Is fishing becoming more popular? If Ridiculous Fishing, a mobile app available for Apple iOS mobile devices such as the iPhone and the iPad offers any indication, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.” Up until now, video games involving fishing have never had a major audience, and it’s not really difficult to see why. Most players that are actually interested in fishing would rather head out to the lake to catch a few largemouth bass than play a video game, while gamers who don’t care for fishing opt instead for titles that revolve around action, adventure, racing, or other sports.
It’s that long-lived indifference that is now making the lightning-in-a-bottle success of Ridiculous Fishing such a perplexing event. Since swimming into the Apple app store this past March, the game has notched over 300,000 sales and earned nearly a million dollars for the gaming company Vlambeer and its founders, Jan Willem Nijman and Rami Ismail. The popularity of the game has been an incredible surprise, especially considering the fact that the most popular games on the smartphone app circuit – from Angry Birds to Fruit Ninja – have always offered free options.
Vlambeer’s decision to price Ridiculous Fishing at $2.99 has gathered a fair amount of industry attention since the game scored its 300,000th sale. While many games on the Apple and Android app stores are sold for a dollar or two, most game developers make the point of offering both a free trial version of their title, as well as the paid full version. That way, users can try the game, decide if they like it (or get so hooked that they need to play more), and then purchase the full version. Ridiculous Fishing is only available as a $2.99 full-version purchase, a factor that has made the game’s million-dollar success that much more surprising.
Most interesting for us, however, is the way that Ridiculous Fishing seems to be bringing fishing talk back into the mainstream. Sure, the game isn’t offering what you might call an “accurate representation” of a day on the fishing boat – the protagonist in this game occasionally catches dozens of fish on a single hook, then has to shoot each fish out of the sky once the hook breaks the surface of the water – but it may be getting younger audiences interested in the sport regardless. A simple “fishing” search on the Apple app store returns more than 5000 results, pointing to the thought that fishing may be connecting with today’s audiences in a way that we have never really seen before.
Photo via Ridiculous Fishing