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Charging Chibis - Post Mortem of Version 1.0

07-30-2012, 08:14 PM
#1
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 101
Charging Chibis - Post Mortem of Version 1.0

I start this thread by saying that this is just for version 1.0 of Charging Chibis as Byte By Byte hopes version 1.1 and a relaunch campaign will go much better. It really can't do worse.

The numbers.
Released: July 23 2012
Total Downloads: 267
iAds Revenue: $1.00
IAP Revenue: $0.00

If it could go wrong it will. You should prepare for this as a developer because it will happen to you as well.

Pre-Launch (Actually the first launch was foiled by Apple):
App submitted with a target date for release and all the supporting pieces are setup. Charging Chibis is using the same iAds setup and IAP setup that we have currently deployed on several games. So we never figured it would be a problem. App reviews are out to 11 days and this is making the launch window tight but we are in-review with Apple and all looks go. After 30 hours in review the app is rejected. Rejected because they did not like our use of the IAP API. Again we have several apps doing the same exact thing for over a year now so this was a shocker. Apple provided no feedback on resolution center to my questions. So I submit an update two days later with what I hope will be acceptable. So the first launch and all the supporting events/media and so forth has to be canceled. With no real idea of how long this will take to get approved I don't reschedule all of the hype I had setup before simply because not everything in a good launch can be done spur of the moment.

Actual launch. We get approval from Apple and the is ready for sale. I just need to release it. Rush Rush Rush getting as much attention as possible setup for a next day release. And so the time comes and I go to iTunes Connect and make Charging Chibis available. Remember what I said plan for.

At the end of the launch day when places are already rolling over to July 24 the new release for July 23 is no where to be found on the app store unless you have a direct link. I worked with Apple all day and kept getting told all was well. It was not. Charging Chibis showed up on the App Store a day late and as such got missed by ALL the new app indexing engines.

Because you could not download Charging Chibis most of the 23rd I am guessing that is why there was no media coverage outside of a prMac release that had a link in it that worked some of the day but all of the day thanks to Apple.

To make matters worse Charging Chibis took about 3 days for all the keywords to be searchable and return the app in the results. To say I got screwed by Apple on this launch would be an understatement.

There is a lot to learn from this. The biggest is submission and release need at least two app review times plus a week between them to be safe. At this time that is 29 days based on my experience.

So while 1.0 was a complete failure I am hopeful that 1.1 will get a better receiving and that updates we have done will merit it getting some decent downloads.

Also since we had to scramble for a release date to try and salvage some of July we came up against the release of games from bit studios that got stupid amounts of coverage.

As a dev team we are really sadden by this. Our last game is still in the top 200 family games in the US after 5 full months. Charging Chibis was designed to provide the game play people had communicated to use they would like to have and was meant to target a specific audience. But we will not quit. We will try to save the game or at least use it and whatever small audience it reaches to debug the game engine and work on next great thing.
07-30-2012, 11:56 PM
#2
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Germany
Posts: 3,493
I downloaded your game on the first or second day and had a good time with it, it's a nice endless runner and I hope you get more attention with the new version.. Good luck!

Game Center: sink_or_swim
07-31-2012, 07:29 AM
#3
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 160
Thank you for the advice regarding lead times and planning for that possible Apple hiccup. I'm sorry it didn't work out with this current round. Best of luck for the next release.

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