updated 11:01 pm EDT, Wed July 17, 2013
Game was part of App Store fifth anniversary promotion
Naturally, giving something away for free when it normally costs money is bound to increase your popularity. During last week's App Store Fifth Anniversary celebration, Apple discounted five games and five non-game apps to free, when they normally sold for between $1 and $20. MacNN reported yesterday on the results from Infinity Blade 2, one of the chosen games that saw a spike in users. Indie game Badland has now come forward to add its experience, jumping from a typical 280,000 downloads per week to 7.4 million during the promotion.
Frogmind, the company that makes Badland, describes the game as an "atmospheric side-scrolling action adventure platformer" combining physics-based gameplay through traps and obstacles with elaborate, stylized graphics and audio. The app, which sells for $4, "sold" as many copies in the one week it was free as it normally does in seven months. While Badland doesn't offer in-app purchases, the company believes the boost it got will lead to word-of-mouth sales from those who got it free. The game was a winner of one of the 2013 Apple Design Awards for its presentation, and has received uniformly strong reviews.
It's not clear if Apple compensated developers of the featured games for "lost" sales, or negotiated an agreement to feature the titles for free. Other games discounted during the promotion, which ended last weekend, included Where's My Water?, Tiny Wings HD and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP.