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3G download limit / it's affect on sales

09-12-2011, 12:10 AM
#1
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 784
3G download limit / it's affect on sales

How much of an effect, in everyone's opinion, does the 20mb 3G download limit have on sales. The limit prevents users connected to cellular data from downloading these 20mb+ apps.

My game Bullet Skater is 7.3mb, but "Psychedelic" weighs in at 28.3. The next update for Psychedelic will bring it down under 20.

Also to be considered are demographics, since older cell phone users buy different apps than a potentially younger iPod touch "gamer".

What does everyone think?

Bullet Development (twitter) Bullet Skater // Psychedelic


09-12-2011, 07:47 AM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,770
Send a message via AIM to kohjingyu
Quote:
Originally Posted by BulletDev View Post
How much of an effect, in everyone's opinion, does the 20mb 3G download limit have on sales. The limit prevents users connected to cellular data from downloading these 20mb+ apps.

My game Bullet Skater is 7.3mb, but "Psychedelic" weighs in at 28.3. The next update for Psychedelic will bring it down under 20.

Also to be considered are demographics, since older cell phone users buy different apps than a potentially younger iPod touch "gamer".

What does everyone think?
As an app buyer, I find that the games which I find worth it to buy would be purchased by me even if they're over 20mb and I've to get to a wifi point. I'm pretty picky when buying games, so the 20mb thing is not a problem as I'm less likely to purchase a game on a whim.

09-12-2011, 08:44 AM
#3
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 344
Only people who have had an app over 20 MB and then revised it to be under can answer that question. Hopefully you will be able to tell us soon. Good luck with improved sales.

I worked hard to get my first game under 20 MB, but I don't think it is worth compromising the quality to get it there (I did do some compromises initially, but then got rid of them and still managed to stay under 20).
09-12-2011, 12:49 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by BulletDev View Post
How much of an effect, in everyone's opinion, does the 20mb 3G download limit have on sales.
I'm currently working on a new project called Arch Fiery. One of the major design specifications is "KEEP IT UNDER 20 MB". I was quite surprised when people complained about the size of BOT. Some people thought that the game was too big. Over-the-air transfers are not the only concern for my game. Apparently, some players worry about remaining space on their iOS device.

I don't know if going over 20 MB has a huge effect on sales. But even if it's a small effect, that's just another thing that could keep my app out of the top of the charts. App development for iOS is highly competitive. So for every problem/mistake that people find, the more it could hurt the success of your app.

Why is that important here?

By going over the limit, you could be losing customers. The amount of downloads is part of what determines your app's visibility. If your app ranks poorly, that's more lost customers. It could start the downward spiral from which your app never recovers.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.
09-13-2011, 11:29 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Outer Space
Posts: 411
For a lot of people i know, they don't check out the size of the app until it comes out in their dashboard that it needs Wi-Fi.

Personally, if its for my iPad 3G, i am always on Wi-Fi, so thats not a bother. But on my iPhone 64GB, its already full up, so i make sure i check the size before downloading/buying.

Size is really not as issue to me but i like to think that developing a game under 20MB is a nice treat for people who want to play my game on the fly when buying.

its like seeing your cake and eating it too after buying it..
09-13-2011, 11:58 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 299
It really doesn't affect me as my device is jailbroken and I bought My3G specifically to circumvent this limitation. I don't like paying for internet service then being told how I cannot use it.

But even if Apple ditched the limit tomorrow, most people are being sold capped plans by their service providers. How many of them want to spend nearly half of their 2GB/month allowance to download a game, even if they could? The 20MB limit is one of the few decisions by Apple I can understand and approve, as many people have difficulty tracking data use and it likely prevents more problems for people than it imposes.

I think a prime example of how to tackle this situation is Ninjatown. The app as downloaded from the store is 16.6MB, which provides the low resolution resources. It has an in-game option to download the high resolution graphics, which are retained and used afterward. I'm not sure why more developers aren't using this novel means of circumventing the limit by making it purely optional, which is a win-win situation: some people are wont to store as many games as space permits on their device, and would have the choice to trade capacity for quality. Others just want to get it as fast as possible and don't care about the extra quality, so they would have this option.

Last edited by dib; 09-14-2011 at 12:02 AM.
09-14-2011, 12:58 AM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by dib View Post
I'm not sure why more developers aren't using this novel means of circumventing the limit by making it purely optional, which is a win-win situation
The storage and bandwidth costs of delivering the extra content to all those customers may be greater than the developer can afford.
09-14-2011, 03:13 PM
#8
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Warsaw, Poland
Posts: 57
If your app size is on 20MB edge then you should push to fit in that limit. Often times a customer would have bought a game, but it was over 20MB, and then changed his mind before getting WiFi access. It's a know phenomenon and is called Impulse Purchase. Human nature FTW!

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09-15-2011, 07:28 AM
#9
I know for a fact that if something is over 20MB I usually won't remember to get it later.
09-15-2011, 02:04 PM
#10
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 784
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure Industries View Post
I know for a fact that if something is over 20MB I usually won't remember to get it later.
Thanks for the feedback everyone.

I had a similar impression. ^

Bullet Development (twitter) Bullet Skater // Psychedelic