gentlemen! had 8 paid downloads with 2,462 pirated copies downloaded as of this past Friday, a couple days after release. Ouch.

Now, my initial reaction is that this is a disgusting thing, that Android gamers need to support original paid content on the platform. But I think there’s other factors in play here besides “Android users are filthy pirates.”

Consider the “8 copies” number and the nature of Gentlemen!: it’s a same-device multiplayer game for tablets only, priced at $4.99. Yeah, that’s not exactly a recipe for success on Android. Paid apps can sell on Android, but this kind of app seems like a hard sell.


I’d all but guarantee that the game’s pirated downloads were almost automatic by nature, from a community that probably just pirated the game because, hey, new release. The 30000% piracy rate is unsustainable.

The release wasn’t a serious endeavor, it seems: the game was built in Unity, and it was kind of released on Android just because it was possible. So, this isn’t a story of heartbreak, thankfully. Though I wouldn’t blame Lucky Frame if they decided to skip Android in the future.

What this does underscore that the Android market is different. Yes, Android’s technical nature makes it easier to pirate apps versus iOS, so it’s likely that Android apps will always have a higher piracy rate. But maybe it’s different in that certain games just won’t sell as well on Android, either. Thanks to Apple’s marketing, an iPad feels like a ‘concept’ as much as it does a product, and Android just doesn’t have that in quite the same way. So marketing for ‘tablets’ isn’t going to feel the same. Especially at a $4.99 price point, a tough sell on any mobile platform.

So sure, would I like to see piracy rates not be so bad for developers launching on Android? Sure. Would I like to see games from creative developers like Lucky Frame succeed on Android? Sure. But some realism needs to be considered when looking at why a game may or may not be doing so well.