The cost of releasing a modern smartphone game

The resources that ZeptoLab UK has put behind today’s release of Cut The Rope: Time Travel are really quite something.

There wasn’t a marketing budget behind 2010’s Cut the Rope, which instead relied on good reviews and word of mouth to achieve its remarkable levels of success.

But it’s a different world in 2013.

The Wall Street Journal reports that sequel Cut the Rope: Time Travel will launch today simultaneously across 125 countries and on a few dozen” app stores in a launch costing around $1m.

Plans behind its licensing campaign – which includes clothing, an animated web series and plush toys – began before the game even went into production.

ZeptoLab reached out to some 100 potential merchandising partners. And it clearly worked – last month the game kicked off a six-week Burger King kids meal deal.

Development of the game itself didn’t start until January of this year once coding on the Burger King sponsored online version had finished.

So why all the change? It’s primarily down to competition. With most of gaming’s major players now competing on iOS, the days of a lone indie rising to the top of the iPhone charts are – whilst not over completely – largely a thing of the past.

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