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Slow sales - Read this!

06-25-2011, 06:35 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Italy
Posts: 134
Slow sales - Read this!


I am thinking of creating a small partnership with a number of developers that had less than break even sales with their app release.

I was thinking about creating a bundle app which could contain several games which we could then sell at a discount (so if it is a 5 game pack, then we sell it for $1.99/$2.99 or something like that) and then we split the revenues equally amongst all partners in that game pack. I think this would appeal greatly to the consumer and also will help us devs get some money back into the coffers for our next game release. It is also a good way to recycle older titles.

Is this something that anyone would be interested in? PM me for details or write to me at mark.hewstone (at) lightworx.eu

Last edited by Lightworx; 06-25-2011 at 06:48 AM.
06-25-2011, 07:47 AM
There is a saying in hungary: "A shared horse has a wounded back"

That should mean: If you share something with many others, sooner or later you will run into problems.

Whos account should be shared?
Who should split the money?
How the money should be splited?

If you want to make a bundle, rather look for games you think, you wanna have in your bundle and ask the dev if he sells you that game for a fix ammount of money.

Compile your bundle and sell it.

I have several games, which don't sell as good as I wanted. If I wanted to make a bundle, I would make that bundle with my own games... (which is actually not a bad idea if I think about it further )

06-25-2011, 08:41 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Italy
Posts: 134
To be honest I do not want to buy a game that failed to sell well in the first place.

The way I see it, these games have missed their targets and will forever be consigned to a couple of downloads a day. The idea behind the packs is that it gives these developers and their titles a chance to earn something by providing the customer with more value than buying each app individually.

In answer to your questions.

1. The app would be compiled by us (as we have to create a menu etc) We could charge a standard fee for this or just do it for free.
2. Each member would receive weekly itunes connect reports and if they wish they could have access to iTunes connect themselves
3. The money would be paid by Apple as usual and each member of that pack would issue an invoice to us for their share. If there are 5 apps in Pack 1 for example then each developer would receive 20% of the revenue after Apple has deducted their 30%
4. Contracts and NDA's would be in place to protect the developer.
5. Each developer then has their own responsibility to promote the pack in any way they can. We could even club together and advertise as the shared costs make this more attractive.

This is a tried and tested method of selling products that by themselves, failed to live up to expectations. However this does not mean that there will be no quality control on the apps that are bundled. I am really only thinking about quality titles that just missed their chance in the spotlight.
06-25-2011, 10:46 AM
Joined: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 245
Interesting idea

Interesting concept and a valid idea, here's a few thoughts that popped into my head straight away.

1)If code is handed over, would you make everyone's code available to everyone else in the group? How do you protect the code and ideas already been worked on and stop reuse of code?

2)Most people try to give the games away for free to generate interest. Maybe some are currently free. How could you market it more effectively/differently if the free versions didn't generate enough sales? Also, if loads of free versions are out there this could affect sales and provide less value for money. The unique selling point is 5-4-1 or five 4 one . Is that going to be enough of an attraction?

3)How do you market lesser known titles would be a major issue. You could be potentially back to the same starting point and have to offer it for FREE again to get things going. What would be the difference between this and the developers just re-releasing their own game and trying again.

4)Who decides which games are bundled together out of all the submissions?

Anyway just some initial thoughts

Fantasy Adventure eBook set on a magical writer's desk available for DOWNLOAD @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9K3KTW

Last edited by BlueSpiral; 06-25-2011 at 10:51 AM.
06-25-2011, 12:36 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Italy
Posts: 134

1. No the code will only be made available to our company in order to make the multipack. This code will be protected by us signing an NDA and also a contract that will make it very clear that we are in no way to use the code or distribute other than through the multipacks.

2. The developer would have to remove the individual game from being free to being paid. It would be crazy to do otherwise and would only shoot themselves in the foot. I think that the 5 for 1 offer will be attractive and who says we have to stop at 5. We could have 20/30 for 1 if enough people joined. It is proven fact that people will buy these as they see them being much greater value. Plus we then have a whole bunch of developers telling people about so it so the exposure can be 5 times as much. And as know, exposure is the key.

3. The difference would be the increased marketing from each party and the fact that these products now represent greater value for money to the general public.

4. I would take that decision along with some consultation. I really do not think it too hard. If a developer is interested, they send me a promo code to try out the game and if I think it is worth it, we do the NDA etc and get it into a bundle.

The success of this really comes down to how many people join in. As we stand alone we have little chance of generating a reasonable income from our hard work. Together the odds tip a little in our favour.
06-25-2011, 03:05 PM
Joined: May 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 245

So , what price do you think someone would pay for say 10 games. If you made it $1.99, once Apple took their % people would get around 14c per game. Which obviously is better than nothing but not a huge amount.

Other things you'd need to take into account as you rightly said is marketing cost which would eat into this and you'd need a clear strategy as well to avaoid overlap.

Another issue you might want to think about is that their could be difficulties if developers are in different countries and exchange rate costs / currency conversions.

I can see 10 for 1 working better than 5 to 1. But your pricing would be key as it eats into the profits. With you only getting 5 screenshots on the App store, a good video showing all the games would be very important.

Fantasy Adventure eBook set on a magical writer's desk available for DOWNLOAD @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H9K3KTW
06-25-2011, 03:19 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Italy
Posts: 134
I would have thought that $3.99 would be a good price point for 10 games. Like you say though this will only account for around 28c per game, but if your game is already earning you next to nothing, what do you have to lose?

Marketing is something that we could all do for free at the beginning. If the pack sells well and all members agree then we could take out an advert here or something. I have a good connection who will make sure our press releases get sent out to a lot of computing press, so that is a good start.

For the payment.... We receive payments in Euros and we shall pay in Euros to developers from different countries. The banks at their end will apply the local conversion rate.

I also think 10 - 1 is an optimum number and you are right....A good video is important!
06-25-2011, 06:45 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,507
Not convinced on this one. If the games don't sell because they're shit, then bundling them together just gives people access to a more convenient and even bigger pile of shit.

If otoh they are good quality but the marketing passed you by, work on your marketing. Maybe club together with other devs and take out a shared ad on a big site like this one if you don't want to go it alone.

Bottom line here is that, assuming the game is good but you got no visibility for it, putting five games into one download still isn't going to get you any visibility.

Last edited by Rubicon; 06-25-2011 at 06:47 PM. Reason: spollign
06-25-2011, 09:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
I have firsthand experience with this sort of thing and have shared my opinion before. So here's a quote from that.

These app are by no means a home run. I was invited to put Zombie Karts into the All-in-1 ZombieBox, which contained quite a few New & Noteworthy / What's Hot games (including my own). I figured the bundling of so many games together with the acclaimed Zombie Pizza was going to be a highly attractive bundle. It never gained enough momentum, unfortunately. Had 100% of its income gone to a single developer, it would have been a nice chunk of change. When divided among 10, however, the ROI isn't so hot!

I have my theories on why it wasn't a big hit, including we launched after the zombie wave started to see some backlash, but I'm sure part of it is the reputation these all-in-1 packages have earned. The odd part is many of us saw sales boosts in our individual apps!

One thing I'll note is that you'll really need every developer on board. I certainly had the thought that I could make $1.40 off of each copy of Zombie Karts or I could make less than $0.07 off each bundle sold. While I pushed hard for the bundle, I felt like there was an initial conflict of interest. I had to have faith that the bundle would sell 20X more copies, which ultimately didn't happen. Another issue is how you slice up the revenue pie. Some games are more popular, more complex, etc. Should the revenue really be split evenly? Or should the star(s) of the show earn more? Many folks asked me how the "survival tips" app or "Zombie Saw" app could get the same share as me... and in turn there were better apps than mine in there.

To answer the technical part, it was not easy to cram my game (made with Torque) into a bundle parent skeleton. The engine wasn't designed for it. So it's possible that just to get your existing app into a bundle will take weeks of coding, as it did for me. In the same time span, I probably could have put out a decent sequel app instead and seen more money.

This is meant in no way to bash the organizers of the bundle. I love those guys and appreciate the affiliation and promotion of my brand. But there are issues involved that I definitely didn't foresee that I think others might appreciate knowing.
06-26-2011, 02:36 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Italy
Posts: 134
Interesting points and all quite valid. As for the bundle of shit...To be honest I was looking to bundle that kind of stuff together, but I appreciate what you are saying. As for sharing marketing costs without the bundle....? How would that work?

At the end of the day, it really comes down down to , what do I have to lose by trying it?