Universal, or separate apps?

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Post: #1
Wondering whether to release my forthcoming game as two apps (iPhone & iPad) or Universal.

For the consumer it's nice to just buy one app, but it requires me to compromise on the price- either a bit high for typical iPhone games, or low for iPad games. So I'm leaning towards two apps, though it's more hassle. Also, I'd have to do more work if I were to let them sync their saved progress.

I'm curious how other developers have handled this choice.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #2
All developers have their own price preferences and observations, but our sales numbers indicate that people buy either 1 or 2 dollar games and that's just about it, regardless of platform, unless you have something truly spectacular or you have a very large advertising budget (i.e. you have a publisher). Folks do seem to appreciate universal apps, at least according to their comments. I'd just stick to a universal app and charge 2 bucks for it and put it on sale for a buck. Sucks that the pricing is like that, but there's no way to change the reality that you're in a market of like over 100k games on iPhone and probably 25k games on iPad, last I heard. Discovery is hard enough as it is, and if someone sees your game and it's more than 2 bucks, they probably won't buy it unless it's a hot game, even on iPad.

Be sure to check this out if you haven't seen it already: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/br...worse.html
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(Sep 7, 2010 01:14 PM)AnotherJake Wrote:  Be sure to check this out if you haven't seen it already: http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/br...worse.html

An interesting read but be sure to read the comments as they do change the picture and drive some big holes through the bloggers figures.
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Post: #4
Yeah, I read a bunch of the comments too. Good stuff.
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Apprentice
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Post: #5
I suggest universal if you can swing it. People seem far more happy with universal apps as opposed to buying two versions of the same thing.

re: the blog article- That was an interesting read, thanks for the link! There were two giant holes in that: the average cost of developing an app, and also the giant massive amount of crap games and apps that are being released that nobody ever buys and that totally skew those income numbers.

I'm curious about actual revenue that developers here have made off their apps and games... some first hand experience would be nice.
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I don't want to derail the thread too far off-topic, so I'll keep this short. It's sometimes difficult, if not impossible, for some of us to disclose our actual revenue figures, for various reasons, contractual or otherwise. That said, Ace Omicron was on the iPad New and Noteworthy for a few weeks, so I got a first-hand look at what at least the iPad market was like a few months ago. All I can really say is that in my experience, the numbers in that blog are pretty close to reality. I personally was fortunate with Ace Omicron in that I pretty much got my investment back, but that's about it. If I were to offer one piece of advice to anyone who is looking to develop games for iOS nowadays, I'd say that your return on investment is probably about the same as it would be for buying lottery tickets.
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Post: #7
Also seems like the old model of polishing your masterpiece for 6-12 months is not the way to go. If you come out with a game every 2-3 months, you'll get that investment back quicker, and you can cross-promote as well. (Not saying that's easy.)

I console myself with the fact that worse comes to worse, it's a cool thing to have on my resume.

Thanks everyone for the feedback so far on my original question.

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Post: #8
(Sep 8, 2010 07:45 PM)MattDiamond Wrote:  Also seems like the old model of polishing your masterpiece for 6-12 months is not the way to go. If you come out with a game every 2-3 months, you'll get that investment back quicker, and you can cross-promote as well. (Not saying that's easy.)

This is spot-on in my opinion. Personally I'd like to be able to crank out a decent iOS game in one month, as that is about all I'm willing to devote to the platform anymore, if that.

(Sep 8, 2010 07:45 PM)MattDiamond Wrote:  I console myself with the fact that worse comes to worse, it's a cool thing to have on my resume.

For sure! In fact, I got a crazy job offer last night, actually, in large part because of what I've done on iOS already. No surprise, but *lots* of business people are interested in iDevices. You never know who you'll run into who has need of someone who knows how to develop for it. As many iOS developers as there are out there, they aren't on every block yet so demand is still high, and it apparently looks fantastic on a resume if you've published to the App Store, and even more fantastic if it was noticed on one of Apple's magic app lists.

I've been quite surprised at all the email solicitations for help I've received too, from posts I have here on iDevGames. It's crazy. Many include offers for serious compensation as well.
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Post: #9
I too see releasing apps just as a shop window for your own skills.
Using your App Store apps as proof that you can deliver can easily earn you more in a week than you will ever get from the apps themselves.
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Post: #10
Heh... Somewhat related to the topic here, I guess you'd better get that game out there ASAP because I have a feeling the competition is about to go from 100k games to 200k games real soon: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/09/...ement.html
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Post: #11
That was my thinking too. But the stupid thing just isn't done yet. :-)

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