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AppStore business is such a lottery

08-11-2010, 11:26 AM
#1
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 37
AppStore business is such a lottery

We struggled a lot with our newest iPhone / iPad game, called Wristbreaker. Tried to get reviews, spammed every app blog - no success. Was listed as New And Noteworthy by Apple, still moderate sales only.

Lately one of the Skype executives enjoyed our game and mentioned it in interview. And sales took off.. Too early to say, but I hope it will accelerate

Jack

Currently playing: Wristbreaker tetris, Flight Control
08-11-2010, 11:45 AM
#2
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Santiago, Chile
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackgreen View Post
We struggled a lot with our newest iPhone / iPad game, called Wristbreaker. Tried to get reviews, spammed every app blog - no success. Was listed as New And Noteworthy by Apple, still moderate sales only.

Lately one of the Skype executives enjoyed our game and mentioned it in interview. And sales took off.. Too early to say, but I hope it will accelerate

Jack
Wow, good job on getting featured by one of the Skype executives! :-) (or great luck ). I'm pretty sure you have a great product there though!

Founder & Lead Developer
Gando Games | Twitter | Hex Reaction | Hex Reaction Free

08-11-2010, 12:14 PM
#3
Well, you should be happy that your app is visible on the appstore with being in news and noteworthy! Otherwise it could get lost on the appstore very fast.

Toco Games - iPhone Game Developer
Twitter: tocogamescom, Website: tocogames.com
Games: Last Knight - MagniFusion: Push, Combine, Squash and Pop
Upcoming Games: - Space Shapes
08-11-2010, 01:12 PM
#4
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toco Games View Post
Well, you should be happy that your app is visible on the appstore with being in news and noteworthy! Otherwise it could get lost on the appstore very fast.
You know, it's on the page 3 in N&N list. Like in Google, no-one is really seeing it if not in top-fold. Didn't works too well for us.

Jack

Currently playing: Wristbreaker tetris, Flight Control
08-11-2010, 01:29 PM
#5
Well firstly, this game really comes across as a Tetris Clone (because it is, with a twist). That means that you have a HUGE amount of competitors on the AppStore and potential customers have already bought many of these other Tetris Clones so they are unlikely to bother looking for more.

So have you focused your marketing strategy towards what makes you game unique? What makes it stand out from the competition? My fast and dirty guess is that the turning of the device is what sets you apart? Have you marketed the hell out of this feature?

I also get the feeling from your post that you are somewhat bitter of the less than stellar sales. This is not a good thing for your app. This is the time to continue to support your product with updates and more marketing! If you had you mind set to sell like this game was the next big thing on Appstore, I can see that you would be disappointed. But if you're letting go of the App this soon, it is doomed to fail.

My advice, draw up a continued plan to support your app. Listen to the community, work on updates and launch a solid marketing plan.

I lost my Sig somewhere
08-11-2010, 01:50 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackgreen View Post
You know, it's on the page 3 in N&N list. Like in Google, no-one is really seeing it if not in top-fold. Didn't works too well for us.

Jack
Really!? Are iPhone users even that lazy that they dont scroll?
Even though is not at the front its still much better then any website coverage you can get IMO. No idea why its not selling good though, looks very interesting to me. Maybe it looks too confuseing from the screenshots. Might be better to have a image first that shows the tilting feature and only the basics of the gameplay. Like you already did with the start of your video.

Toco Games - iPhone Game Developer
Twitter: tocogamescom, Website: tocogames.com
Games: Last Knight - MagniFusion: Push, Combine, Squash and Pop
Upcoming Games: - Space Shapes
08-11-2010, 03:05 PM
#7
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 8
.......
08-11-2010, 03:09 PM
#8
From our experience getting featured on one of the sub pages of iTunes has very little impact in sales. Heck, we're featured in the "Zombies!" section on the front page of iTunes and have seen no real impact in sales either (and that's just one click). If you're on the front page New and Noteworthy though, it obviously can be a huge boost.

But I think luck is only part of the equation. The other part is getting through the saturation, which I think requires a complete, comprehensive plan. I personally think its done mostly with character and personality, not necessarily cool game play mechanics (sad, I know, but the fact is people won't really experience those cool mechanics until after they've already bought the game, so you've got to find some way to get them to buy in the first place). Angry Birds is the perfect example. What allowed this game to take off were the characters, the weird name, and the interesting premise (crazy birds killing pigs??). The actual game play has been done to death... its just your typical castle crashers clone. But the polish and personality make people go "What the heck is this??? Hmmm I should try it!" And then they find out the game play is polished and solid and it takes off from there.

Also puzzle games, imo, are probably the hardest genre to bust into, because most of the time its just hard to quickly verbalize what makes your puzzle game new or unique, and people won't really understand or "get it" until they play it. Problem is, they have to buy it first to play it, which is where the necessity for a larger then life personality comes into play.

Of course all that personality etc stuff depends on the genre. If you're going casual, I think its almost a must to grab peoples attention with that kind of thing. If you're targeting more hardcore gamers, they already know what they want and are actually more interested in game play, so you should probably be selling them more on the features of your actual game play.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents, and is of course just my own personal theory
08-12-2010, 08:36 AM
#9
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 197
You could remove the word "AppStore" from the title of this thread and be equally correct.
08-12-2010, 09:43 AM
#10
We are doing quite well... made almost 1000 sales of our snakes and ladders hd app in 9 days :O

I think the idea is to just find an empty "there should be an app for that" slot and fill it. The iPad has quite a few of them ATM.