Presenting your app

Apprentice
Posts: 14
Joined: 2015.01
Post: #1
So I think I'm doing something wrong with my apps. I released about 16 now and the only one that has sold more than two copies was the Tales of the Legendary Elda. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tales-le...?ls=1&mt=8

Recently, I spent several months working on an app called little Blue and the Wolf, too. I was very excited about releasing it, but not a single copy of the game sold.https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/little-b...?ls=1&mt=8
I had spent a lot of time with this project and didn't want to see it fail so I took the code and formed a new game with completely different art, thinking that maybe it was the art that people hadn't liked, and that's how I created Stop the Midget Lumberjack!!! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stop-mid...?ls=1&mt=8
I felt the artwork, including the icon, looked far better with this project, and even waited for Sunday to release it as I had read that apps did better if they were released on Sunday, but it also had no purchases.
I'm not writing this to get sales, but just to ask anyone whose willing to take a look at how my apps look from the store and see if I'm doing something wrong. I recognize that my apps aren't perfect, but I still think they should get at least a few downloads. Thanks[/align]
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Moderator
Posts: 3,591
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #2
Presentation means nothing. Nothing sells on the app store anymore. Not trying to be a downer; just telling it like it is. iOS development is dead. It is over-saturated with competition from gazillions of games. The price race to the bottom is complete. No one will buy a $.99 game anymore, unless it is something truly spectacular and has incredible press reviews. I have friends who have some awesome games on the app store and they earn hardly anything anymore. I stopped updating mine. Sales of our apps are dwindling. Most of our sales come from a non-game app... which is out of date, BTW, and we aren't very motivated to update it, because like I said, iOS development is dead.
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Apprentice
Posts: 14
Joined: 2015.01
Post: #3
So you're saying that no matter what I do my apps will never sell?
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Moderator
Posts: 3,591
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #4
Right, they will never sell many copies at $.99, unless you come up with something truly spectacular and have incredible press reviews. Don't feel bad, we're all in the same boat.. but it sank.

One thing you could consider is trying free with ads. I haven't tried it myself because I haven't heard anything great about it. However, at least that way people get to play your games and maybe you'll get a little revenue out of it.
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Apprentice
Posts: 14
Joined: 2015.01
Post: #5
I tried that. Even with hundreds of downloads and using both admob and iad, I only made about $5 after a year.
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Moderator
Posts: 3,591
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #6
That's similar to what I've heard from several others, which, as I mentioned earlier, is why I haven't tried it. If there is someone I know who is earning good money from ads, they aren't talking about it.

There are now about 250,000 games we are competing with, and 200 more added every day. Those are staggering numbers to consider. One might think I'm trying to tell people to stop developing for iOS because it's hurting my sales, but one seriously has to consider the raw numbers we are talking about here to be assured that I am not blowing smoke.

According to this article from about a year ago, paid apps only accounted for 4% of all revenue on the US app store. That is a damning number to consider in terms of approaching iOS game development from a logic standpoint, and it unfortunately meshes accurately with what I have observed myself and heard from others.
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Apprentice
Posts: 14
Joined: 2015.01
Post: #7
Okay. So my next project should be a freemium app where doing anything costs .99
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Apprentice
Posts: 11
Joined: 2016.04
Post: #8
I think you should try the the freemium model, as it's one of the options that actually work these days. But don't make it so anything you do is charged, make some fun features to actually be free, and entice players, be creative.
Another option is to offer your game for free for a few days, and promote it a lot. Chances are, if the game is really nice, you can get some reviews, and that can help more people actually buy it.
Don't give up Smile I work for Guarana and we have had apps that go better and not so great, even with the same amount of effort. Some things just happen to get people, and hopefully you can work your way around and make your apps work!
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Moderator
Posts: 460
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #9
It's tricky, coming up with a freemium model that keeps your game fun, and gives value to the players who pay without seeming overtly mercenary to the rest. Similarly, if you go with ad-driven how do you make the ads effective without wrecking your game?

A good resource is Gamasutra.com. Search for "freemium", "monetization" or "video ads" and you will find lots of developers wrestling with the same problems. Just a few of the articles I spotted:

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/20541...zation.php
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PepeAgell...rategy.php
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/19688...iority.php
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/BenjaminS...eemium.php
http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/AlbertoSc...zation.php
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/27632..._games.php
http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JairMcBain/20...y_Road.php
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/26981..._games.php

Do pay attention to the date on each article, as things change quickly. Techniques which were popular a few years ago can fall out of favor.

Of course some techniques are hard to apply to certain games. For example, a popular way to use video ads is to give the player the option to view one to earn in-game currency. But of course they need something to spend it on. I have a puzzle game but no hint system and nothing else the player can buy, so I'd instead have to force the players to watch an occasional ad in order to keep playing. Players understandably don't like games that do that..

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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