Agony is live on Newgrounds

Agony is now published on! In the last 30 hours the game generated nearly 20.000 gameplays. Which is great. The ratings are about 3.7 which could have been better but we managed to get to the "featured games" list. One problem is the shop.
The users who don't like the game instead of giving it some 2/5 rating tend to give 0/5 because they are enraged of the fact that "you have to pay real money". Even though you really don't have to. The game is easy enough to beat without any extra items and you get speical items after each king.  These users never see this because they play the game only for a very short time.
And since "everything is by everyone" in the web 2.0 era they just post some comments like:
"Can't believe it took 4 months to make this piece of crap."
The core problem here is to get the truth that "Buying items is a donation" into the heads of the players since we as developers have to rely on different revenue streams to make a living and really don't force anyone to buy things by making the game insanely difficult or locking core features. The efforts to make great games are rising while the ecpms for ads are falling. How are we supposed to live for some 5$ a day?
We are planing to disable the shop for the first period of the game in order to have these haters comment on the game instead of on the shop. The revenues for the first items are barely 1/20 of the total revenues since the prices are less than 5cent for the first items.
Despite the low acceptance for virtual goods they perform quite well. The ecpm is way higher than mochiads, but it's too early to post figures.
The Heyzap API isn't matured yet but we are fixing the bugs peu à peu. In the next weeks i believe everything will work fine. James and Jude from Heyzap are really making everything to fix all bugs and implement features as fast possible. They are friendly and really care about the game! That's really valuable if you consider that most portals on the web (who after all make a living from games) won't even answer your emails (repeatedly).
Our next step will be to "conquer" Kongregate....