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Why few people like to give reviews?

01-16-2012, 12:22 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 220
Why few people like to give reviews?

My app has been in the app store for about one week. It has more than 1,000 copies downloads, but still has few review given. Is this normal or abnormal?

Another strange thing is that no IAP is sold. The app is currently free for a limited time. Players can earn in-game-coins and there are IAPs for those impatient players. But even with 1000+ downloads, not a single IAP is sold. Is this a hint that the in-game-coins are too easy to get?

One possible reason is that the game is not interesting at all. I definitely feel NOT since myself is also an experienced player. (There is one problem with the game because you have to finish 7 or 8 levels to unlock necessary skills for better effects. However I assume most people have the patience.)

Are 1000+ samples still too small to give any conclusions? Or only because the artwork is not so good yet? (I'm currently improving this.) Here is the reference for your information: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gemania/id471333673?mt=8

Good or bad reviews, pls say something!

If you are also a developer, can you share your first week sale experiences?
01-16-2012, 01:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
*cracks knuckles* here we go again..

Picture the App Store as the hugest Walmart ever conceived (have you seen the movie "Idiocracy?"). It's a single GIANORMOUS store where everyone in the world walks into to purchase their apps. Right when you walk in, there's a huge blinking ANGRY BIRDS display with lots of people crowded around the demo units, and huge Macy's Thanksgiving Parade-sized balloons dominating the entranceway. If you shuffle past that, there's smaller (but still huge) hi-visibility displays for games like Bejeweled, anything by Gameloft, Words with Friends, etc. Once you get past that, it's just hundreds and hundreds of aisles, each with thousands of unique products stocking the shelves. If you are a brand-new developer, and you've made something which doesn't at least look like it cost some significant amount of money to produce, your little app gets placed wayyyy in the back of that store, probably so high on a shelf that it doesn't even have visibility to the naked eye. It's actually being blocked by about 74 other apps placed directly in front of it, with icons and names that for all intents and purposes are interchangeable and don't mean anything significant to a passerby.

Now, once in awhile some random customer will come flying down the aisle where your app is, and they might actually pick it up. Who is this person? How did they find your app out of the hundreds of thousands? It really doesn't matter, and it doesn't matter to them, either. They might grab your app along with 10 others in an afternoon, and if they even launch your app one time, they might get bored of waiting while openFeint decides if it is going to launch. Or they might see the title screen and think "bah I don't care I just wanna play Bejeweled" and quit out just as the menu screen was about to come up. In many cases they won't ever launch the app again, because why should they? Three days later they just downloaded 40 more apps, and they've already deleted yours off their phone by now.

Sounds a little bit harsh right? It's not fair because you worked so hard to make this game over a few months, you might have even paid someone a nice chunk of change to design some art and UI for the thing. Okay, so you spent an afternoon putting a press release together and spammed it to 13 or 14 websites (most of whom will never even read your PR, much less download your game, free or otherwise, to consider for a review)

Just because you have coded and tested your game, your job as a developer is not yet done. If you want to make money - even a thousand dollars - on the app store, you have a lot of work to do as far as marketing and promoting whatever it is you've made. Start the hype before you release, and continue it for awhile afterward. Certain games, that look a certain style, can make money a lot more easily than certain other games that look a certain other style. If you've no idea about any of this, do a bit of research and get hip to it. Participate heavily in the community of people who buy, play, and make these things. It's not an overnight turnaround, but if you've got patience and persistence you can still get a leg up if you are serious about it.

Otherwise, very generally no one of merit will download what you've put out there, unless you've got some good gimmick or hook-up working in your favor.

I apologize if this post came off as a little heavy, to be honest I can sympathize with people who work long and hard to put something out, and then they feel upset when the world ignores their work. This is still where a ton of developers are unfortunately, and if you want to take it seriously you must treat the post-development effort with every bit as much respect and consideration as actually building the thing in the first place. Good luck!

01-16-2012, 02:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 220
Thanks for that amount of words! Pretty detailed current situation. Indeed I did prepare for the 'no one buys it' case, but I didn't expect that few out of one thousand who downloaded the game would leave reviews. That's really strange.
01-16-2012, 03:04 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
Originally Posted by willzeng View Post
Thanks for that amount of words! Pretty detailed current situation. Indeed I did prepare for the 'no one buys it' case, but I didn't expect that few out of one thousand who downloaded the game would leave reviews. That's really strange.
I got featured as free app on amazon (android) for one day, and got way, way over 1000 DLs (pm me if you really must know how many!) - and I got .0005% actual reviews back from that, most of which occurred in the first 2 days
01-16-2012, 04:07 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: ailartsua (zdrawkcab daer) XD
Posts: 495
Im not a developer of anything but more reviews will come in if you put a link to the review page inside your app. I have heard many times that it will work.
01-16-2012, 07:14 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 220
Only .0005%? Shocked by that... then I have nothing to complain.
01-16-2012, 07:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 220
I thought the popping review request annoying before, but now it seems necessary. However, if people is so reluctant to give reviews, would they follow the links?
01-16-2012, 10:46 AM
Joined: Jan 2012
Posts: 14
i guess not many people would want to give reviews as they just want to play it hahaha (if they like it)

Drop Dem for the iPhone/iPod Touch is out now! You should check it out now on the App Store

You can also find more information on Drop Dem's facebook page or Twitter account
01-16-2012, 01:30 PM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
yeah, on iPhone I found the best way to get reviews was by running promotions and keeping my TA thread actively stoked, and requesting reviews that way. I'd always insist that people leave honest reviews, and really the only way to encourage it was from constantly running promotion/giving out prizes and things like that to try to help people to feel that I was a dev who they would want to help support (if they did legitimately like my game). Even so, it got me a fair amount of reviews, but still not anywhere near enough to keep a steady amount of people drawn to my game (based on that alone). It seems you really need several hundred reviews for that to work..

I put my game on nook and got a decent response over there, but after some nice sales at the outset it bottomed out rather quickly. I put it free for an extended period and got a huge number of downloads (and therefore, some decent reviews) over there and it's helped sales enough to have been worthwhile. Getting some promotion from the people who run that store hasn't hurt either!

Also, I don't have a nag screen in my app itself, but in the external links (store, strategy guide) I do kindly ask the user to help out & give reviews, I haven't set up metrics to track if that's giving much yield however

*goes to do that*
01-16-2012, 05:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2011
Location: Adelaide, Australia
Posts: 111
It's quite normal to get no reviews for a thousand downloads. People will generally only post a review if

a. They think your game is the most awesome game they have ever played.
b. There is something they don't like.

I looked at your game on app store. I suggest you remove the IAP screenshot. It puts people off downloading. You do state in the description that it has low level IAP, thats enough.

Also, it is what it is. Quite likely your game is a huge improvement on Fruit Ninja. Personally though, I wouldn't download it because I already have Fruit Ninja (and haven't played it for ages) ... not trying to be mean ... just pointing out that if you are not a big name or well known studio you have to do something REALLY original to be noticed.