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GameMaker firm enacts strategic changes as it halves mobile licence fee and closes publishing division

Free trial now includes all of the engine's features but has been limited to 30 days; publishing division has closed
GameMaker firm enacts strategic changes as it halves mobile licence fee and closes publishing division
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YoYo Games has cut the cost of its mobile licence by half in an effort to attract more developers to the tech as part of a number of new changes to the company's business strategy.

The mobile licence for the game engine will now cost users a one-off $199 fee for permanent access. This enables developers to publish on Android, Kindle Fire and iOS, with tvOS support coming soon.

The company said it wants its tech to be easily accessible to new game designers and that many new developers are likely inspired to make games that can be played on smartphones and tablets.

“Mobile is a distant second place to desktop, which is why we need to make this move,” YoYo Games general manager Stuart Poole (pictured, main) told, when asked how the number of mobile developers compares to its desktop userbase.

“Recent sales activity has shown that whenever we discount mobile, there is a disproportionate up-take, so we want to make it permanent.”

Limited free trial

YoYo Games is also making a number of other changes to its offerings. The free trial of GameMaker Studio 2 will now include all of the engine’s features but will be limited to 30 days.

The firm hopes that by opening all the full feature-set but limiting the trial period, more of the 1,500 people signing up each day will purchase a licence.

“Applying a time limit to the trial means we can actually remove the resource limitations on the free trial that currently exist, so new users can explore it further and do more with it, without meeting resource restrictions,” said Poole.

“GameMaker Studio 2 enables users to create and publish 2D games to mobile faster than any other game engine. It’s quick and easy to learn the basics, and from only $39 users have access to the full design tools before choosing to export to mobile.”

Publishing division closes

Other changes afoot at GameMaker include alterations to its publishing initiative. The division was launched last year for developers using its tech.

Despite claiming some success in gaining developers recognition and traction amongst its community, YoYo Games has decided to close its publishing division.

Former Outplay Entertainment senior producer Chris Trewartha, who had taken on the role of publishing manager, has left the company.

“It’s become clear over the year that this isn’t where we can add the most value, and that our organisational capability to deliver in this area diverts resources from where they are most needed, and we aren’t in a position to offer significantly more than other publishers in this regard,” said Poole.

“Essentially, we are at our best when we’re providing support to GameMaker developers and publishers that have the effect of inspiring our community and helping new developers to learn faster.”

One area the company aims to continue in is education. The company saw a 50 per cent-plus increase in sales in education over the past year, becoming a "big focus" for the firm.