Shh, Zombies Sales Post Mortem

Windows Store

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 qual­i­ty of games on there, bar the big titles (Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, et al), were all of real­ly real­ly bad qual­i­ty.
  • A soft launch plat­form for me to gain expe­ri­ence on pub­lish­ing a game to any app store.

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.

Windows Store Conversion

Win­dows Store Con­ver­sion and refer­rers

 

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 Downloads

Win­dows Store Down­loads

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.

Android

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

iOS

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.

iOS Sales from 2014

iOS Sales from 2014

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:

  • The places I was fea­tured aren’t viewed by many peo­ple.
  • My game did­n’t look appeal­ing enough to down­load.

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

Amazon Market Place

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 🙂

Totals

Down­loads (inc free and pur­chased) — 58
Rev­enue (inc not paid to me) — £18.27
Reviews — Nine 5 star reviews

Conclusion

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.

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