SideSwype is coming later this week (as long as Apple approves it soonish). It’s the first of many mobile (iOS and Android) games from Radiangames this year. But before we get to the new games/ports, it’s time for a recap of the sales of my previous self-published games on iOS and Android. Combined sales for the first three months of 2014 on iOS and Google Play are not terribly interesting:
- Slydris – 617 sales
- Inferno+ – 576 sales
- CRUSH – 436 sales
- Fireball SE – 317 sales
- Ballistic SE – 284 sales
For all the games except Slydris, 2014 sales for Google Play have been higher than iOS, which is not unexpected given the games have been out much longer on iOS (except CRUSH). I think Slydris sells better for iOS because it made a couple “Best of 2012″ lists for iOS and that helps bring in a few extra sales a day, and it’s also never been featured by Google Play, unlike the other 4 games above.
Sales since last June are more interesting to look at, so let’s bust out some charts, courtesy of AppAnnie. First up are iOS sales:
The highlight of last year was CRUSH being released (Bombcats is not included because I didn’t self-publish it on iOS). The big light blue spike is CRUSH being released, then some smaller blue spikes for reviews from some of the bigger websites (TouchArcade is one, but I’m not sure which). The little red spike in August is Slydris after it was free for a day (at the same time as it was Free App of the Day on Amazon).
CRUSH has sold about 6,000 copies on iOS since release, which is not as good as it sounds because it’s only $0.99. Downloads for the other games combined (excluding the day of free Slydris) is lower than CRUSH’s total, with revenue a little higher. Now Google Play:
The order of releases (and colors that appear): Slydris (blue), CRUSH (yellow), Fireball SE (red), Bombcats SE (orange), Ballistic SE (purple), and Inferno+ (aqua). The thick spike in mid-July corresponds to Fireball SE, CRUSH, and Ballistic SE being featured (not all at the same time), and Inferno+ being released. Then in September, Inferno+ was featured.
CRUSH has sold a little better on Google Play than iOS, but no other Google Play game has broken CRUSH’s iOS sales numbers (so less than 6,000 copies), and Bombcats is the worst selling, with just a bit over 1,000 copies. In order of revenue: Inferno+, Fireball SE, CRUSH, Slydris, Ballistic SE, and Bombcats. Before I analyze more, let’s now look at Amazon:
This is the same scale as the other two, and it’s obvious Amazon isn’t bringing in big bucks. The spike in August was for Slydris being the Free App of The Day, and the red March one is Bombcats being FAOTD (only got about 70% of Slydris’ downloads). They’ve only made about $1,000 combined, but I’m not giving up yet. They both have lots of copies out there that will hopefully help cross-promote my other games, and I’ve heard other developers say they’ve had decent sales on Amazon.
I might switch away from Amazon if the trend continues after I port the rest of my games, but I’ll still keep looking for additional store/platforms that are not too difficult to develop for and bring in decent revenue. Whether that’s Windows Phone 8, OUYA, or something else, I’m not sure yet. Just FYI: OUYA versions of Ballistic/Inferno+ have sold better than the two games on Amazon, though not by too much, and they took longer to make (and I have no idea how new OUYA games sell these days).
A Plausible Plan?
I don’t really know what will sell, though most of my games are fairly consistent across different stores (Inferno+ and Slydris sell the best, Fireball SE and Bombcats are the worst, except when Fireball SE is featured heavily). For me, sales have been fairly even between the two main platforms. Releasing the games for both iOS and Google Play is critical to them being worth doing, as is doing them fairly quickly (less than 2 months per game). I also know that going for a $0.99 price doesn’t seem to gain much in the long-term, so I won’t be doing that again. It also precludes 50% off sales, which tend to give a decent short-term boost on iOS.
The market is constantly changing (free games on top of the charts seem to be especially dominant these days), and I have no idea which of my games will or won’t be featured. I’m not sure if making lots of decent $1.99 mobile games is still a viable strategy or not, but that’s what I want to do and what I’ll continue to do. I’ve done what I can to make it a more viable path for me (particularly with better cross-platform development and cross-promotion among my games). And based on the average sales of my past games it should work well. All I can do is make some fun games as quickly as I can and let the chips fall where they may.