Skies Of Glory: A Sneak Peek At The Followup To SGN's Aerial Combat Hit F.A.S.T.

SGN has just given us a peek at Skies of Glory, its upcoming dogfighting game for the iPhone that’s the followup to its hit game F.A.S.T., which was released last June. That app proved to be a run-away success, pulling in over a million dollars in its first six weeks of release. Skies of Glory takes the gameplay that made F.A.S.T. a hit and builds on it, adding much improved graphics, more missions, and a World War II setting. The company is targeting an early December launch date.

Here are some of the details;

  • Battle up to three human opponents around the world or up to seven locally over Wifi connection
  • 10 Campaign Missions to complete (Battle over Britain or the Pacific)
  • Skirmish Mode, including single player Teams, Free For All and Capture the Flag.
  • 100 missions to perform in Training exercises.
  • Players will be able to buy planes and equipment via in-app purchases
  • Initial launch is the beginning, with more campaigns, planes and gear to be available over time.
  • Bluetooth support to play with friends (in addition to the Wi-Fi support)
  • Supports Jukebox, in which the player can listen to their library of music throughout all of their air combat battles.

Aside from the gameplay and graphical enhancements, Skies of Glory is making another big change: it will be free to download, with in-app purchase options for new planes, eqipment, and more. F.A.S.T. intially launched at $9.99 — a pricepoint that would be perfectly reasonable on most platforms, but is relatively high on the App Store. The app still did well regardless, but having any upfront price presents a major hurdle to getting new users on board.

But things have changed a lot on the App Store since F.A.S.T. launched. First, Apple started allowing in-app purchases with its iPhone 3.0 update, which lets developers sell virtual goods from within their apps. Initially developers could only do this from paid apps though, so SGN wound up dropping the price of F.A.S.T. significantly but was unable to switch to free. However, last month Apple made the surprising announcement that it would allow developers to offer in-app purchases from their free games — a change that will have a major effect on the App Store (see my interview with SGN CEO Shervin Pishevar for more on that). Expect Skies of Glory to see a lot of downloads, which SGN surely hopes will turn into plenty of microtransactions as well.