Stick Wars should be one of the best selling iPhone applications of all time, but a glitch in Apple’s computer system stymied its growth.
When we were researching our story about the best selling iPhone apps, we reached out to John Hartzog, the developer behind the app.
He says Stick Wars has 3 million downloads between the free and paid version of the app, which suggests to us that he didn’t sell over 1 million apps. (He would divulge sales.)
It might have been higher, but Apple stopped approving updates to his app for no apparent reason six months after he released the app.
The app sat in limbo for three months. During that time it fell from number 20 in the paid rankings to 60-70, he says. Hartzog had been releasing updates to his app every other week which kept users interested.
Eventually Apple got back to him and said a technical glitch held back the approval. It was lost in the computer system. Once the app was approved it couldn’t regain its momentum. It never really returned to its highs.
Despite all this, Hartzog doesn’t have any hard feelings towards Apple. He says it was a new system and mistakes can happen.
It’s easy for him to say that though. He was a student when he made the app. Now he’s an officer in the Navy.
Stick Wars is not his livelihood. If it was, we think he’d tell us a different story entirely.