Slitherine Group claims victory for premium priced games on tablets
The Slitherine Group reports that sales have nearly quintupled in the last three years.
The company is formed by Slitherine, Matrix Games, and Ageod, all of which make strategy and wargaming titles.
The group attributes the 480 percent spike to the growth of PC digital download services and the tablet sector, which now accounts for over a quarter of all revenues.
Perhaps more surprising is the company's business model, which asks fans to pay premium prices for its tablet games.
"We think that the case is now made," said Slitherine Group chairman JD McNeil.
"Fully featured games will and do command a sensible pricing policy on the new tablet platforms... My prediction at this event last year that others would soon be following in our wake seems to have come to pass, with Ubisoft amongst others now announcing some realistic price points."
Despite the niche character of its games, the company now commands over one million unique users a month and a forum of 250,000 active members.
“We revel in niche and in our case this is most certainly not small or insignificant,” said McNeil.
Fans of these games don't have too many other places to turn, and hard-core strategy fans are more than willing to pay for the sort of long-term enjoyment afforded by a decent strategy title.
With the rate at which Slitherine publishes new games these fans are also granted the luxury of choice, as the company churns out over one new game a week during peak periods, and 19 new games are currently in development.
Strategy enthusiasts don't have to visit Steam or own a tablet to enjoy the company's games either, as Slitherine has its own stores online to market games directly.
“We are often compared to the likes of Impulse or GamersGate to name but a few,” explained McNeil.
“Theirs is a totally different business model; they are simply 21st Century shops, no more, no less. What we do is entirely different and pretty unique in this business and we know that our developers really do appreciate all of this, because they tell us and they hang around”.
The difference is of course that it's a shop catered to a select few customers, rather than the general gaming market, which means developers get their games directly in front of the most likely purchasers.
Even if the business model is thriving because of a small core of enthusiasts, McNeil doesn't think that rules out expansion.
“Although we are more than happy with current results, we never stop stretching our growth targets and extending services to our community and to this end we are announcing that over the next few weeks we will be launching new Matrix Games stores in French, Spanish and Italian, giving gamers the opportunity to access our great strategy games in their own language,” he said.
“On top of that, we are also expanding into new genres: leading with our Buzz Aldrin Space Exploration Franchise and new, Sci Fi and Fantasy titles all designed to expand our range. We see a lot of opportunities to attract new customers by giving them exactly what they want and some they may never even have thought about”.