FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

With the launch of the iOS iTunes AppStore we embarked on a campaign of releasing ebooks as apps largely because it was proving to be both popular and the only mechanism to sell books into this ecosystem without involving multiple vendors and issues that arose later.

Since then Apple has launched the iBookStore and allowed the delivery of more traditional ebooks (although with rich media support via epub3).

Ebooks like epub3 allow the division of content away from the reader application software, and in the case of ibooks that is software maintained by Apple.

With a catalog of over 50 FSpaceRPG/FEDRPG ebooks apps in the AppStore written using various generations of an ebook engine we wrote, we’ve struck a problem we didn’t anticipate - the rapid evolution of the of the devices and OS releases and the impact on the development tools and store requirements.

Our RPG ebook apps sell in modest volumes compared to our normal ebooks in other channels. But the volumes are still quite minimal. The cost of revamping the app code for a single title each year far exceeds the revenue we capture for it.

We’ve made the hard decision to begin deprecating the bulk of these ebook apps in 2013 after applying the last refresh for iOS 6, iPhone 5s, iPad 3s.

What we are doing now is bundling the books in collection apps instead. We’ve already done this with the likes of Federation Times and FED RPG which combine all the titles for them into an existing single app. Some people will benefit because they have the master in which we’ve combined the others.

For the bigger FSpaceRPG collection we’ll be making one master app called FSpaceRPG, but we’ll keep around both a Concise Rulebook app and probably a NetRules so that we have tier of products users can acquire depending on interest.

We continue to produce new books, but for nearly 2 years we haven’t shipped these as ebook apps in the iTunes AppStore. In future we’ll make them available in the relevant collection app.

How these will be made available and sold, we haven’t determined.

We are committed to the support of our RPG products, want to add some fantastic value to end users and are still enthusiastic about the mobile device boom. Look out for more innovation from us in the future.

Categories: Development

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