2007 is almost over. It's time to take a look at what was accomplished in 2007.
The first part of the year was dominated by the release of Microsoft Vista. Vista forced me to make a number of product updates, most notably version 11.0.1 of Pretty Good Solitaire. It became clear in the first few months of 2007 that Vista was a real dog, which set up the decision that dominated the rest of the year: the decision to develop for the Mac market.
Throughout the middle of year, Mac development was the focus, which meant that we did little in the way of product releases. The one new product we had planned to release in the spring was delayed in favor of Mac development (that product will now be released early in 2008). Also in the middle of the year I decided to make the next update to Pretty Good Solitaire a major one, so the summer was devoted to development of version 12.
The fall was marked by the two big releases of the year: version 12 of Pretty Good Solitaire and the first Mac version of Pretty Good Solitaire.
Pretty Good Solitaire version 12 contained 40 new games (bringing the total to 700) and two new larger card sizes. As such, it was the largest new version release since 2003. Since it's release in October, it has also become the most commercially successful new version release since 2002. No new version of Pretty Good Solitaire had caused such a large sales increase in five years.
Why was it so successful? First of all, there were a lot of upgrades because this version was the first version that was not a free upgrade for people who ordered in 2002, 2003, and 2004. But beyond that, it also stimulated new sales as well. I think there were two reasons for this.
Historically, new versions with an even hundred number of games have always done much better than other versions. So the previous best releases were the 500 game version in 2002 and the 600 game version in 2004. Versions with a less catchy number of new games just don't increase sales as much.
But also, the 2 new larger card sizes clearly made this release stand out. The last time I added new card sizes (the 500 game version in 2002) was the last time a new version increased sales as much as what we saw with version 12. From my email it was clear that the larger sizes were a big hit.
November saw the release of Pretty Good Solitaire Mac Edition. This 30 game basic solitaire collection was our very first Apple Mac game ever. We didn't really have any idea what to expect. The results since November have been very encouraging. The Mac market is clearly a viable market for the indie game developer. As I'll write in 2008 when I discuss our plans for the new year, we are definitely going to be expanding the Mac game and probably adding more Mac products as well.
All in all, the late in the year releases made 2007 end on a very positive note. The falling dollar throughout the year certainly didn't hurt either, making our games as cheap as they have ever been outside the USA. The signs are that 2008 should be a very good year.