Delight Games LLC’s Interactive Novel Downloads Exceed Five Million

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Delight Games LLC, a one-person startup mobile game publisher, celebrates its one year anniversary. The company’s 18 interactive novels have collectively reached over 5.5 million downloads, earning high ratings from users in app store.

Cover of interactive novel "Zombie High".

Cover of interactive novel "Zombie High".

...if anyone is hitting distribution numbers like what I'm seeing, they're keeping those numbers quiet.

Delight Games LLC’s 18 interactive novels have reached over 5.5 million downloads on smartphones, most of which were free. These apps have received over 22,000 ratings, averaging at more than 4.3 out of 5 stars. Delight Games, formed in October 2013, celebrates 1 year of unforeseen success.

“To put these numbers into perspective,” says Delight Games owner Sam Landstrom, “the classic sci-fi novel A Wrinkle in Time, which has been in publication for over 50 years and was once required reading in schools, has sold around 10 million copies. Comparing print books with smartphone book downloads is a little rough, but it shows that we are getting these titles into the hands of readers. That’s not bad for a year-old company that consists of a guy working out of his shed, a few occasional contractors, and a couple hundred dollars in advertising.”

Landstrom believes Delight Games’ downloads compare strongly to other publishers of interactive fiction. “Even the publisher Random House is experimenting with interactive books; however, if anyone is hitting distribution numbers like what I’m seeing, they’re keeping those numbers quiet.”

Delight Games LLC creates interactive novels (or gamebooks) that combine elements of books and games. The novels are comparable to the best-selling Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books, popularized in the 1980’s, in that the reader sees the story through the eyes of the main character and makes decisions that alter the story. They differ from CYOA books however, because reader choices also change stats that are vital to the character’s survival or wellbeing. For example, in the interactive book Zombie High, the reader plays a teenage girl, Jane Valentine, during the zombie apocalypse. Jane has stats such as “Infection”, “Cool”, and “Humanity”, which go up and down depending on the reader’s choices. If Jane’s “Infection” stat gets too high, she becomes a zombie and has to start over or go back to a checkpoint. Choices and their consequences are designed to be logical, but not obvious. If the reader makes it to the end, they receive a score and a rank.

Landstrom believes that interactive fiction could revitalize people’s interest in reading – particularly young people – by blurring the line between books and games. Due to the books’ game-like qualities, all of Delight Games interactive fiction novels are categorized in the smartphone app stores as games, not books.

Delight Games novels have over 22,000 ratings in the app store, with an average above 4.3 out of 5 stars; “Readers love them,” says Landstrom. “We have a higher rating than most mobile games, and that’s coming from mobile gamers, not from people perusing the store for books. I often get feedback from customers who say things like ‘I didn’t expect to like this,’ or ‘I don’t like reading, but I like this’. Even more often, I see the word ‘addictive’ in ratings feedback. That’s exactly the word I want to hear, especially from young people. Reading should be addictive,” he continues.

Landstrom asserts that mobile customer awareness of interactive novels is currently lacking and that downloads could be much higher than they are today. “When people think of mobile games, they think of Angry Birds, Candy Crush, or Assassin’s Creed, not interactive fiction novels. And when most people think about reading on their phone or tablet, they think about a static e-book like Harry Potter or The Tipping Point. If you say ‘interactive novel’ or ‘gamebook’, I’m guessing most won’t be able to name one. Interactive novels offer a unique way of both gaming and reading, and deserve to be more prominent. Our success, despite having no significant advertising, conveys that there is an untapped pool of readers out there for the interactive fiction genre,” Landstrom remarks.

To download any of the free interactive novels from Delight Games on any major smartphone platform, visit http://www.delightgamesllc.com/booksdelightgames/.

For more information about Delight Games LLC, visit http://www.delightgamesllc.com or contact Sam Landstrom at contact(at)delightgamesllc(dot)com.

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