Tuesday, August 2, 2016

RIP Kagi

We note with sadness the closing of the Kagi online store on August 1, 2016.

We have been selling Solitaire Till Dawn for a long time, over 25 years: the first version was released in 1991. For the first couple of years, anyone wanting to purchase it had to make out a check and send it to us via postal mail. Our few overseas customers would often send cash in their own currency, and usually we would just keep it as a souvenir because the cost and hassle of exchanging it for US currency was not worthwhile.

But then Kagi appeared on the scene. Kagi did two wonderful things for us, and for developers like us. The most important thing was that they acted as an online store for our products, where they would accept payment in cash (from nearly any nation), by check, by money order, or by credit card. This made it much easier for our customers to pay us, and our sales skyrocketed.

In addition, they provided us with a public email address that would auto-forward to our current real email address. This was huge; it meant we could put our Kagi email address in our products, and not worry about any later changes to our actual email address. I used my Kagi address for over two decades. (A couple of years ago I transitioned to using our own email server and domain and finally stopped using my Kagi address.)

But the advent of the Mac App Store was a compelling change in the market. If our sales were through Kagi, then we had to find ways to advertise, ways to distribute our product, and ways to drive customers to the Kagi store. The App Store took care of all that by making our product findable and easily purchasable by every Mac user with an Internet connection, everywhere in the world. The current Solitaire Till Dawn series is available only through the App Store.

But we kept up the Kagi store for the older versions. We know that some of our fans are still using older Macs, and we didn't want to leave them behind.

But now comes the news that Kagi has closed their doors. It's the end of an era, truly, and we are sad to see it.

Unsurprisingly, sales of our legacy apps have not been high. Kagi's closing will not affect our bottom line or our plans for the future. But it does mean that we will no longer be selling those legacy apps to new customers. We are sorry, but without Kagi's invaluable help, it would be more trouble than it is worth for us to try to manually handle new sales of old products.

However, we will not desert our existing legacy customers just yet. You may still download our older apps, including older versions of Solitaire Till Dawn, from our web site—just scroll to the bottom of the page to find the links to older versions. But you will need to have a previously-purchased registration key in order to use the legacy apps.

After a decent period of time, we may decide to simply publish registration keys for those old apps, and allow anyone to use them for free. But out of respect for our recent purchasers of those products (however few they may be) we will not be doing this any time soon.