★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

The importance of the updates

08-13-2009, 08:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
The importance of the updates


I'm Davit, founder of TayKrOn Games(www.taykron.com).

Are the uptades working well? When i say updates i say new game mode, pack with X levels,etc... but all this free.

Are this updates geting more(significant) sales of the product?

Is possible that if you make a game and in a month you get for example 1000$, after updates and improvements the next month win 2000$, the next month again more levels and improvement and win 3000$,etc... and each month win more cash at month with all this? (I think not)

Is possible get good sales with updates after a poor launch on sales? (Poor sales 1-25 / Good Sales +10.000)

If you made a game with a lot of effort that you think have potential and the game get low sales.... you will go to continue with improvements, features,etc... of you will pass and work to another game?

You think the updates to increase and get great sales are working? Or if the game not sell more is by marketing, gameplay, type of the game....

This was a discussion with my coder. I have much games almost done in GFX for iPhone, and we are trying to select the best option and view all the possible ways, but we not have all the info and experience, for this i post here.

What you think about it?

08-13-2009, 11:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
I don't think there's one single answer to your question(s) or if there is it would probably "it depends..."

If your game is picked up by a reasonable* amount of people, receives great feedback but don't seem to become the hit it objectively deserved to be, making updates is probably a good strategy. Each update will gain your game a bit more visibility and if you can manage to attract enough new customers on each subsequent update the ball might start rolling...

If however people are more or less indifferent to your game to begin with it might not be worth it from a purely commercial standpoint. But even if the game in question does not hit it big, making improvements will at least convey the fact that you work hard to give good after-sales service to the individuals that actually did buy your game.

*A brilliant term, I know.

08-13-2009, 02:19 PM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
Yes, depends about the game and much factors.

But i want to hear developers and his experiencie/opinion about this question and view if somebody get a good sales with updates and see the process.

If the game is good, to get more valuable i agree to make updates like PocketGOD. But a game with X gameplay and gamemodes similar and "repetitive" like TRISM that afer launch only sold a few units and not create the hype or expectation i think is better only make a update for fix somebugs and go to another game.
08-13-2009, 02:47 PM
Updates are useful, but only if they are frequent. Pocket God got its success by making weekly updates, so it was able to keep its position in the Top 25 Apps.

Zen Bound had a major update months after it was launched, and this did practically nothing for sales.

So, if you update, do it often (weekly!) and in a way that engages the community. If your app falls off the charts, it's highly unlikely that anything will bring it back up again. Some apps have had luck with Lite versions, but they're very much hit and miss also.

Most apps see a falloff in sales month after month, and updates are only a way to slow down the dwindling sales. First month is usually the best sales, but this expects sufficient marketing to be done beforehand. If you plan to do no marketing at all, and for the game to "sell itself", you're perhaps able to see a pattern where sales increase over time, but the total volume of sales with this pattern is likely to be low.
08-13-2009, 11:41 PM
The effect of updates depends on the app/genre, how visible your app already was, and what has changed in your update. The pattern of an app's sales falling off over time is common, but doesn't occur in all genres. So-called "evergreen" games for example (card games, word games) can actually do better month to month.

Keep in mind that updates to a pay app will temporarily give you a bit more visibility, but they are unlikely in and of themselves to generate more sales.

You won't get another dime directly out of people that have already purchased the app nor will their updates contribute to your app's ranking. The best that'll happen is that those users will keep your app around longer and show their friends. If you're lucky, you'll even get some positive reviews.

The most dramatic effects on sales more often than not come from updates to the 'lite' version of an app. If your lite version is sticky and not simply being "tried and trashed" an update to the lite version gives you a powerful way to reach a lot of eyeballs to try and entice those users to upgrade. If also gives you some very userful stats - you can see how many people have updated in your sales reports.

One major risk with updates that is worth pointing out is the double-edged sword effect it can have on user reviews.

While improvements can help address common user complaints/requests, and theoretically improve your average user review, they also effectively reset_ your user reviews. If your app has built up a large following of positive reviews over time, you risk having some negative reviews sneak in right after the update and having your app be presented with a much lower "average rating for current version" even if your changes were all for the better. This can be devastating, and cause sales to plummet. It's made even worst thanks to tactics that are being increasingly seen, where some folk have are going so low as to buy a competitor's app with the sole intention of attacking it negative reviews.

08-14-2009, 12:07 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 1,512
Originally Posted by matriax View Post
...But a game with X gameplay and gamemodes similar and "repetitive" like TRISM that afer launch only sold a few units and not create the hype or expectation i think is better only make a update for fix somebugs and go to another game.
Trism generated over $250,000 in a couple of months for the developer....I think either case is a win-win situation.

Front Page Tug Boat Chief Engineer
Check out the awesome Fuzion: Age of Wordcraftwebsite
Follow me and the game on Twitter
preview thread (Fuzion is still in development)
08-14-2009, 01:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 67
Originally Posted by pharmx View Post
Trism generated over $250,000 in a couple of months for the developer....I think either case is a win-win situation.
I say:

"But a game with X gameplay and gamemodes similar and "repetitive" like TRISM"

TRISM was sell very good i know. I'm saying in a case of similar puzzle game but with low sales.

If you view in the AppStore you can find much puzzle games with a interesting gameplay like http://polaris-game.com/ but not have the success of Trism or anothe game. In this case the game is always the same like other puzzle games (Trism, zuma, luxor, bejeweled...). For this to improve you will to add żAny new gamemodes? You think with this can make a greater sales o a success? or all the people that go to buy the game is selled?...

Last edited by matriax; 08-14-2009 at 01:42 AM.