In a recent interview with Wired
, developer Ethan Nicholas
admits he made about $600,000 in a single month with his iPhone game iShoot
. The game was his first and surely won't be his last.
Ethan Nicholas quit his day job as an engineer at Sun Microsystems the day iShoot reached the number one position at the App Store, raking in $37,000 in a single day, but it wasn't all easy for Ethan Nicholas.
While working as an engineer, he worked on iShoot about eight hours a day. Nicholas had never programmed a game for the iPhone before but he couldn't afford to purchase books to learn how to write code. He decided to learn from various websites and ended up teaching himself while creating the game.
He also had a family to take care of, including a 1-year-old son. Money was tight for his family because of medical bills and due to the economic downturn his bonuses were cut. Nicholas powered through and finished his game, releasing it in October 2008.
iShoot had a slow start, not selling very well for the first few months. In the meantime, Nicholas coded and released a lite version
in January in an effort to gain some recognition. Within the lite version he advertised his $2.99 pay version. This is the most important piece of the puzzle.
The lite version of iShoot ended up being downloaded over 2.4 million times, rising to the number one spot and staying there for about three weeks. The word of mouth got out and iShoot, the pay version, jumped to the number one position as well for 26 days while being downloaded over 320,000 times.
Ethan Nicholas has yet to be paid so there is no proof any of this actually took place. Sources have confirmed, however, that the download numbers are accurate and his story is entirely possible.
Nicholas has decided the first thing he is going to do once he receives payment is hire a nanny so his wife can spend time assisting him in the daily operations.
Ethan Nicholas' story is proof that the App Store gold rush still isn't over. Hopefully this is just another great story of inspiration for developers instead of a breeding ground for jealousy. Congratulations Ethan, you deserve it.