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Any moderately successful developers?

03-30-2013, 02:19 PM
#1
Any moderately successful developers?

I'm wondering about the App Store marketplace. I've had wildly different experiences with the two apps released so far. PokeIndex 5th Gen sold 4000 copies last year, and continues to sell a few copies every day (was released in Jan 2012). Crystal Collapse was released Feb 28th and has only sold around 150 copies. It's barely a blip on the radar at this point, averaging less than 1 sale per day.

These are different categories, of course. But I have to wonder if it's a feast or famine market. What I've seen so far from other developers who post info is that your game is either far more successful than anticipated, or dies in obscurity. Are there any developers out there that make a modest living off the App Store? How large is your library of apps? Did you have a breakout hit?

It seems to me the two paths to success are to have a hit (ie get lucky) or have 10+ apps that generate enough of an audience between them to set up a feedback loop. Neither path is particularly encouraging, to be honest.
03-30-2013, 03:41 PM
#2
I think "feast or famine" is an apt way to describe it; I don't think it is much different than the music, book or movie industry. A few titles make it big, but most don't.

My own game (Drawdle) did better than expected on Android but much worse on the App Store, so it has averaged out to "moderately successful", I suppose. The key may be, as you said, to put out as many apps on as many platforms as possible and hope one or two becomes a hit.

03-30-2013, 05:06 PM
#3
How do you define moderate success?
03-30-2013, 05:18 PM
#4
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,766
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arty Tales View Post
How do you define moderate success?
Ignoring stuff like personal achievement and pride, I'd define it as either making a living or providing you with enough cash to fund another game/app.

  /l、
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Last edited by MidianGTX; 03-30-2013 at 05:21 PM.
03-30-2013, 05:26 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,498
We probably sit in the middle, with no massive profits but able to pay a small team a proper industry-competitive salary. Ish.

Just one major app and it's sequel has kept our company afloat for a couple of years - certainly long enough to get the next one developed. So it /can/ be sustainable but it's definitely getting harder.

Having said that, without Android we'd be for shit. We actually make more money from Google Play than the App Store right now, mainly because the former is much easier to gain visibility in with something halfway decent. That's for itself and the fact that given less choice we tend to get mini features fairly often too.

Last edited by Rubicon; 03-30-2013 at 05:53 PM.
03-30-2013, 05:32 PM
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
Having said that, without Android we'd be for shit. We actually make more money from Google Play than the App Store right now, mainly because the former is much easier to gain visibility in with something halfway decent.
Somewhat relevant question: Has Apple ever featured GLWG/GBWG? I know GLWG has been on Google Play.
03-30-2013, 05:51 PM
#7
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,498
We've been very fortunate in that regard, having both titles featured by both the players at some point.

We did a monster sum of money for the first weeks on New and Noteworthy, but it tailed off rapidly, well before the month was out. Apple should probably consider running these things for just a week and giving more apps a go imo. (As long as they keep picking ours )

It's hard to say if that exposure itself had any longer term effect. Probably not tbh, I already can't rember what they featured last month for example. However it did stretch our bottom line a long way and things would be much bleaker without that boost, we're very grateful for it.
03-31-2013, 05:54 PM
#8
I've been pretty lucky as a one-man show with my game Pocket Ninjas. It's brought more then enough to keep me self-employed and doing what I love. It actually started off slow but saw a huge increase and consistent pace for the last year since going to the F2P model. Tha'ts without much exposure on blogs or other marketing. So far so good, we'll see how it goes with my next release.

Tony
Head Guy | Only Guy
www.CockyCulture.com
03-31-2013, 09:49 PM
#9
The way we sidestep the problem is to do contract work. Pays the bills, lets us learn the ropes and keeps us from starving for long enough to release our own apps. Competition on the app store is stiff, after all.

Takeout Arcade developer
04-01-2013, 10:13 AM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by HitStop View Post
The way we sidestep the problem is to do contract work. Pays the bills, lets us learn the ropes and keeps us from starving for long enough to release our own apps. Competition on the app store is stiff, after all.
I would love to get some contract work, however I don't know where to look. Any suggestions?