Last month (July 2014), I gave a presentation at the 2014 Midwest Game Developer Summit about making monthly games for 4 platforms. I'm not going to re-create that in written form, but I'll share the sales data that capped that presentation.
Note that this data only covers my self-published games through early July 2014 with data gathered through AppAnnie. Super Crossfighter (released July 31) is not covered, nor is the original Super Crossfire, the iOS version of Bombcats, nor any version of Powerpuff Girls: Defenders of Townsville.
From March 2012 through now, I've released spurts of games for various mobile platforms, with 2014 being the first time I focused soley on my monthly games across iOS, Android, and WP8. Unless otherwise noted, the games all sell for $1.99, with occasional 50% off sales, and more rare times where they are free on certain platforms.
On with the stats, starting with the sales chart for iOS:
The release dates for each game, which each corresponds to a visible spike above:
The non-launch spikes are for sales (such as Jan. 2013) and other random stuff.
On to the Google Play stats:
The release dates, which corresponds to a new surge of sales (usually):
As you can see, Google Play sales are less spiky, and they tend to feature games for longer periods of time. The large, continuous sales spike in July 2013 is very unusual, as multiple games were featured by Google Play, and I had 6 games (5 ports) release within 6 weeks.
In fact, Google Play featured 4 of 6 games released in 2013, but 0 in 2014. Not entirely sure why, but not having Google Play Game Services might matter more in 2014.
In contrast, only 1 iOS release in 2012/2013 was featured on the Apple AppStore, but all my releases in 2014 (including Super Crossfire) have been on the New & Noteworthy list.
I feel very fortunate to have my games featured as often as they have, as it means thousands more in sales. At the same time, getting an Apple Editor's Choice or top banner is worth far more than being in the middle or latter part of the New & Noteworthy list.
Amazon and WP8
Success for Radiangames on the Amazon and WP8 stores has been limited. Getting featured on the WP8 store isn't worth much, though getting coverage on WPCentral.com is worth a couple hundred sales in my experience. Amazon has featured multiple Radiangames titles as FAOTD (Free App of the Day), but it's not as valuable as you might expect. You get ~100K downloads, but the bonus sales (for the featured game and other games) are worth less than $1K. Inferno+ got featured quite prominently on the Amazon store for a week or so, and that made a significant impact.
Combining the sales for all 4 platforms, here are the current (month-old) approximations of Radiangames mobile sales:
*Does not include iOS sales
JoyJoy and Fluid SE will likely move up a spot or two in the next year.
Here's the breakdown by platform:
I haven't given up on Amazon and WP8 yet, but I can't strongly recommend releases on those platforms. Google Play and iOS are the platforms that drive mobile sales.
And I'm not sure if this is a controversional statement, but I can't really recommend simultaneous releases from my experience. iOS drives player and press awareness, and it might be better to delay Android/WP8 releases until the word gets out a bit more. I'd be interested in hearing more insight from other developers regarding this aspect. At the very least, I can say simultaneous releases don't have a significant positive impact.
Free w/ Ads vs. Paid vs. F2P
I don't have a whole lot of new insight here. I think everyone has realized that F2P doesn't work for everything, and F2P games can bomb just as hard as paid games (if not harder). I would like to try releasing a puzzle game as free with ads someday soon just to test how that market compares.
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments (or via email).
|Curtis Turner - IceIYIaN|