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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #1 
Five Hopes is the biggest game I've launched so far. Taking a good four+ months of development.

The game is a paid app and costs $2.99. It contains no adverts and no IAPs. I've gone for this more traditional model as a test and because I believe that there's less competition in the paid market, and more and more people just want to buy a game, own it and not have to worry about spending more money or watching ads.

I'm planning to bring Five Hopes to more platforms in the future: PC, Mac and Android - but I'm using the Apple App store as a test to gather feedback. I also intend to add more levels to it.

I'm not sure what to expect in downloads as I've never launched a paid game before, but I'm confident that I have a good product. So if I do only get like 10 downloads in the first week I'm not going to be too heartbroken - as I can always launch it on other platforms.

I'll try and keep you updated with the numbers!

The Game
Five Hopes is a puzzle platform game where you switch between heroes to solve puzzles and fight demons. There's 24 levels, boss fights and loads to collect and unlock.



Download it here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/five-hopes/id964120422

If you do download it, you've got my thanks! Hope you enjoy it. If you can rate and review it then that will help massively. Let me know if you do, I'd be happy to rate/review your games too!
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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #2 
FiveHopesRoleplaying.png
 
Some initial stats from appannie. I've managed to get into the Australian store to confirm that it is featured for paid roleplaying and adventure games! No idea how this is going to equate to money, but exciting.

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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hey,

So I've got some more data on this. For the first 3-4 days I was getting anywhere between 20-40 downloads a day - making it about $2 an install, it then dropped to about 3-7 downloads a day where it seems to be stabilising. 

Some interesting observations.
  • With previous games after the initial 7 day boost, I dropped massively for all my search rankings. With this I dropped a bit for my search rankings (say I was in position 3 for a search term I dropped to about position 7) it was still notable but not as big as it has been.
  • It seems a lot easier to get featured and to get a chart position being a paid game.
  • I got much more press interest than I've had in previous games. The press I contacted didn't get back to me, but I've been contacted directly by a few websites who posted pieces on my game. One of those was a German website and I now get most of my downloads from UK, US and then Germany - so it's probably had a real affect there.
  • I do seem to be moving up for search terms in the UK now and it looks like my downloads may be increasingly slightly, though it's hard to tell with such a little amount of data.
  • Retention - play time - session length are all leaps and bounds ahead of anything I've had on any of my games. Hopefully this shows that players are enjoying the game and may recommend it to other players.
Generally I'm quite happy with how it's gone so far. I have some plans to improve sales, and there's some updates I need to do to the game. If I can get it to about 10 downloads a day then that will be $20 dollars a day on one app store. I'm not confident that the Android app stores will provide the same sort of revenue, but you never know.
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NKY-Games

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Reply with quote  #4 
Hiya Grumpy,
Interesting findings, its looking like a paid is a good way to launch.
Good luck m8.

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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks, yeah it's certainly a very different experience to launching a free game. I do think it might be a better model for indies - especially if you want to spend several months developing a game.

Update

I've put it on sale. Dropping it from $2.99 to $0.99. (Good time to buy it to check it out *hint hint*)

I'll let you know how much that boosts sales.

I think if I was to launch a paid app again I would initially launch it at a discount or perhaps even free. I had read articles saying you should do that, but decided to launch it at full price to take advantage of Apple's boost. On reflection I think that was a mistake - I think you need to let your app grow and then worry about money later.
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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #6 
I've just put it on Google Play - and coming to Amazon soon.

Here's the link if you want to try it out:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.grumpyrhinogames.fivehopes

Sales have died back down after the sale to 0-2 a day on iOS. I've got an update coming out soon which might help a bit, and then a bigger update coming out in about a month which should help again.
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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #7 
It's actually performing better than I expected on Google Play. On the last few days I had 6 then 10 then 7 downloads. This is all on the sale price of $0.99 so it's not exactly a lot of money, but it shows potential.

The game is now on Amazon too, but is only getting 0-2 installs a day on the sale price. It's currently unrated, so hopefully if I get a couple of reviews it will start doing better. If you want to check it out on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grumpy-Rhino-Games-Five-Hopes/dp/B00XPI5XPG/
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XdebugX

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Reply with quote  #8 
I played your game (got it from the Play Store), and I really like it. Some of the best controls I've seen on a mobile platformer. Although I don't play mobile platformers for that reason, the controls tend to suck compared to a console controller. Good job, hope it does well.
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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hey XdebugX, thanks a bunch for the download and your kind comments, glad you like it. Yeah we struggled with the controls, some players don't like the positions of the jump/attack buttons, but we placed them where we felt the fingers/thumb falls most naturally - good to hear it works for you.

If you haven't already, please can you rate it?

Thanks,
Grumpy
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mzr

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Grumpy.
Could you summarize the experiment with paid apps after trese few months?
How well did it go on iOS?

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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzr
Hi Grumpy.
Could you summarize the experiment with paid apps after trese few months?
How well did it go on iOS?


The downloads have really died of recently. I get a couple a day across all the app stores. For me the quality and time put into it are both quite high, so it hasn't been a good return on investment.

It still gets quite a lot of app page views on Apple, but that just doesn't seem to result in people paying for it.

I'm planning to update it before the end of the year and release a F2P version, where you'll have to pay to unlock levels. So same sort of price to get the full game but the player will have a chance to play a bit of it for free.

I probably wouldn't develop a paid game again, certainly not in the immediate future.
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mzr

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Reply with quote  #12 
Thanks for the info. A f2p version will surely have more downloads, I guess there's no harm in trying.
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Hello World v.2

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Reply with quote  #13 
Buyed and played, extreme nice work for a single developer made game ! [smile]


Could you maybe summarize the overall money you made from all stores together from the realease till now ?
Did you invest money on buying models/code or advertising ?
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Grumpy

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello World v.2
Buyed and played, extreme nice work for a single developer made game ! [smile]


Could you maybe summarize the overall money you made from all stores together from the realease till now ?
Did you invest money on buying models/code or advertising ?


Thanks for playing it! [smile]

Sure, it cost about $1,000 all-in, assets, marketing etc. the most expensive part was actually the icon. It's close to making back what I spent on it, but obviously I spent over 4 months working on it too and I'd like to make some money to cover that time too!

I'm focusing more on games that are making more money at the moment, but this is definitely one that I'd like to revisit sometime this year and see if I can market or monetise better as I think it's a good quality game that should be doing better than it is.
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hey Grumpy, really cool set of posts [smile] Thanks for sharing your experience with developing and launching a premium game. 
It sounds like premium is good if the developer has a strong IP, for example Geometry Wars, which is $2.99 i believe. But for new IP its tough to generate the downloads unless it gets featured or pushed to the top ranks. I was considering doing some premium games and I'd heard some studios talk more about focussing on premium because players were getting upset with seeing ads / IAP in the games. But I think overall the mass market of players will always want something for free even if they know they will get the ad experience. I was speaking with a studio the other week who said that players are now looking more towards premium games more, but thats a very small portion of the market I think. Just my opinion though, I dont have any solid numbers [smile]

Again, awesome post Grumpy, looking forward to seeing how it goes if you come back to the game.

Chat soon
Martin
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risbogames

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Reply with quote  #16 
Grumpy great post! Hope you get more of it! I currently work on a update for a game that made me 50$ the first day with chartboost installs. Even if i had only 200 downloads! Now i made a complete redesign better icon and much better screenshots in all languages on the App Store and maybe i try to go paid, don't know if its a smart move butt we will see.
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graceboy

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Reply with quote  #17 
Grumpy your game is awsome Maybe you can also release game version with ads.Use Other sites like torrents and tell users paid game for free maybe you will get more more . Game is awsome
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #18 
hey guys. Just letting you know that I'll upload a video soon about testing premium game monetization. We did this recently with our game Kill The Ragdoll Stickman 2 for $1.99 on iOS. We have the first 2 days data which looks ok. Will post it on the forum soon.

Happy Developing [smile]
Martin
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