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Number of sales vs. number of reviews?

07-14-2009, 12:20 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Number of sales vs. number of reviews?

Hello all

I've been trying to figure out a good average to the number of people who purchase an app vs. the number of people who take the time to review it. Based upon a few games that I have approx. sales guesstimates for (based on news articles and such), I figured it was something like 1 in every 20-25 people actually reviews an app they buy. Is that accurate?

Sorry if this has been discussed before, I couldn't find a post about it.
07-14-2009, 12:58 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 1,013
not really, some apps (Flight Control) have sold a million downloads, yet only have a thousand or so reviews

07-14-2009, 02:05 PM
Originally Posted by Glomgold View Post
I figured it was something like 1 in every 20-25 people actually reviews an app they buy. Is that accurate?
It's much much much less than that. Reviews are not a great indicator of sales, until you get into the many hundreds of reviews. Once you have that many, you can be sure that the app has made a fair amount of cash during its lifespan. Plus, only people who really love, or really hate, an app are going to review it. It's very deceptive.
07-14-2009, 02:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,761
Games with more than 1/2 million downloads have around 10,000+ ratings.
10 ratings could be from promo codes so that might not equal 500 downloads.

Last edited by DaveMc99; 07-14-2009 at 02:12 PM.
07-14-2009, 02:38 PM
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 9
So it seems that only about 1 in every 75+ people are submitting a review. Wow, I always figured at least 5% of buyers would post a review. So I guess even a game with only a few hundred reviews is likely a bigger hit than I would have ever imagined. Quite informative, thanks guys!

Last edited by Glomgold; 07-14-2009 at 02:45 PM.
07-14-2009, 02:39 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 582
I wish it told number of sold copies next to reviews, it would let me know how many people own the game
Like if it was bluetooth multiplayer or something along those lines.
07-14-2009, 03:51 PM
This is a really interesting topic. Some data points:

As many people have noted Apple makes it really easy to submit an anonymous review as a user is deleting a game. People deleting games tend to fall into three camps:

1. people that tried an app and didn't like it. These ratings skew negative, but for free games at least they're still a good proportional indicator of how many people have downloaded the app.
2. people that love the lite version of an app, and are deleting it because they're upgrading to the full version.
3. people that enjoyed an app but eventually tired of it and deleted it to make more room. This group tends to submit reviews at a much slower rate than (1) and (2).

Written reviews take a lot more effort on the part of the user, and can be broken down as follows:
1. people that have a very strong (positive or negative) opinion of a game, and want to make their feelings known
2. people that use the review system as a means to make feature request or to report things they feel are bugs
3. planted reviews, possible associated with promo codes (I wish there was an asterisk next to every review where the reviewer didn't actually have to pay cash)

While for any given game over its life cycle, there's a proportional factor involved, the distributions can vary widely from one game type to the next.

The dynamics for a free lite game and a free complete game for example are totally different. The free complete game, if it is good, will have a disproportionate number of users that silently keep and enjoy the game, but never bother to submit a review. The equivalent "great lite game" will get more reviews because of the delete-while-upgrading effect.

Free games also tend to get more reviews in general than their paid counterparts because people are more casual about deleting them - these aren't always bad! Lots of people download free apps out of curiousity, don't care enough about it to keep it around, but still give them decent ratings.