Derrick The Deathfin Interview - 'Derrick Is Not Dead'
With the news of Derrick The Deathfin's poor sales, we chat to Different Tuna's Gordon Midwood about the problems with indie development.
Published on Nov 13, 2012
During development did you have any reason to think Derrick The Deathfin wouldn't do well?
No quite the reverse actually, we thought we would do very well. Everyone who sees the game and plays the game loves it. We knew that we were making a fun arcade game with a unique & beautiful look and a good sense of humour. So there really wasn't any reason to suspect it would sell disappointingly. Also Derrick is not dead, sales can still pick up, go give him a try on PSN!
What do you believe has led to such low sales of Derrick The Deathfin?
Clearly we underestimated the value of having a publisher on console, we self-published. Also we released in a very busy week which was not something we had complete control over.
Put simply I just don't think we have got the coverage we need in the media. Ron & I have been pushing as hard as we can, giving away DIY papercrafts, releasing trailers, talking to journalists etc. but seemingly it has not been enough - as yet!
Is this something that could have been avoided?
Everyone is always cleverer after the event, especially dolphins. You could argue that having a publisher would have helped, or indeed paying someone professional to do PR for us (which we didn't have the money for).
Would you say this is an industry issue or one of audiences perhaps just not being interested?
I don't see it as an industry issue to be honest. It could well be that nobody is interested in the game, for sure, but that's not our experience. I think it's an issue of visibility and publicity not only on the PSN store itself but also in the wider games media.
How can smaller games like Derrick The Deathfin get better exposure?
If I knew that I wouldn't be answering these questions! Perhaps we should say more slightly controversial things with a negative slant to get cheap publicity such as: I really don't like the taste of mangoes on a Thursday.
Would Derrick The Deathfin have fared better if it wasn't on the PS3? Would it be better suited to iOS or Android?
I have no points of reference there so I can't really answer that one in terms of sales. Derrick the Deathfin is a pick up and play style arcade console game, and I can think a few of those that have done pretty well on PSN in the last few years.
Would you consider making a game like Derrick The Deathfin again given what you know now?
Yes! We are delighted to have made such a lovely game, we are happy and proud of what we have achieved. Sales are disappointing up to this point but it could turn around any time - such as when this interview goes out! - and really, money is not the most important thing to us.