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Five Hopes – The Story

So, as always, it’s been a few months since my last post and, as always, I’m sorry and I’ll try and do these more often (I mean, I probably won’t, but I’ll try)! It’s been a crazy few months with Idle Armies launching, getting featured on Apple and becoming our first big success. At the moment it’s had over 700,000 downloads on iOS and Google Play combined, which is nuts. Obviously I’m really excited and this gives me the opportunity to carry on with Grumpy Rhino Games and hopefully expand the team to make bigger, better games.

But anyway, on to the point of this post…

A long time ago I launched a game called Five Hopes, this was probably the first Grumpy Rhino game that I had made that I was really proud of. I’d spent a long time on it and (I know it’s cheesy) but I really cared for it. So that I could focus on the game and not worry about how I’d make money from it, I decided to try and charge players up front for it rather than include adverts and In-App purchases. Unfortunately this was a big mistake, the game only got a few hundred downloads and as I was only making a couple of dollars per sale, I made a massive loss on this game. The biggest cost being my time (having spent close to 6 months on it). This kind of thing happens all the time in the Mobile industry, whether you’re a big company or a small one, for every success you hear about, assume there’s a lot of failures.

Five Hopes was incomplete on launch (having only 2 of the 3 planned zones), it was always my intention to finish the game and I made some of the levels on the new zone, but the downloads dropped and it became clear that I wouldn’t be able to finish it. I was spending time and money on a game that was lucky to get a download a week. In fact if I hadn’t launched More! Gold! Now! at around the same time, and that hadn’t done well, I probably would have had to abandon Grumpy Rhino Games. So instead of finishing Five Hopes, it sat in a half finished state and gathered dust, while I went off and specialised in Idle Games.


Then very recently I got an email, then another and then another, all from people asking when I was going to finish Five Hopes. I replied to most of them saying that I couldn’t, that it made no sense as a business to do it. Then my mum, who had never played a computer game before, but who had been solidly chipping away at Five Hopes for a year, finished the first two zones. I started to ask myself, why shouldn’t I finish it? It had always annoyed me that I hadn’t.

So I did.

Hopefully by the end of this week, those players who’ve paid for Five Hopes on iOS and Google Play will get an update with the new zone, this version of the game is no longer for sale. I will then also be launching a new free version, that will contain all 3 zones, but will be supported by ads and In-App Purchases. This way, hopefully, a lot more people can enjoy Five Hopes and those who’ve supported the game by paying will get to finish the adventure!

I hope to get the free version out in early December.

Thanks again for all the support, the downloads and the ratings!

Cheers, Grumpy Seb