Archive for May, 2011

SOS: Save our Smiles (for WP7)

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Hi. I just received a 2nd e-mail informing me my “Microsoft Windows Phone Marketplace developer account” yearly membership needs to be renewed. That costs $99 USD, and I think I paid $129 CAD.

I made this game (Smiles), and I paid a friend to work with me to port it to Windows Phone 7:

It was available on launch day for Windows Phone 7. Looks like a pretty well made game, right?

Prior to launch, I participated in a Windows Phone 7 press event in Toronto, amongst other things.

Geez Mike, you're blurry and wearing shorts to a press event... *sigh*

The WP7 version hasn’t done very well.

10 Sales, 14 Trials. Trials I only enabled recently, which is why they're so low.

Well, at least the graph looks cool... I guess

I don’t want much:

All I want is to cover the annual platform cost ($99).

At $2.99 (70% of is $2.09), that’s about 50 sales total… but to make matters worse, I think I have to earn $250 before I will get a single payout (feel free to correct me if I’m wrong). That and my bank charges something stupid like $40 to receive a payment these days (gee thanks CIBC), but $250 should cover all that.

A few months back, I thought I’d try something. Inside the control panel, there’s a checkbox that says whether a game has a trial version or not. We never added code to handle the trial, but I decided to click that checkbox anyways. Ahem, let me rephrase this…

The trial of Smiles for WP7 is the full game!

So great! Visit the Zune store right now, and go get yourself a free full game. And if you like it, please buy it. If I can’t earn enough for a payout, I wont be renewing and it will automatically remove the game from the Zune store.

If your PC is set up correctly, you can click here:


Otherwise, search for Smiles.

My total investment in the WP7 version of the game was about $3000. Being realistic, I don’t expect to recoup those costs. Still, if can at least earn the $250 necessary for a payout, then I wont have to remove it. I think it’s fair to expect a platform to be capable of covering its own annual costs, don’t you?

So tell your friends, everyone with a WP7 phone! Come get a free game, and if you like it, buy it and support me for just a few bucks. Thanks!

PS: The game is also available for several other phones and devices:


Thanks again!