Nearly a decade ago Finnish developer Otto Ojala released Soccer Physics on the App Store, an extremely silly take on soccer using an extremely dodgy physics engine. The result was something hilarious and enjoyable as you’d watch your little players awkwardly and stiffly hop and flail around trying to get a little round ball into the opponent’s goal. It was scientifically proven to be impossible to not be smiling while playing Soccer Physics, and while maybe not the first it was certainly one of the forefathers of the “wacky physics sports game” genre. We loved it in our review from 2014.
Well, Soccer Physics was a big hit, but for whatever reasons Ojala grew tired of the iOS game development world and decided to take all his projects off the App Store when his developer license expired in May of 2017. Soccer Physics did live on in the form of a very slick WebGL version that was (and still is) playable in-browser over on Otto’s website. However, after being adamant against ever returning to the App Store, at some point Otto had a change of heart and after doing some serious fixing-up Soccer Physics is now available again on iOS and updated for modern devices. It’s also entirely free with no ads or anything.
It’s not hard to see why someone would be turned off to iOS game development. Even now, with the legit game back on the App Store, a search for “Soccer Physics” returns page after page of clones, many of which are filled with scummy monetization or tracking junk. It’s also hard to make a living selling iOS games since people never seem to want to spend money on anything, even though Soccer Physics was only ever a dollar or two and provided extreme amounts of joy every time you fired it up, especially when playing same-device multiplayer with a friend. It’s criminal it didn’t make Otto a gazillionaire.
It’s unclear if more older games from Otto will be returning, but it does seem like some new projects are on the horizon, and it appears that for right now the monetization method for Soccer Physics and any future games is they’ll just be free with an option to support Otto by throwing some money at him over on his Ko-fi. You can also follow Otto on Mastodon for updates on future projects, and personally I’m just happy to see such a unique and creative voice in game development coming back to a platform that I love so much, despite its many MANY flaws.