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Drop in sales? The app store appears to be broken!

05-17-2012, 08:00 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Lynnwood, Washington
Posts: 307
Drop in sales? The app store appears to be broken!

Like many developers Ive seen a hit on sales lately without a good reason. Based on 3 years of historical sales data I have a good idea where my sales should be. One of my top apps has sales at <10% of where they should be.

Attached is a screen shot of a user showing their experience with TouchSports Tennis 2012 and another showing a failed attempt to buy the free app "GameStar" as noted in a post below.

Users press buy, the button flashes briefly to a wider corrupt button that indicates its installing it, and comes back blue and is stuck. If you tap it, it momentarily turns green. On the second day of email communication, I received verification that they are aware of the issue and I should check back in 3-5 days if the issue persists... WHAT?!?@!

** Update - a second app with same behavior's been added**
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Last edited by HandheldGames; 05-18-2012 at 01:06 PM.
05-17-2012, 08:22 PM
I don`t wanna shock you but something like that appears from now and then on my iPhone 4 & iPhone 4S and then it does disappear again and I`m able to Download the App again Days later. I had it last Week when I tried to get the GameStar News App.

05-18-2012, 07:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: xor eax, eax
Posts: 755
Even though I can't tell whether this affects my (quite fluctuating) sales, this is scarry! I'm wondering whether iOS 5.1.1 solves this problem: the update addresses also an issue related to purchases - quoting from http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1521.

Fixes an issue where 'Unable to purchase' alert could be displayed after successful purchase
It may sound a bit different from what you've described, however, if you haven't done already, it might e worth to update your iOS and check whether the problem still persists.
05-18-2012, 09:17 AM
While it might not be true for other big name games, I think Diablo III is affecting sales on iOS at large. Even though this week saw the worst sales for my game, I rose in rank. This means that everybody is having bad sales.

I know that I've not been caring much about anything iOS this week because of Diablo III, and this must be true for other people as well. So this might be one of the reason for the drops. Just suggesting.

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05-18-2012, 12:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Lynnwood, Washington
Posts: 307
Well apparently this is a difficult issue to fix? It's been a couple days with no clear resolve of the issue. Digging into historical data, the issue with my product started around 4/25. From a system design standpoint, it's probably going on undetected. Offering to build another binary to submit, I was reassured it's not an issue with my product.

In the mean time, my rankings have fallen off the side of a cliff, my daily revenue has dropped to a place I don't even want to think, and I'm encouraged to "be patient".

And yes, I did email the Captain.

Last edited by HandheldGames; 05-18-2012 at 12:35 PM.
05-18-2012, 01:43 PM
This might explain my sales drop, but then again, it is only my third day of release.
05-19-2012, 04:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Lynnwood, Washington
Posts: 307
Well, its good to know it's not my game thats causing the problem and apparently there are no mechanisms in place to catch it when its happening.

"There is currently an issue in the App store that is making apps unavailable to download. This issue has been brought to our attention and at this time we are trying to resolve this. If the error continues after the next 3-5 business days, feel free to contact us back either via email or phone."
05-19-2012, 04:55 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5,338
That sucks to miss out on sales like that. My sales dropped because people don't want my games.. There is no button fix for that.
05-20-2012, 12:20 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: California, USA
Posts: 2,145
For what it's worth, my sales for the past week have been up slightly. Maybe they should have been higher?
05-20-2012, 02:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,538
We've had a bit of a trend up lately too, but I'l definitely keep an eye on this.

Could be worse. On Android we lose about 10% of our sales due to "interal market error". Google have been aware of this for years but are not attempting to fix it at all.