Actually that doesn't work since there are no physical copies. Bummer. As much as I love living in the era of digital distribution, something has been lost from the era of big boxes containing fat manuals and neat trinkets related to the game. But my age is showing, so I'll wander off and drink my Metamucil now.
Will there be a boxed version of AVWW like AI War and Tidalis or did the low sales of Tidalis sever your relationship to HeadUp?
It's really too early to say. We've worked with three publishers, two in Germany and one in Russia. We made a small amount of money out of the one in Russia (for AI War), but it barely covered the costs of actually doing the work to get it ready. In Germany, we were owed high four figures from one company that went bankrupt, and so we never saw one cent from all the German retail sales of AI War, nor did we get any money from our advance. And we spent a few thousand in legal fees negotiating that deal, so it turned out incredibly poorly for us.
With Headup and Tidalis, the sales there are probably something I'm not supposed to talk about. But while those are good folks, the experience there has not led me to want to do any more physical publishing deals, either. Most indies I've talked to who are involved at all in physical distribution feel like it's not worth it; it's an incredible amount of hassle and distraction for barely enough money to cover the hassle, and so you do a bunch of work to wind up where you were to begin with (while having neglected actual work on your current/upcoming games at the same time). Kind of a raw deal.
Now, that may just have more to do with our current titles than anything else. Tidalis just never has sold well, anywhere, and AI War is incredibly niche and so has thrived on the Internet but probably couldn't exist in any other sustainable form. Hopefully AVWW will be a different story on all fronts, being a lot less niche and hopefully not falling prey to the problems that Tidalis had, but even if that's true I think that online digital distribution is both easier and where the money is at. So to do something harder... for less money... still doesn't make me excited to do physical releases.
Sigh. I wish it weren't so, because nothing would make this more tangible to me than to be able to walk into Walmart or something and see something I made sitting on the shelf there. That would be the epitome of cool. And it might happen someday, but so far it's not looking likely without some shifts in the games industry and how things work in general.