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Is there a happy medium with App store sales?

10-15-2009, 02:28 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 3,976
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Is there a happy medium with App store sales?

We've all heard of people making a killing with an App that makes it into the top 25 (and stays for awhile), and people that just never sell more than a few of them.

I'd love to hear stories from people that made enough to be profitable, and keep going, but not necessarily in the top 25 or top 50 even.

Is there a happy medium?
What about games that don't break into the top 100, but get a feature?

Just getting antsy and worried... Our game will be out soon... I have no idea what to expect, despite a bunch of good "previews" and press.
10-15-2009, 02:51 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 410
Your game has a lot more hype going for it than most games, so I think you guys will be fine. In fact, I will be surprised if you guys aren't featured and not getting into top 100 within the first 2 weeks.

I do believe there is a happy medium and that developers can be alright without being in the top 100, but each developer is different so it depends on what you need out of this.

For your game, I suggest you stick to your higher pricing and add more content along the way. Don't drop to 99 cents because you will not see much in return for all that hard work (unless you are in the top 10). This is just what I would do in your situation, based on 8 months of being in the App Store, so take that however you want.

10-15-2009, 03:05 PM
#3
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 3,976
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yeah and I'm not exactly sure how the hype train started rolling.
literally I put up some screenshots on Touch Arcade and the next thing you know we have a lot of people wanting it.
Hype can be good and bad, when a game is over hyped people expect more out of it. I think it is what it is - the videos show the game better than anything else. This post wasn't intended to talk about my game though, just wondering about anyone else's semi - success stories.
10-15-2009, 03:24 PM
#4
Depends on what your definition of success is... If you're not in any top 100, sales are going to be very slow, on the order of 0-3 sales per day in many cases as other devs have lamented here.

Would you define success as a game that makes about $1,000 per month after Apple's 30% cut? I think that about 3/4 of all iPhone game developers dream of even that modest level of success. Others developers would call it a failure even if they made $10,000 per month in sales. It probably depends on the size of your team, if you paid in advance for contract work/art/music or offered a share of the profits, and whether or not you have a day job to support yourself as well

In your case I'm sure Ravensword will be on the higher edge of the curve as long as you start in the $4.99 - $6.99 range. Most likely you'll hit #1 RPG just off the sales to TA members, and I'd imagine you could get into the top 50 games pretty handily too based on my own experiences. After that, hard to say.

--- ChronoSoft ---
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10-15-2009, 03:30 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,438
I think there are several developers who seem to do ok with steady sales of a number of apps. I think for most of those, there are multiple apps that generate that income. I do think moderately successful requires you to be in the top 100 category lists at a minimum, however.

I think Little White Bear Studios, Imangi, and Nimblebit do alright for example, but don't live in the top 100 overall apps (though have had their successes).

arn
10-15-2009, 03:35 PM
#6
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Success would be being able to pay the bills and support a family (in my case)
for others it who don't risk doing this full time, success could be just having spending money! lol
10-15-2009, 04:01 PM
#7
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 826
I have made over $500k in the last year, without having a game in the top 100 overall. Sales are usually $1000-1500 / day spread across about 8 games.

I think the key is to follow trends and don't put all your effort into one game and hope it does well. Think long term. Once a game is made you can update and sell it for years, so don't be disappointed if it doesn't pay off instantly. If you spend a couple months per game after a year you'll have 6 games and a nice steady income and the ability to cross promote inside lite versions.

Apps: Mech Pilot, Zombies HD, Zombies The Last Stand, iFishing (and all spinoffs), Puppet Jump, Pocket Farm, Dark Raider, Blue Skies, and more! (www.RockingPocketGames.com)
10-15-2009, 04:16 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
I think there are several developers who seem to do ok with steady sales of a number of apps. I think for most of those, there are multiple apps that generate that income. I do think moderately successful requires you to be in the top 100 category lists at a minimum, however.

I think Little White Bear Studios, Imangi, and Nimblebit do alright for example, but don't live in the top 100 overall apps (though have had their successes).

arn
Absolutely agree with that (Edit- RPGGuy's statement added while I was writing this also backs that up!). If you have a small but steady stream of income from multiple games/apps in the store you might be able to stay below the top 100 radar and make a living. One app, probably not! At least not in the USA, and especially not in the northeast...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoshCM View Post
Success would be being able to pay the bills and support a family (in my case)
for others it who don't risk doing this full time, success could be just having spending money! lol
Ouch! Fortunately you have a pretty solid first title that will help you to build up your bank account. Just be sure to save the short term landslide of money for a rainy day, because that time will come no matter how amazing your game is!

--- ChronoSoft ---
Support your roguelikes! Play Rogue Touch today!
Spirit Hunter Mineko: Demons Reach --- Work in progress! Follow us on Twitter!
10-15-2009, 05:58 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Upstate NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderData View Post
Absolutely agree with that (Edit- RPGGuy's statement added while I was writing this also backs that up!). If you have a small but steady stream of income from multiple games/apps in the store you might be able to stay below the top 100 radar and make a living. One app, probably not! At least not in the USA, and especially not in the northeast...



Ouch! Fortunately you have a pretty solid first title that will help you to build up your bank account. Just be sure to save the short term landslide of money for a rainy day, because that time will come no matter how amazing your game is!
I'm sure we'll just play it by ear - reviews now will probably determine our fate. Building the bank account... well we have a lot planned for the next release and even a "secret" project that we are going to do if Ravensword makes enough for us not to have to get regular day jobs...

Development has been fun though and I have to say that Touch Arcade in general has been a great resource to not only giving us feedback but sort of prodding us along and keeping us in line (sort of) with release dates.

Dungeon Hunter seems to be a very good litmus test to see whether people like 3d RPG's or not. They were #2 top grossing for at least a week which much have been nice for Gameloft... I can only dream of having the same kind of success there!
10-15-2009, 06:21 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
I think there are several developers who seem to do ok with steady sales of a number of apps. I think for most of those, there are multiple apps that generate that income. I do think moderately successful requires you to be in the top 100 category lists at a minimum, however.

I think Little White Bear Studios, Imangi, and Nimblebit do alright for example, but don't live in the top 100 overall apps (though have had their successes).

arn
Exactly. The key to surviving the App Store is to have multiple apps. You can hit it big with a single app, but it won't last forever. TanZen did well out of the gate, and rose to #12 in the store, followed by a second run in the top 25 a couple months later. In the year since that time, it has enjoyed a nice steady bit of income in the Top 100 Puzzles and Board games categories, even though it hasn't stepped foot in the Top 100 Games list since Dec. 08. We added Zentomino to our catalog, which also has enjoyed a steady run in a Top 100 sub-category, even though it was only briefly in the Top 100 Games list. Both games continue to bring in a steady, somewhat predictable amount each day.

Develop a good catalog of games that can stand the test of time, and you will win in the long run. It's not as sexy as getting the giant mega hit, but it pays the bills. Heck, it allowed me to quit my job, and now I get to make games all day.

Edit: And success for me is making enough to support my family of five, consistently, while being my own boss. Anything more than that is gravy.