• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
AppSpy 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
Blackberry  header logo


Fishlabs on why its approach to F2P games will be different from everyone else's

The galaxy is expanding...

Summary Interview Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  
Product: Galaxy on Fire 2 HD | Developer: Deep Silver Fishlabs | Genre: Shooter, Strategy
For: Blackberry   Also on: Android, iPhone, iPad, Steam
Galaxy on Fire 2 HD Blackberry, thumbnail 1
Over the past decade, Hamburg-based studio Fishlabs has become renowned for pushing the mobile gaming boundaries.

Starting off in the Java era with graphically groundbreaking titles like Snowboard Hero, the German outfit is most recently recognisable for creating the huge virtual smartphone sandbox that is Galaxy on Fire (GoF).

I sat down with Michael Schade, CEO of Fishlabs, just a few days prior to the launch of Galaxy on Fire 2 Full HD on Steam to talk about the company's plans for the future, and to ask the question that's on all GoF fans' lips: where's Galaxy on Fire 3?


The reason for the continued absence of a true-blown sequel to GoF 2 is actually a lot more complex than I first thought.

According to Schade, the code being used to run one of the most impressive-looking titles on the App Store is actually still based firmly on the original Java version - in fact, the engine takes up only 1.5MB of the download size.

While it is possible to build upon this codebase further still, Schade believes that the series "needs to have multiplayer" in the future - and this just isn't possible with the way the software is currently coded.

According to Schade, it'll take at least two years to create the next game with a new engine, so the team is instead planning to launch a few spin-off entries at the end of the year that focus on "key game mechanics" that could feature in GoF 3.

Ah, yes: GoF 3. While Schade is naturally unwilling to talk too much about a game that's not been officially confirmed yet, he tells me that Fishlabs will be watching how well these end-of-year spin-off titles fare. This research will then influence the production and design of GoF 3.


One thing that seems certain regarding future releases, though, is the business model Fishlabs will be using.

Once a staunch supporter of premium games, Schade tells me it was "plain stupid" to ignore freemium and F2P, and that developers "ignoring a business model that is flexible will go out of business".

Hold the pitchforks, mind, for Fishlabs isn't making this move lightly. In fact, Schade calls it "the next big transition for the company".

Instead of taking its cues from the endless farming social games, Fishlabs will be once again looking to the PC for inspiration.

Schade states that Turbine games like Lord of the Rings Online (of which he was a paid subscriber before it changed) is the F2P model Fishlabs is looking to emulate, not the games that, in his words, "give a bad experience of F2P".

Double agent?

In fact, Schade tells me he used to be very "anti-freemium" on account of his love for epic role-playing and adventure games on PC, but that Turbine's efforts have really helped persuade him there is still a way of keeping the gameplay intact within the F2P business model.

Given the company's history as one of the most dedicated defenders of premium games on the App Store, I wouldn't bet against it finding that sweet spot between the two camps.

Galaxy on Fire 2 - Supernova will be hitting iOS in September.


Reviewer photo
Will Wilson 23 August 2012
Have your say! Related stories