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Our (poor) experience advertising with PocketGamer

03-05-2009, 03:31 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 183
Our (poor) experience advertising with PocketGamer

Hey everyone, we just finished an ad campaign over at Pocket Gamer for Chuck the Ball and I wanted to share our "interesting" experience.

The campaign: A giant 300x600 skyscraper Flash ad exclusively displayed in their iPhone section, plus a small button ad, both for two weeks.

Total cost: Approximately $800.00

Skyscraper Ad Performance:
Displayed: 178,221 times
Clicked: 1,012 times

Button Ad Performance:
Displayed: 287,221 times
Clicked: 1198 times

Unfortunately, we have no idea how many sales the ad drove because the day the ad started, we got featured on the front page of the app store. Coincidentally, the ad ended the day our featured status ended. However, even if 10% of the clicks were conversions, it wasn't worth it as a standalone campaign. However, if conversions were closer to 20%, then it would have been a good investment. I have no idea what a reasonable conversion rate would be. The featured status completely masked any effect the ads had.

Ad performance aside, I was very disappointed with other aspects of the experience. The reporting they provided was very weak. All statistics (what you see above is all we got) were delivered via a manually generated weekly report so we had no idea what was going on until the end of each week.

Another thing that made us really mad was the unfair negative review they posted for our game THE DAY THE AD STARTED. After ignoring our emails and our game for weeks, they chose to publish a negative review of our game on the same day the campaign started. Now- I am a reasonable person, and I hardly expect a site to sway their reviews for companies that are advertising with them. However, their reviewer was obviously playing an outdated version of the game and judging by the comments in his review, I don't think he spent much time with the game. They made no effort to contact us at all to ask questions about the game. I would have been ok with it if they had just contacted us to clarify the issues they were having with the game and then posted a bad review.

So there you have it. I'll let you formulate your own opinion.

James Jacoby - Developer, Makeshift Games
Depict - The Multiplayer Drawing & Guessing Game. Get Depict
Chuck the Ball - a unique action puzzle game. Get Chuck on iTunes
Ms. Chuck the Ball - new levels and gameplay! Get Ms. Chuck on iTunes
03-05-2009, 03:57 PM
one more reason why i never visit pocketgamer, but dont listen to their reviews your game is great!

its sad how companys do that

why do you advertise with PG anyways?

03-05-2009, 04:05 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience.. I'm always interested in reading about how effective ads are, I'm considering using some to promote an upcoming game.

One way to help measure ad performance a bit is to use iTunes affiliate links. So that your ad links to the iTunes store with an affiliate referral code.


You get a commission on sales generated with that link, so by looking at your commission sales, you can get a little more insight as to how many sale generating clicks you had.

And also you can earn a trivial extra bit of money from the commission as well.
03-05-2009, 04:18 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 467
Anywhere with a site like that is only out there to make profit and has no interest in supporting developers. It took me 5 minutes to find the review of your game and even though i haven't played it the review does seem unfair.
03-05-2009, 04:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,252
Your game is awesome. You should really consider advertising here instead next time:


Last edited by dannys95; 03-05-2009 at 05:13 PM.
03-05-2009, 05:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 183
The only reason we went with them was because another developer said he had good luck with them. For our next title, we'll certainly consider Touch Arcade We're trying out adMob today for the first time and I'll it looks promising. I'll let ya'll know how it goes.

James Jacoby - Developer, Makeshift Games
Depict - The Multiplayer Drawing & Guessing Game. Get Depict
Chuck the Ball - a unique action puzzle game. Get Chuck on iTunes
Ms. Chuck the Ball - new levels and gameplay! Get Ms. Chuck on iTunes
03-05-2009, 06:40 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 439
Just wanted to say that your game Chuck the Ball is awesome!

Thanks for the info on pocketgamer.
03-05-2009, 07:52 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 189
This is very helpful. Thanks for sharing!

Manta AppShopper Links:
Chalkboard Stunts, AppSniper, Cubes, Virus, Cubix
03-05-2009, 08:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,030
That's sad to hear. When I used to review games regularly, I would send the reviews to Indie devs prior to posting so we could go over anything. I really enjoy working with Indies. I had one developer make updates to his game based on our discussions back and forth. I was able to incorporate those changes into the review.

Hahahaha. I just realized I'm currently reviewing that same developer's latest game and he just came out with a big update of enhancements three days ago!
03-05-2009, 08:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 3,208
That sucks. Chuck the ball is a really great game. I'm glad I don't go to Pocket Gamer. Touch Arcade is so much better.

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