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

The Way Apple Calculates FREE Game Ranks?

03-30-2010, 05:58 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 342
The Way Apple Calculates FREE Game Ranks?

I have a quick question about the way Apple calculates you App Store rank for Free Apps. Is it done the same way? People say the average is weighted heavily on your 3-day average, and is this also true for Free Apps?

The reason Im asking is because, our game - The Impossible Test - is currently free in participation with freeappcalendar.com. The game is currently #1 in the Trivia Category in all the big countries for the App Store (US, Canada, Australia, UK etc). It's also in the top 10 free Strategy Games, and its quickly climbing up the "Top Free Games" section as well. So far we haven't broken into the "Top Free" category (other than Italy), and we were wondering that if we left it free for a few days, the rank would dramatically rise (3 day average instead of only having results for 1 day)?

iTunes Link for The Impossible Test (FREE) - http://bit.ly/cPnh6G

Thanks,

PS. For those of you who have messaged us regarding how are Free sales are going with FreeAppCalendar.com, we will make a new thread to share results when it's over!

I make games at PixelCUBE Studios! Follow me @naveen_pcs
03-30-2010, 07:02 PM
#2
It seems to me that Free apps use the same algorithm. If you left your app free for 3 days, you might see a rise but there are no guarantees. As you get closer to the Top 100 (all categories), the number of downloads required increases massively- it isn't linear.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone

03-30-2010, 08:13 PM
#3
Leave it for 3+ days if you can.

There's a formula posted out there somewhere. The most recent days matter the most.

Given that it's a weekday, if you have anywhere near 50k downloads in the US, you should be in the top 15 free overall within a day or two.

The downloads for my game decreased on the 3rd day, but my rank actually went up.

Good luck with your app!
03-31-2010, 02:14 AM
#4
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Tampere, Finland
Posts: 39
If internet is to be trusted, The Formula is like this, :

Todays sales x8
+
Yesterdays sales x5
+
The two days before yesterday x2
=
The Number
03-31-2010, 04:30 AM
#5
Joined: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 741
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplymuzik3 View Post
I have a quick question about the way Apple calculates you App Store rank for Free Apps. Is it done the same way? People say the average is weighted heavily on your 3-day average, and is this also true for Free Apps?

The reason Im asking is because, our game - The Impossible Test - is currently free in participation with freeappcalendar.com. The game is currently #1 in the Trivia Category in all the big countries for the App Store (US, Canada, Australia, UK etc). It's also in the top 10 free Strategy Games, and its quickly climbing up the "Top Free Games" section as well. So far we haven't broken into the "Top Free" category (other than Italy), and we were wondering that if we left it free for a few days, the rank would dramatically rise (3 day average instead of only having results for 1 day)?
Leave it free for 4 days or longer, not because this will maximize your chart position (it will but who cares?, when you go back to paid it will all count for nothing) but because you want to get your app into the hands of as many people as possible while it's free. Some fraction of that huge number of people will be showing it to their friends and saying "this is cool". I believe that the number of people doing this is directly proportional the the number of people with the app. In the case of my game, 95%+ of my users are those that got it for nothing in the 4 days it was free. Since then i've been selling 3x the copies at 1.5x the price

I now wish I'd left it free for a whole week or until the chart position started
fade as I believe that people who might have paid getting your game for nothing is a non issue, at least when weighed against the exposure of hundreds of thousands of users.

-=< Fat Owl With A Jetpack >=-
-=< Topia World Builder >=-
-=< Twitter >=-
-=< Blog >=-
03-31-2010, 04:43 AM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 754
Send a message via Skype™ to mobile1up
Quote:
Originally Posted by GlennX View Post
Leave it free for 4 days or longer, not because this will maximize your chart position (it will but who cares?, when you go back to paid it will all count for nothing) but because you want to get your app into the hands of as many people as possible while it's free. Some fraction of that huge number of people will be showing it to their friends and saying "this is cool". I believe that the number of people doing this is directly proportional the the number of people with the app. In the case of my game, 95%+ of my users are those that got it for nothing in the 4 days it was free. Since then i've been selling 3x the copies at 1.5x the price

I now wish I'd left it free for a whole week or until the chart position started
fade as I believe that people who might have paid getting your game for nothing is a non issue, at least when weighed against the exposure of hundreds of thousands of users.
this is what i was thinking with my gw-birthday bash.. the games will be free for a whole week (each of them, one at a time).. so far, it is getting a bunch of downloads i still need more to get that 1 million download mark however.

// Aaron Ardiri
Mobile 1UP is a proud indie developer - support us!
developer of Caveman / Caveman HD and GW Series
03-31-2010, 06:31 AM
#7
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 342
Great, thanks for all the help! So far on Tuesday, were not sure how many downloads we got (iTunes Connect is showing a delay in report generation). However, we did end up getting into the Top 50 "Free Apps" in all the major countries, and Im hoping we can make it to the Top 10! I guess we will leave it for a few more days, maybe even a week? We'll be sure to share our experience and post numbers once everything is done!

Thanks again,

I make games at PixelCUBE Studios! Follow me @naveen_pcs
03-31-2010, 12:30 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
Send a message via MSN to MindJuice Send a message via Skype™ to MindJuice
I see you've hit #25 Overall Free App this morning! Congratulations!

That's a great result. I think if you leave it free for a while longer it will climb higher.

I would consider leaving it free until the chart rankings start falling significantly.

I did the same with my game Charmed when it was the Feature FREE App of the Day on freeAppCalendar.com. I ended up leaving it free for 5 days.

Still waiting to see where it pops back up in the paid charts over the next couple of days.
03-31-2010, 02:58 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 342
Quote:
Originally Posted by MindJuice View Post
I see you've hit #25 Overall Free App this morning! Congratulations!

That's a great result. I think if you leave it free for a while longer it will climb higher.

I would consider leaving it free until the chart rankings start falling significantly.

I did the same with my game Charmed when it was the Feature FREE App of the Day on freeAppCalendar.com. I ended up leaving it free for 5 days.

Still waiting to see where it pops back up in the paid charts over the next couple of days.
Thanks! We actually ended up making more money yesterday because of our in-app purchases! We never expected to actually make MORE money when our app is free! It was a nice surprise for us this morning. Throughout the day we continued to climb and now we are at 20 in the US, and 10 in Canada!

Thanks to everyone that suggested leaving it free until the ranks/sales fall down. We hope to hit the 1 million sales mark by the end of this year, and this is our first step towards that!

I make games at PixelCUBE Studios! Follow me @naveen_pcs
03-31-2010, 11:32 PM
#10
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 977
Send a message via MSN to MindJuice Send a message via Skype™ to MindJuice
Quote:
Originally Posted by simplymuzik3 View Post
Thanks! We actually ended up making more money yesterday because of our in-app purchases! We never expected to actually make MORE money when our app is free! It was a nice surprise for us this morning. Throughout the day we continued to climb and now we are at 20 in the US, and 10 in Canada!

Thanks to everyone that suggested leaving it free until the ranks/sales fall down. We hope to hit the 1 million sales mark by the end of this year, and this is our first step towards that!
The Impossible Test is now the #1 Overall Free App in the entire App Store! Congratulations!

I think you'll hit that million mark sooner than you were planning!