Engineer Earns Half-Million From iPhone Game


One technology engineer is going to earn half a million dollars from his self-developed iPhone game iShoot.

Ethan Nicholas, Sun Microsystems engineer, husband and father, quit his day job after successfully programming and selling iShoot, a $3 side-scrolling shooter that rose to number one on the iTunes App Store.

After quitting his job, teaching himself Apple’s platform and spending eight hours a day working on the game, iShoot was launched in October to little fanfare. It wasn’t until January’s free iShootLite, a free downloadable demo of the full game which received 2.4 million users, that 320,000 people were convinced to purchase the full game.

“I’m not going to be a millionaire in the next month, but I’d be shocked if it didn’t happen at the end of the year,” he said in a phone interview with Wired. “If it weren’t for taxes I would be a millionaire right now.”

Nicholas was inspired by the success of Trism, a game with a sole developer that sold $250,000 in revenue in its first two months.

“I never expected to get anywhere near where I did,” Nicholas said. “And of course I’ve more than doubled [what Trism accomplished] in one month.”

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