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An alternative formula for success on the iphone/itouch

09-19-2009, 07:26 AM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
An alternative formula for success on the iphone/itouch

The typical mind-set right now on how to make bank on the digital distribution nature of this platform is basically to push apps to the store as fast as you can if they do well! awesome if they dont "oh well" you got another one about to drop and hopefully you dont go bankrupt before it hits the store.....

Theres also the issue of price since everyone is trying to rush products to the store so fast they are driving the price points down it started at 9.99 then went to 5/6 dollars and now we are floating around 99 cents to 3 dollars or products come out at 9.99 then drop to 5.99 then on to 2.99 and then finally settles at .99 cents where it will remain forever.....


most of the "advice" you read on blogs like techchrunch follow this philosophy drive sales by dropping the price and basically de-vaule your game/franchise oh wow what a great idea right? this is how the market works on other platforms just on a longer cycle great right? wrong! because when you launch random game 2 you have a delima now random game 1 is .99c to 2.99$ and your trying to play the price point game all over again at 9.99 - 6.99 thats a hard sell when random game 1 is sitting right next to random game 2

so heres my philosophy on this.......

ignore the typical advice and put everything you got into a game to make it great dont rush it

ignore the price game do the exact opposite....choice a price point at like 2.99-5.99 and leave it untouched dont play the price game trust me just stick with a low price dont "de-value" the game at ALL ever add "value" to it instead

when you get a hit support it and turn it into a franchise if its the last thing you do on this earth........ this is absolutely essential to create and build franchises and support them with everything you got -- the franchise means everything

for instance -- tower defense games a huge explosion of those on the platform right? fieldrunners being the "big" hit in this genre, we can all agree on that right?

what have they done since then? they got on the psp WOW!! how many maps did they release as DLC? what other game modes did they release? what other types of games did they make with the same art style but with different gameplay mechanics and/or different genres? do they even have a fieldrunners 2 planned? do they have a site where you can play all kinds of field runner related games online? do they have a fan app?

do you get my drift?

Heres how it breaks down:

-updates should be technical improvements and bug fixes and or compatibility issues ONLY absolutely NO content whatsoever...PERIOD!!!

-content should be - DLC ONLY via in app purchases and as separate tittles/games on the app store at the same time even if its just a map or just a new level after the game before the game during the game or where ever the context of the DLC fits in the story/franchise it doesn't matter consider the DLC now an extension of your product and as a "lite version" of your product at the same time but its not freeee

when your ready to improve the game for the sake of this example im using fieldrunners still lets say they want to add a new freestyle mode, some new towers and new runners and new maps instead of selling it as fieldrunners 2 sell it as what i call a mash up product and a "in app add-on product" at the same time.

the mash up product can be called "game of the year edition" or "gold edition" with an increased price and you can get all of the DLCs, game modes all of the maps and new features as well as "unique" features all in one new awesome package you can spin that into whatever marketing camp you want and you can thank me later

and of course you still have the in app "add-on" product a considerably lower priced product but in app purchase ONLY but you can still make money here and it gets the gamer updated to all of the new features but they still have to obtain the rest of the "new maps" via separate DLC purchases and you dont get the "unique" features that comes with the mash up

when your ready to break the bank again prepare some teams to throw down a ton of games for this franchise one after another following the same formula as mentioned above

first off get an online presence up and running as fast as possible and why not try to branch out on new platforms while your at it

at this point you want to push some mini games out as fast as you can as teasers that will also be playable online in flash games you can push them for free or charge .99 cents whatever you decide this is just building the fire if you will

then when your ready to light the fire drop a fully realized fieldrunners "RTS game" or have it third person action game whatever it is that pushed forward the franchise it doesn't matter all that matters is that this is the money maker it should have a solid development cycle with no stone left untouched put everything you have into these games and you will break the bank on each and every one of them while keeping the attention and hype going with teasers and mini game launches

make sure to ONLY cross promote all of the franchise specific products together

hell you can even create franchise fan apps with developer commentary and interviews, walkthrus and strategy guides fan art backgrounds, fan content like ringtones and dont forget its also a news outlet itself to push sm marketing events and upcoming product news associated with the franchise which you should already be pushing avidly trying to push on as many mediums as you can anyways so its a win win

when the franchise is still hot make sure to organize an ace team to ponder and design a new high quality product to start a new franchise and have it reconsidered and reconsidered a million times until its a sure thing thats ready to go to immediate development as soon as the previous franchise starts to become stagnant or if your really rolling in the cash just go forward with it and run multiple franchises side by side back to back and ongoing and just drop the production of content slowly over time when they start to get stagnant

Conclusion......

this formula gives you complete flexibility - you want to have all the DLC together in one app great buy the game for 5.99 and get the DLCs via in app purchases for 99 cents from now on you want a lite version great get the DLCs in the app store for 99cents to 1.99, oh you just want the new features but not all the content from the game of the year edition great get the add on from the in app purchase only available from inside the real game not the lite versions

Last edited by cubytes; 09-19-2009 at 07:38 AM.
09-19-2009, 07:31 AM
#2
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
marketing genius? or baseless ramblings from a sleep deprived goober

what do you guys think?

D

09-19-2009, 09:29 AM
#3
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubytes View Post
marketing genius? or baseless ramblings from a sleep deprived goober

what do you guys think?

D
Your post is a mix of common sense, unsupported speculation, and some legitimate good ideas.
09-19-2009, 09:48 AM
#4
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: India
Posts: 381
geez 10/10 for the patience.

Currently Playing: N.O.V.A, Skater Nation, 33rd Division, 7 Cities, Karnival.
Looking Forward to: GTA: Chinatown Wars, Ravensword (update), 1112 ep 02 and yeah the hangover on 1st
09-19-2009, 10:15 AM
#5
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottColbert View Post
If I followed that advice, I'd be bankrupt in a week. You have no clue about business.
exactly what advice are you referring to? maybe I didn't take something into consideration?
09-19-2009, 11:11 AM
#6
Quote:
ignore the price game do the exact opposite....choice a price point at like 2.99-5.99 and leave it untouched dont play the price game trust me just stick with a low price dont "de-value" the game at ALL

You have some decent ideas elsewhere in your post but i have to nitpick about this one.

The value of a product to a business is how much revenue it generates. Not some objective criteria of what the developer thinks it's worth.

$0.99 = 1000 sales. $2.99 = 50 sales.

I will price my games at $0.99.

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09-19-2009, 12:05 PM
#7
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 501
@Touchsmiths

ahh yes agreed 2.99-5.99 is a considerably harder price point to sell in then .99 cents if you want to price your product at .99 cents right off the bat thats fine its definitely starting low

the basic philosophy here is to start low and add value........

in my post I was mostly referring to high production value content targeted at DS and PsP owners the big games backed with plenty of capital and resources readily available and/or jackpots, hits that rise to the top if you make it claim it franchise it branch out and OWN it basically support it with everything you got solidify it and establish a presence instead of trying to re-roll the dice and hit the jackpot again with "random game 2"

targeting the casual market on a low/limited budget is a completely different beast all together
09-19-2009, 01:17 PM
#8
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
Quote:
Originally Posted by Touchsmiths View Post
You have some decent ideas elsewhere in your post but i have to nitpick about this one.

The value of a product to a business is how much revenue it generates. Not some objective criteria of what the developer thinks it's worth.

$0.99 = 1000 sales. $2.99 = 50 sales.

I will price my games at $0.99.
In my experience, price alone doesn't influence overall revenue a huge amount. I think pricing depends more on if you're in a highly competitive niche or not.
09-19-2009, 01:18 PM
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by xenoclone View Post
In my experience, price alone doesn't influence overall revenue a huge amount. I think pricing depends more on if you're in a highly competitive niche or not.


Absolutely... I was simplifying the process quite a bit for the purpose of discussion.

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09-19-2009, 02:06 PM
#10
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 754
Send a message via Skype™ to mobile1up
Quote:
Originally Posted by cubytes View Post
what do you guys think?
it actually makes sense. there are some exceptions tho; and, these are the ones mentioned on techcrunch et al. the reality for most developers is that they don't get the exposure that they need to make it big.

Mobile 1UP has been a developer since october 2008; and, in the beginning - we got exposure, lots of it. as a result - we had sales. we got reviews, articles in news papers, magazines.. but - we never had apple itunes coverage. it was almost cloud nine.. we had $1.99 apps - we should have made them $0.99 and potentially made a killing (if all the news you here is right)

since Nintendo forced us to remove our games; we had to build new ones - and we truely miss the spot light.. our games started at $1.99 - as the originals did, and sales dropped.. we made them $0.99, sales doubled - so; the end result was that it didnt really matter. after months; sales became a slow trickle - basically, those who buy, would have bought it at whatever the cost.. so, we put the price back up to 1.99 - since the price increase; we haven't seen half the sales, in fact, its been the same.

we just released Chain Rxn for free - at the hope of bringing some viral marketing to the other games; we will see how that goes. end result; do some good related games, build a brand.. release a freebie every now and then - it doesn't hurt! our next game (in the works) will trickle out slowly... we'll eventually see if there is life on the iPhone / iPod Touch along side the big players like EA et al.

// Aaron Ardiri
Mobile 1UP is a proud indie developer - support us!
developer of Caveman / Caveman HD and GW Series