The lights are on
Yesterday marked the launch of Camouflaj’s iOS stealth thriller République. For those just coming to the title, it’s as simple as purchasing the game via the app store. Unfortunately, those that backed on Kickstarter are experiencing a bit of difficulty.
The issue centers on Apple’s rules around complementary game codes. Typically, the number is restricted to 50 (we've been aware that the number increased to 100 promo codes for each update with the release of iOS7 as reported by Mac Stories and others), and the developer may choose to distribute them however it likes.
République’s campaign attracted 11,611 backers. Even those that gave at the bottom tier ($10) are entitled to receive the game.
This mismatch has left Camouflaj manually gifting the game to thousands of backers. Unfortunately, this is only a fix for those in the United States, as Apple does not allow gifting across international lines. Instead, international backers will receive a $5 refund so they can purchase the game themselves.
Currently, Camouflaj is in discussions with Amazon (which handles Kickstarter payments) about how to issue these partial refunds. “In the unfortunate event that we can't, we will find another way to get you $5; it is the Internet after all,” Camouflaj wrote to backers. “If this occurs, it means there will likely be another update and, I cringe typing this, another survey. In the meantime, International Backers: We ask that you trust Camouflaj will refund you $5 and go ahead with purchasing the game through normal means.”
If you’re a République backer, we suggest you check your email for instructions on how to obtain your code or refund. It will mean filling out another survey, but Camouflaj hopes to get every squared away quickly.
Our TakeCamouflaj is learning the hard way about working with digital distribution systems. The developer’s backers have largely been understanding, but better preparation would have gone a long way to making delivery smoother.
Hopefully other Kickstarter project managers working on iOS titles learn from Camouflaj’s errors. The App Store can be exceedingly difficult to work with, and having a game plan in advance can save a lot of time (and good will) down the road.