On July 22nd I released my first game, which I had been working on (mostly) by myself — I had help with the UI and a friend was guiding me with C# questions when needed. The platform of choice for the initial release was the Windows Store (desktop). I chose this store for two reasons:
The submission and review process was pretty easy and went through quickly. I did get rejected on my first submission, dammit, but it was a small issue with age ratings — to sell in Brazil it’s mandatory to have an age rating certificate.
Sales were somewhat disappointing, but not surprisingly so. I figured I wouldn’t make many sales, but I thought I would sell more than I did — 4 purchases. Due to the payout threshold on the Windows store ($200), I’ll probably never receive that £2! My marketing for this release was just posting to twitter and a post on, what I later found out to be, a very un-lively Windows Facebook group.
I did a couple of weekend sales, my first dropped the price from 99p to 79p (the lowest Microsoft allows before the free option), this garnered me one or two extra purchases. After that I tried a free weekend, over which I had the remainder of my downloads on this platform — 17.
Windows Store sales have totalled : 21 downloads, and £2 (though this keeps changing as it depends on the exchange rate of USD to GBP, and until you’re paid it displays the current exchange. I’ve seen it as high as £2.04!)
Windows Store payout threshold : $200
Reviews : Three 5 star reviews
Time to move onto mobile and get the iOS and Android builds ready! Three months later ‘Shh, Zombies’ was released on these two platforms — October 4th for Android (build was ready I couldn’t wait) and October 26th for iOS.
I expected Android to be awkward, mainly due to the fact it has so many devices — but probably due to my ignorance of the platform. It ended up being quite easy (possibly the easiest) to get ‘Shh, Zombies’ out onto. It’s also my best platform sales wise, and pirate wise. 25 sales to date, this would be even higher if Google didn’t have a returns policy — I’ve had 12 cancelled purchases, no indication why.
In just over a week I was on approx 12 sales (plus 5 cancellations), but my statistics showed something interesting … I had 130 unique users playing the Android version in the same time frame. This left me with mixed feelings, as I’d kind of missed out on approx £60, but also at the same time I probably wouldn’t have got any sales from those 130 people were they not able to get it for free, so in the end I decided not to care and be happy 130 people played my game — and hopefully enjoyed it. These people will miss out on any updates though!
Android sales have totalled : 25 downloads, and £11.04
Android payout threshold : $0 !
Reviews : Five 5 star reviews
The first submission to Apple was rejected, with a poor amount of information given, it was simply “Crashes on iPad”. No more information than that, no iOS version, no iPad version, and definitely no information as to when and where. I had tested it on iPad 2, 3, Air and Mini on iOS 7 and 8 … no crashes. So I did a quick fix to some UI issue I’d missed previously, and re-submitted … passed. So on October 28th 2014, my first game was released on iOS!
This is where I expected/ hoped to get most of my sales, 99% of the people I know are using iPhones and iPads. To date, I’ve done 12 sales.
According to appannie.com ‘Shh, Zombies’ was featured in iTunes in Games > Arcade > All iPhone Apps > Paid in 107 countries reaching #30 (#23 in Canada!) and loads of other featured places — on October 29th ‘Shh, Zombies’ was featured 590 times in iTunes. Awesome! Didn’t translate to any extra sales though. Some research is required here, but I’m assuming it’s down to one or two things:
I’m going to assume, both.
iOS sales have totalled : 12 downloads, and £5.24 (approx)
iOS payout threshold : $10 (this differs depending on your country)
Reviews : One 5 star review
An honorary mention for Amazon here, their submission process is super easy and they do loads of automatic testing for you when you upload (before submitting) so you know if it’ll work or not. I’ve had 1 sale on Amazon, and that was my niece 🙂
Downloads (inc free and purchased) — 58
Revenue (inc not paid to me) — £18.27
Reviews — Nine 5 star reviews
Do better marketing.
To market the release of ‘Shh, Zombies’ I mainly just posted on Twitter and Facebook. I found an inclusion of ‘Shh, Zombies’ in an indie game roundup on Super Gamedroid, which excited me somewhat, just to see that someone had taken the time, even 5 mins, to write a positive paragraph about my game!
I was put off getting in touch with review sites because I didn’t think there was enough content, so didn’t try. I’ve since found a list of review sites which breaks them down in to free and paid reviews, now that I’ve released an update which doubles the amount of content and adds achievements I shall be going through the list and getting in contact with the free places, hopefully I can drum up a few more sales.
I also need to track things better so I can do a better/ more in-depth post mortem.