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Gunman Clive Creator Talks Nintendo eShop Sales And Vita Development


    Gunman Clive creator Bertil Hörberg is hard at work on his next game, which happens to be inspired by The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Meanwhile, his last game, Gunman Clive, was published in Japan this past week by Circle Entertainment.


    When Siliconera spoke to Circle about publishing on the Japanese Nintendo Shop, we also had the opportunity to ask Hörberg a few quick questions regarding Gunman Clive and his future activities. Read on for his answers.


    The last post on your old developer blog is dated May 2012 and says you were having trouble finding the motivation to to get started on your next game. Is that how you ended up working on a Gunman Clive port for the eShop?


    To some extent, yes. When I first applied to become a 3DS developer, I wasn’t really planning to port Gunman Clive, but rather hoping that developing for the 3DS would give me the motivational boost I needed to get started started on my next game. But as I started to experiment with the hardware and moved my code over, I got Gunman Clive running pretty much perfectly after a few weeks and it seemed a waste not to release it.


    Unfortunately, that also led to postponing the issue of getting started on a new game and it took quite some time after the 3DS release before I was on track with the development. Also, since you mention my blog, I guess I ought to apologize to anyone reading it for ignoring it for so long. I’ve considered reviving it now that I’m working on a new game.


    Nintendo said you’ve sold more on their eShop than you have on iOS. Have you had any discussions as to just why that is? Gunman Clive almost came out of nowhere.


    There are many factors that could have contributed to that. To some extent it obviously because of fewer releases on the platform, which leads to more exposure in the eShop. It’s also one of the cheapest games on the 3DS whereas on mobiles it’s almost considered expensive. Also, the game is really better suited for physical buttons, and that may have helped the word of mouth for the 3DS version.


    I’ve received some good promotion from Nintendo as well, but I don’t feel that its success has been as dependent on that promotion as it were in the other markets. Overall the eShop seems like a very healthy market for this type of game. Of course there’s no guarantee that my future games will do as well, but I’m quite optimistic.


    Your sales on Android are higher than those of iOS, too. Do you think there’s an explanation there as well?


    It’s mostly due to how much promotion I received in the stores. The game was featured in the top spot in the games category on Google Play for a couple of weeks and during that time the sales were really great but quickly fell off again afterwards. I got a bit of promotion from Apple when the game was first released as well, but not in an as prominent spot.


    You’re working on your next game now. On Twitter you said, it would inevitably be compared to A Link to the Past 2, which is out this holiday. What kind of game is it?


    It’s still very early in development and a lot of the design isn’t finalized, but it’s very heavily inspired by the early Zelda games; it uses a topdown perspective with 3D graphics and it’s for the 3DS. The artstyle is fairly different from the new Zelda but has some influences from aLttP as well, so yes I think comparisons will certainly be made.


    I think most players realize that my resources are rather more limited though and I wouldn’t presume to be in direct competition with Nintendo. I just hope people will be up for a bit more old-school action adventure gameplay regardless.


    You gave a talk at the Ideame conference in Madrid a while ago. What was it on?


    Yes, I was in a roundtable together with a couple of other eShop developers talking about the differences between the mobile platforms and consoles.


    The Vita seems like an inviting platform for indies, especially now that the PlayStation Mobile publishing fees has been dropped. Do you have any plans to move Gunman Clive there or develop for PS Mobile in the future?


    I would love to develop for Vita at some point, but right now I’m not planning any more ports, and I still haven’t decided if I will bring my next game to any other platforms. The Playstation Mobile framework isn’t really for me, though. Since it’s C#-based it would require me to rewrite my entire code base, so if I were to develop for Vita I would go the traditional way and get a devkit.

    Ishaan Sahdev
    Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and a contributing writer at He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.

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