Jeremy Fuller is creating War of Words 2
32

patrons

$182
per month
War of Words 2 will shut down if the servers aren't funded. To find out why, and how you can help, read on.

In the beginning
War of Words was released in February 2011. It was the first word game to feature "Action Tiles", including things like Bombs and Multipliers. Players loved it, but I had an idea for something more.

In June of 2012, I released a sequel, entitled War of Words Apocalypse. This introduced a ton of new concepts, including player levels, titles, and avatars, as well as a variety of new Action Tiles and board layouts. The first expansion, Jungle of the Elements, followed in January 2013. The second and last expansion pack, The Sands of Time, came out in July 2013.

Both games were well received by players, but the media never seemed to catch on. As a result, the games were very niche, only played by a few thousand people at a time, and they didn't make much money. I was thousands of dollars in debt (art, hardware, and server costs), and things weren't improving. I spent several years doing my best to market, pitch, and improve the game, learning lots of things about social media and everything else you need to know. But still, nothing much happened.

War of Words 2
In 2013, I was approached by Everplay Interactive. They wanted to bring War of Words Apocalypse to a wider audience. They thought their connections with Apple and with the media, as well as their ability to advertise and acquire users, could mean that War of Words would explode. I thought it was a great opportunity, so I agreed. We rebranded the game as "War of Words 2", and timed the release to coincide with the new Sands of Time expansion pack.

Everplay did a great job, but the media and Apple continued to hate on word games. As a result, we got no coverage at all. Users who found the game via advertising just didn't "get it", and they dropped by the thousands. In the end, we were back where we started—except I no longer owned the game.

Servers are expensive
War of Words 2 runs on servers, as you know. This is how the players interact with each other on the shared game board. Unfortunately, those servers were designed to handle a lot more players than what we ended up getting. (For the technically minded: the biggest architectural decision was choosing to use Amazon SimpleDB for the database. This is something I can't back away from now, and it's one of the biggest costs to keep the game running.)

Since the game didn't succeed financially, Everplay was left footing a rather expensive server bill. Unfortunately, the game wasn't bringing in much money. We scaled down as best we could, but there is a minimum floor where the costs just won't go down any further. That's where we're at now.

In May of 2015, War of Words 2 earned just $3.50 for Everplay. The servers for that month cost $350. It's just not tenable.

Everplay loyally paid for the servers for two years, but ultimately they had to cut their losses. As a result, they decided to terminate their agreement to pay for the servers. I can't blame them—it was only out of the goodness of their hearts that they spent the thousands and thousands of dollars out of pocket to keep it going this long.

Update: September 2016
Everplay went out of business and completely disappeared sometime in 2016. I only found out about this because I went to renew the push notification certificates, something I am required to do every year, but Everplay had not renewed their developer account with Apple. This locked me out of Apple's system, and although I tried to contact Everplay, all my efforts failed.

So in order to keep the game running, I had no choice but to pull it from Everplay and re-publish under my own company, Wolf Studios.

However, we're still left with the same problem as before: the servers are expensive, and Store purchases and advertising generate almost no revenue since there are very few players left and all of them already paid for what they wanted. Even though Everplay is no longer in the picture, I will have to wind this game down if I can't keep it funded somehow.

Here's where you come in
When Everplay announced their decision, I decided to shut the game down. The servers were originally planned to shut down on July 31, 2015.

But then something amazing happened: you. You wrote in by the hundreds, offering to pay to keep the game alive. But I couldn't think of a way to make that work. Then I remembered Patreon. It's designed for exactly this sort of thing: an artist with a bunch of like-minded fans who want to support the work. That's you, and this is how we'll get it done.

So I encourage you to pledge as much support as you think is fair. There are some cosmetic rewards, as well as some rewards from the in-game Store. But the main thing you're doing by pledging is ensuring this game stays alive and kicking.

I look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!
Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
15 patrons
Red Dragon patron



  • Access to Patron-only activity feed here on this site
  • Advertising removed in-game
  • The exclusive avatar pictured above
  • 20 concurrent game slots

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user. Players who were actual beta testers still retain their exclusive title(s).
Pledge $3 or more per month
14 patrons
Silver Dragon patron



  • All rewards listed above
  • All expansion packs unlocked in-game
  • The exclusive avatar pictured above
  • 30 concurrent game slots

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user. 
Players who were actual alpha testers still retain their exclusive title(s).
Pledge $5 or more per month
12 patrons
Black Dragon patron



  • All rewards listed above
  • 1 million Silver Stars in-game (and I'll top off your Stars any time you need more—just send me an email via Get Support)
  • The exclusive avatar pictured above
  • 60 concurrent game slots

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user.
Pledge $10 or more per month
18 patrons
Creator patron



  • All rewards listed above
  • The one-of-a-kind title: Creator of Worlds. This has never been available before.
  • 120 concurrent game slots (double the maximum amount non-Patrons can obtain)

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user.
Goals
$182 of $350 per month
If we reach this monthly goal, I can keep the servers running. The battle will continue—but who will survive?

Any amount pledged above this goal will be spent towards future server time. I'm paying the monthly bill for the servers first, then putting the rest of the money into a separate account to be used towards paying for them in the future.

I expect pledges to drop off over time (they already have), so it's helpful to be above the goal for a while. I don't expect us to stay this high forever—at that point, the game might shut down. That's why it's nice to be able to put aside some extra money right now while we have more support.
1 of 1
War of Words 2 will shut down if the servers aren't funded. To find out why, and how you can help, read on.

In the beginning
War of Words was released in February 2011. It was the first word game to feature "Action Tiles", including things like Bombs and Multipliers. Players loved it, but I had an idea for something more.

In June of 2012, I released a sequel, entitled War of Words Apocalypse. This introduced a ton of new concepts, including player levels, titles, and avatars, as well as a variety of new Action Tiles and board layouts. The first expansion, Jungle of the Elements, followed in January 2013. The second and last expansion pack, The Sands of Time, came out in July 2013.

Both games were well received by players, but the media never seemed to catch on. As a result, the games were very niche, only played by a few thousand people at a time, and they didn't make much money. I was thousands of dollars in debt (art, hardware, and server costs), and things weren't improving. I spent several years doing my best to market, pitch, and improve the game, learning lots of things about social media and everything else you need to know. But still, nothing much happened.

War of Words 2
In 2013, I was approached by Everplay Interactive. They wanted to bring War of Words Apocalypse to a wider audience. They thought their connections with Apple and with the media, as well as their ability to advertise and acquire users, could mean that War of Words would explode. I thought it was a great opportunity, so I agreed. We rebranded the game as "War of Words 2", and timed the release to coincide with the new Sands of Time expansion pack.

Everplay did a great job, but the media and Apple continued to hate on word games. As a result, we got no coverage at all. Users who found the game via advertising just didn't "get it", and they dropped by the thousands. In the end, we were back where we started—except I no longer owned the game.

Servers are expensive
War of Words 2 runs on servers, as you know. This is how the players interact with each other on the shared game board. Unfortunately, those servers were designed to handle a lot more players than what we ended up getting. (For the technically minded: the biggest architectural decision was choosing to use Amazon SimpleDB for the database. This is something I can't back away from now, and it's one of the biggest costs to keep the game running.)

Since the game didn't succeed financially, Everplay was left footing a rather expensive server bill. Unfortunately, the game wasn't bringing in much money. We scaled down as best we could, but there is a minimum floor where the costs just won't go down any further. That's where we're at now.

In May of 2015, War of Words 2 earned just $3.50 for Everplay. The servers for that month cost $350. It's just not tenable.

Everplay loyally paid for the servers for two years, but ultimately they had to cut their losses. As a result, they decided to terminate their agreement to pay for the servers. I can't blame them—it was only out of the goodness of their hearts that they spent the thousands and thousands of dollars out of pocket to keep it going this long.

Update: September 2016
Everplay went out of business and completely disappeared sometime in 2016. I only found out about this because I went to renew the push notification certificates, something I am required to do every year, but Everplay had not renewed their developer account with Apple. This locked me out of Apple's system, and although I tried to contact Everplay, all my efforts failed.

So in order to keep the game running, I had no choice but to pull it from Everplay and re-publish under my own company, Wolf Studios.

However, we're still left with the same problem as before: the servers are expensive, and Store purchases and advertising generate almost no revenue since there are very few players left and all of them already paid for what they wanted. Even though Everplay is no longer in the picture, I will have to wind this game down if I can't keep it funded somehow.

Here's where you come in
When Everplay announced their decision, I decided to shut the game down. The servers were originally planned to shut down on July 31, 2015.

But then something amazing happened: you. You wrote in by the hundreds, offering to pay to keep the game alive. But I couldn't think of a way to make that work. Then I remembered Patreon. It's designed for exactly this sort of thing: an artist with a bunch of like-minded fans who want to support the work. That's you, and this is how we'll get it done.

So I encourage you to pledge as much support as you think is fair. There are some cosmetic rewards, as well as some rewards from the in-game Store. But the main thing you're doing by pledging is ensuring this game stays alive and kicking.

I look forward to seeing you on the battlefield!

Recent posts by Jeremy Fuller

Tiers
Pledge $1 or more per month
15 patrons
Red Dragon patron



  • Access to Patron-only activity feed here on this site
  • Advertising removed in-game
  • The exclusive avatar pictured above
  • 20 concurrent game slots

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user. Players who were actual beta testers still retain their exclusive title(s).
Pledge $3 or more per month
14 patrons
Silver Dragon patron



  • All rewards listed above
  • All expansion packs unlocked in-game
  • The exclusive avatar pictured above
  • 30 concurrent game slots

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user. 
Players who were actual alpha testers still retain their exclusive title(s).
Pledge $5 or more per month
12 patrons
Black Dragon patron



  • All rewards listed above
  • 1 million Silver Stars in-game (and I'll top off your Stars any time you need more—just send me an email via Get Support)
  • The exclusive avatar pictured above
  • 60 concurrent game slots

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user.
Pledge $10 or more per month
18 patrons
Creator patron



  • All rewards listed above
  • The one-of-a-kind title: Creator of Worlds. This has never been available before.
  • 120 concurrent game slots (double the maximum amount non-Patrons can obtain)

You will need to submit a ticket to me via the Get Support button under the Options menu in order for me to activate the reward. Make sure to include your real name used on Patreon so I can match you with your Game Center user.