Fractal’s Back!


After listening to your concerns, we’ve decided that making customers pay again for an app they’ve already purchased is too much to ask. We’ve decided to make Fractal free on iTunes through this Friday. We’ve just made the change, so it may take a little while to propagate to your region. Thanks for your understanding and support!


After the unfortunate mess with our publisher, Fractal for the iPad is back up on the App Store, along with a bunch of bug fixes! It now runs beautifully on the iPad 1 (i.e. does not crash anymore!).

We wanted to be able to simply transfer our fans’ existing Fractal purchase records (for the Fractal under our old publisher’s name) to the current Fractal (the version released under our name). Unfortunately, that’s not possible under the App Store’s current architecture, so we were faced with a difficult pricing choice.

We’ve decided that Fractal will continue to be a paid app, though for this week (ending next Tuesday, February 21) we are reducing the price to 99 cents. After that, Fractal will return to its original price.

There are several options for previous customers.

  • One: You can simply keep your current version of Fractal; however, it will not be updated and you will not be able to reinstall it, because that version of Fractal is no longer in the App Store.
  • Two: You can repurchase Fractal at the reduced 99¢ price this week. Each purchase of will really help us out, and will allow you to reinstall and update the app in the future. We hate to ask this of our fans, but we have to try and make our plea. The circumstances that forced the removal of Fractal from the App Store to begin with have made it so that we can’t afford to offer it for free. We, more than anyone, wish things had turned out differently.
  • Three: if you still think having to repurchase the app for updates is unfair, please contact us directly and we can try and work something out.

We truly apologize for this unexpected mess. We are not trying to squeeze pennies out of our customers, we are just trying to recoup on business losses from a bad publishing deal. We’re sorry, and hope you can understand where we’re coming from. We love you guys and hope we have your continued support!

Patch Notes for Fractal v1.2.0 (iPad):

  • Performance improvements across the board, especially on iPad 1.
  • Reduced the memory footprint of the entire game.
  • Removed some assets that were no longer being used.
  • Reduced the overall CPU usage of the game.
  • Fixed a logic error that could render puzzle 53 unsolvable.
  • Fixed some bugs that unbalanced arcade mode. The difficulty curve in Run was too sharp and was knocking people out of it sooner than they should be.
  • Fixed the apparent size of some of the levels in campaign mode.
23 replies
  1. andrei
    andrei says:

    @ Tom

    Hey Tom! You are right, and that’s why we offered the third option above: if you do not want to repurchase the app, please contact us so we can figure out a solution. Unfortunately, the App Store only allots 50 promo codes to an app per update or release, so we can’t promise every single previous owner a promo code. We also have no idea who the previous owners were, because the purchases were not made under our label.

  2. Foo says:

    “We are not trying to squeeze pennies out of our customers, we are just trying to recoup on business losses from a bad publishing deal.”

    This sentence is, to me, probably not as mollifying as you intended it to be. You *are* trying to get money from us to recoup losses from *your* bad publishing deal? I might have accepted that it’s technically infeasible to give your customers back what we paid for, but you seem to be admitting that you could have gone another way…

  3. J says:

    Well this is disappointing, been supporting Cipher since Auditorium debuted and captured me with its fantastic sound track and intuitive gameplay.

    Not too thrilled to see my Fractal copy is now a worthless lump of data. Tempted to buy it again but something about that just seems… wrong. Really disappointing.

  4. J says:

    Yeah to follow up on my earlier comment I’m going to have to side with Matt/Foo/Tom on this one.

    I love this company and support your titles even though I disagreed with the shift to iPad and exclusion of iPhones with these latest games (despite owning both myself I thought it was a bad move but still bought them hah)

    This is just a bit too much to ask for me personally.

    You may wish to amend your website though:

  5. andrei
    andrei says:


    Thank you! Please believe us that we agonized for a long time about what to do, and knew that no matter what we’d end up upset fans.

    You are also absolutely correct that, at the end of the day, it was “our” bad publishing deal. That’s why we’re self-publishing from now on. 🙂

    @J @Matt

    We recognize that, and we’ve been getting some more responses voicing your same feelings from other customers as well. We’re going to amend the pricing of the app to free until Friday.

  6. griotspeak says:

    I have no real complaint about the dollar BUT it does not seem to be a dollar at present. So my complaint is that there is a mismatch between the MAS price displayed right now and this post.

    I honestly think it is a little sad that you need to apologize this much about charging a dollar ‘extra’ when it is not terribly expensive to begin with and it is a completely explainable and understandable scenario. A dollar now and then to support is fine if it seems reasonable…and this does.

  7. Stephen S. says:

    @griotspeak they’re not talking about the Mac AppStore. They’re talking about the iPad version. Doesn’t affect the Mac version at all.

  8. andrei
    andrei says:


    Pricing changes may take a little while to propagate. Though this change is only for the iPad version.

    But thanks for voicing your support! The App Store policies in this case did not work in anyone’s favor, much to our chagrin. We are primarily concerned with balancing fairness with the long-term sales outlook for the app (which is something that even short term “for free” pricing decisions can have a dramatic effect on). We like to make games, but only slightly more than we like to eat!

  9. Christoph says:

    Indie game development is a hard business. Sometimes you walk into deals to try and make a name for yourself and your game, not knowing that it’s going to be unfair to your client base in the end. It’s unfortunate how often it actually happens — and not just with iOS games. When you look at the costs to publish a game on other platforms (like XBLA or PSN for example), sometimes you end up making calls that don’t turn out to be in your best interest.

    I love the games that have come out of Cipher Prime, and the good guys should always be supported. I don’t even have an iPad, but I intend to go and buy a copy of this game when it returns to full price (I already own the PC version). When you think of it as that couple bucks is helping Cipher Prime support it’s operations and continue game development, then it’s really not that much.

    It’s unfortunate that a large publisher scooped up a bunch of money and shit on the developer, but that’s what happens in other industries (think music, tv, movies..) as well. That’s why it’s great to buy local and support indie when you can.

    This isn’t to guilt anybody into saying that everybody should buy this game a second time, but more saying that if you CAN support this developer, please DO. If you need that 99c to feed yourself, by all means do it. But perhaps reconsider that expensive mocha-latte-chino and instead just get a plain old coffee — and toss the extra 99c to these guys.

    (disclaimer: I’m not a game developer, lawyer, or in any way connected to the industry — just a guy who loves playing good games)

  10. Sebastian says:

    It’s not ideal, but I love the game and I want you guys to keep making games. So, if you put up a donation page, I’d be more than happy to part with $1 or 2…

  11. andrei
    andrei says:


    Wow! Thank you for your incredible comment. Everyone in the studio is really happy about it and wants to give you a big hug. We always try to move on customer concerns, even if we only get a handful of complaints, because we know that they’re just the tip of the iceberg. For every one person who does speak up there are an even larger number of people who feel the same way but just haven’t taken the time to comment.

    Likewise, every positive comment like yours let’s us know that there are a bunch of people are out there who are super-supportive of us. And that really helps out, morale-wise. So, from the bottom of our game-loving hearts, thanks and thanks again!


    Actually, if you wouldn’t mind saving that dollar or two for a neat Kickstarter we’ve got coming up in two weeks, where we’ll need a fan support more than ever…that would be pretty cool!

  12. Billart says:

    It’s really rough that all this had to happen, but this gesture convinced me to finally get Pulse alongside my old/new copy of Fractal, if that’s any consolation. And I’ll be eagerly awaiting news of that Kickstarter!

  13. andrei
    andrei says:


    Thank you for your support, we hope you enjoy Pulse as much as we do! And we are eager to start the Kickstarter as well!

  14. Tom says:

    @Andrei and Co.

    I’m quite unhappy that I have to write this, but I have to. I’m TOTALLY EMBARRASSED. I’m SORRY, I messed this up, and I have to bow down deep to APOLOGIZE.


    Reason #1: I thought this was about the *Mac* version which I have purchased some time ago. I DON’T have the iOS version.

    #2:. I didn’t know about the 50 codes ceiling for promo codes.

    #3: I didn’t read your message thoroughly, which perhaps is the most embarassing since it lead to #1, to overlooking the part with your former publisher, etc., and to me jumping the gun and writing the first, self-righteous and angry, post here.

    I can’t tell you just HOW ashamed I am. All excuses I tried to give myself, like ADD and being ill are lame (as opposed to … excusing). I’m crawling back under my rock now.

    Greetings, and hoping that you can forgive me,


  15. andrei
    andrei says:


    Please don’t beat yourself up! Mistakes happen and we’ve made our fair share as well. Even if you made the comment in error, there were other people who had the same opinion and your speaking up at least let us address a specific issue for others.

    So there’s nothing to forgive, and we just hope you continue to enjoy our games!

  16. Lauren says:

    Fractal is amazing! Well worth the re-buy. I hope Cipher Prime isn’t getting too much negative feedback, and if your money is going to help them develop more games then it is definately worth it.

    Pulse is the most amazing game I have on my iPad. It is by far the favourite game I have ever played, the sound and the gameplay are just mezmerizing. I could play for hours on end. Iterate! has such a cool sound and I really love the more difficult tracks. I just really wanted to let Cipher Prime know how much I support you guys! Thanks so much for such amazing games and I look forward to future updates!

    • andrei
      andrei says:


      Thank you! We think it’s awesome that you’ve enjoyed our games so much, and we hope to deliver more of the same in the future! There has been some negative feedback from last week, but it’s been greatly overwhelmed by positive feedback thus far!

  17. sara says:

    I just purchased fractal for my iPad 1. However, I opened it 3 times, and all 3 times it crashed on me! Even though above it says it doesn’t anymore. What can be done about it??


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