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How important is Christmas?

12-08-2010, 05:00 AM
#1
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 16
How important is Christmas?

I've been thinking about this a bit lately. I'm getting "closer" to finishing a game i've been working on, and I really need to make a decision about whether or not to delay the release of my game to implement a potentially important/substantial feature or cut it to ship before Christmas to try to cash in on increased app sales. As this is my first ipad game i'm not sure what to expect when my app gets into the appstore and i'm wondering if a pre-christmas launch will do anything to help generate more sales...of what is essentially a half finished game. Here are the details:

My game is called iBots launch. Its a disc throwing game with power ups two modes; a fast paced arcade mode and a slower classic mode. I've completed the 2 player version with all the bells and whistles and i've been reading up on AI for the 1 player version. I'm guessing to create the 1p feature the way I want it (3 difficulty levels, tournament mode, mini games etc) will take another 4 to 6 weeks.

So far beta testers tell me that the 2 player version is a lot of fun. Any thoughts on whether I should release a two player only version before Christmas or wait until I finish the 1 player mode for a February 2011 release?

Andrew
http://ibotslaunch.com
12-08-2010, 05:12 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: 31.560499, -111.904128
Posts: 7,471
Keep on working on it until it's 100% finished and then release it. I don't think having it released before Christmas will really help much (especially with the insane amount of big titles coming from the bigger developers), and it won't help in the long run if it's only half finished.

Hakuna Matata

12-08-2010, 07:42 AM
#3
No offense but here's how I would see it:

Who would buy a half-finished game after Aralon and Infinity Blade, Real Racing 2, etc?

I think there may be less "good" games after Christmas and thus less competition so you could try to finish the game (taking a break around Christmas of course!) and release it somewhere in Jan or Feb.

Have a look at Naruto RPG!
Look at Gamebook Adventures for iPhone/iPod/iPad!
I do app descriptions for free
12-08-2010, 08:53 AM
#4
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Alicante, Spain.
Posts: 33
I belive that the launch of a game is an important time. It's hard to get the same relevance in a major update. So, in my opinion, it's better launch after Christmas an awesome wonderfull completly finished game.

Christmas Mishap Developer.
- Luck is simply the meticulous care of every detail -
12-08-2010, 09:17 AM
#5
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 780
Agree with everyone. Plus, if you can get it close to after Christmas, everyone can buy it with their brand new iTunes gift cards!
12-08-2010, 09:26 AM
#6
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 437
Don't release it prior to Christmas, wait.

You have to look at it like this, will the additional sales at Christmas make up for the lack of polish that will later pick up sales if you wait until it's finished? They won't, you only get one release you've got to make a great initial impression. Waiting will allow you to give people that awesome first impression that will get the train moving and allow you to move up the charts. It's a LOT harder to get things going after a less than impressive first release and while it might give you a nice little bump in sales because you're releasing at Christmas in the long run it's going to be a lot harder to really make an impact.
12-08-2010, 09:31 AM
#7
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,692
You already missed the pre-Christmas approval cutoff, so barring some kind of Christmas miracle or direct intervention from someone high up at Apple even if you submitted today it wouldn't be approved until after the holidays. As far as how important Christmas is, well, if you're able to chart for the holiday iPhone freeze the amount of money you can make is incredible. Doodle Jump was #1 on Christmas last year and I want to say they made $100-200k on that day alone.

Last edited by Eli; 12-09-2010 at 08:02 AM.
12-08-2010, 09:35 AM
#8
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Georgia
Posts: 437
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodapp View Post
You already released the pre-Christmas approval cutoff, so barring some kind of Christmas miracle or direct intervention from someone high up at Apple even if you submitted today it wouldn't be approved until after the holidays. As far as how important Christmas is, well, if you're able to chart for the holiday iPhone freeze the amount of money you can make is incredible. Doodle Jump was #1 on Christmas last year and I want to say they made $100-200k on that day alone.
A game I'm seriously interested in was submitted December 3rd, will it not be released till post Christmas?
12-08-2010, 04:01 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by therhino View Post
A game I'm seriously interested in was submitted December 3rd, will it not be released till post Christmas?
Probably not, but stranger things have happened.
12-09-2010, 04:11 AM
#10
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Alicante, Spain.
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hodapp View Post
You already released the pre-Christmas approval cutoff, so barring some kind of Christmas miracle or direct intervention from someone high up at Apple even if you submitted today it wouldn't be approved until after the holidays. As far as how important Christmas is, well, if you're able to chart for the holiday iPhone freeze the amount of money you can make is incredible. Doodle Jump was #1 on Christmas last year and I want to say they made $100-200k on that day alone.
Hi Hodapp,
I write this post with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
I've submitted Christmas Mishap to App Store the past 4th of December. In my worst prediction I thought the game would be approved in two weeks, so the week between 20th and 26th this game would be available on App Store.

Your comment has left me completely devastated. It's been a really intense months of work. I worked during the day (in my main job) and night (developing the game) until exhaustion. To arrive on time, I have sacrificed precious time working instead of sharing it with my wife and my daughter. All to get to be on time ...

I do not care about sales, what distresses me is that all that effort was not useful for anything. Today is a really sad day for me. :'(

Christmas Mishap Developer.
- Luck is simply the meticulous care of every detail -