How to Promote Mobile game without money?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by hammersolgames, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. hammersolgames

    hammersolgames New Member

    Nov 7, 2014
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    #1 hammersolgames, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    Hi All, lets discuss how to promote the game if you have no money for advertisement?
    I'm an iPhone game developer fom last 4 years and I just release my first Android game on Play store. See the link:

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hammersolgames.monkeyfall

    But the issues is that I can't get any download because it never showed in top games even under new category. So I want to discuss how I can get some good number of downloads of my game?

    Sometimes there are some new companies who ask to use their services or implement their SDK and in result they offer some promotion and so you get some downloads.
    I'm not asking for too many but at least 4000-5000.

    Thanks
    Safwan
     
  2. psj3809

    psj3809 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    #2 psj3809, Nov 7, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014
    Why are you asking on how to improve it ? Your game has 21 5 star ratings and no lower than 4 ! Surely they're all honest ;)

    Firstly i think the app has to be decent. Looking at the game on the Android store it just doesnt look very good.

    Trying to work out ways to appear on top 10 lists or fudge downloads etc will be a waste of time if the app itself isnt very good. I mean looking at your feedback you have 21 positive feedback 5 stars and 1 for 4 stars

    To me the feedback looks totally fake so i would avoid this game myself. Sorry but i think sometimes devs need to have honest feedback. The feedback looks so false its very off-putting.
     
  3. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    while obvious it is friends or paid for reviews (less than 50 downloads and 23 5 stars is obvious).

    The graphics look decent but at least put a video up.

    I am not sure what selling points your game has which make it stand out. To me it looks like the thousands before it.
     
  4. maggiesgames

    maggiesgames Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    You've obviously made tons of games for App Store, is it really that much different to promote your game for Android?

    The only real difference as far as I know is that on Google Play you do not seem to get a "new app"-boost the first few days, but other than that it's the same deal. The more downloads, ratings, etc you get, the higher you rank for search keywords in your game description and title.

    How did you promote all your other games?

    As for your game, I think the graphics looks pretty good, but the game itself seems to be just about catching bananas, and thats it? Basically one of a few million similar games. I'd imagine it's gonna be hard to stand out?

    Your other games seem to be pretty similar. Are you making any money on those? If so, just do the same thing with this one?:)
     
  5. Stingman

    Stingman Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2012
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    Android is actually quite different than iOS in how to generate downloads, but both are equally difficult in their own ways. I have a game that has around 500k downloads on iOS and only 60k in its Google Play counterpart, and other devs have numbers quite the opposite for Android. First off I would invest in something a bit more developed than the game you are referring to (the monkey game). Don't get me wrong: I've released games I've made in a week or so as well but they almost always fail. For me those kinds of projects were learning projects though so I'm a bit past that now. Don't try and make flappy bird type games (simple games that most devs can make in a couple days). They almost always fail unless you capitalize at the peak moment of the current trend. The success of flappy was 1/million.

    I know companies that you could potentially partner with to get a downloads boost (in fact I'm working with one of them for a game I am going to release soon myself). However I can't openly discuss this here. It just goes beyond my agreement with them. If you have a much more polished or developed game I would be happy to refer your game to them. You can send me a PM.
     
  6. maggiesgames

    maggiesgames Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    Stingman: Care to elaborate on how Google Play and App Store is different? The only thing I've discovered is the new app boost on App Store, and that they do not treat keywords the same. What else is different?
     
  7. Stingman

    Stingman Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2012
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    App / Game Developer
    The Bay Area
    Here are some similarities and differences between the App Store and Google Play I've discovered over the past couple of years :

    Similarities:

    1. # of downloads matters (probably the most heavily weighed factor)
    2. keywords matter (although used in different ways)
    3. App title is extremely crucial to discovery

    Differences:

    1. Ratings matter more on Google than the App Store. In fact, even if they are factored in to iOS ratings have had 0 effect on downloads. With Google it's extremely crucial to have a rating above 4.0 average. Without cross promo on a large scale ASO is all you really have and the rating plays a huge part especially when you have a lower # of downloads. Although oddly enough I've found that until you hit 1k downloads ratings don't have much effect either. It matters most once you break the 1k mark. You can rank as much as 50% higher on the search results if you average 4.0+ rating once you break the 1k downloads mark.
    2. The keywords on Google are pulled from your app description. in Apple the keywords are pulled from your meta data on iTunes Connect. But you can't write a spammy description filled with lots of keywords and referencing popular apps. Google WILL discover this and you WILL get your app banned from the store or at least suspended.
     
  8. maggiesgames

    maggiesgames Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    Okay, so according to you good rating is extra important on Google Play. You can't do much about it though, except making a good game.:)

    Unless you wanna resort to "fake review" networks and all that. But I doubt that such a good idea long term.
     
  9. Stingman

    Stingman Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    249
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    App / Game Developer
    The Bay Area
    Yup I'm just stating what I've seen from my own experience.
     
  10. maggiesgames

    maggiesgames Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2014
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    Yeah, always useful when people share what they figure out from experience.
     
  11. heh, if only getting ppl to rate your game was easy!

    Totally agree that getting your friends to review your game is probably not in your best interest. They're too kind. Getting strangers to rate your app at all is hard. I can understand why apps throw it in your face. Might have to try the same. Would be nice if people always through a comment in too... got a handful of ratings, but no idea who did them, and what they thought of the game.

    Would love to know what the 2 star rating I got was driven from.. I suspect it was because of the welcome screen (required a name of 5 chars min length), which some ppl couldnt get past/didnt realise
     
  12. psj3809

    psj3809 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2011
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    #12 psj3809, Nov 12, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
    It's not easy but by getting obviously fake 5 star reviews I think you're doing your game more harm than good. I avoid games when I can tell the reviews are obviously fake

    I do agree that people should rate games more, but the problem is theres SOOOO many fake reviews out there (such as most of your family ones above) that i think people think 'i cant be bothered, they're all fake anyway, whats the point'

    I rarely look at reviews for games now and if i do i just ignore any one line ones like GREAT GAME, 5 stars ! etc. If someones written a lengthy review i'll read that as to me thats probably legit and not one by your sister.

    Again as for promoting a game without money, very very difficult. IF your game is quality then it should rise above the rubbish but if its just another average game i think its near impossible

    It'll be tough but you need to get neutral people to look at your app (not friends/family), sliding a monkey left and right to catch bananas seems like an app from 5 years ago. I dont think its appealing at all and very basic, that may be tough to read but you need honest reviews not 'this is amazing' from your brother etc
     
  13. Pixelosis

    Pixelosis Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2013
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    Although I'd immensely laudate you for your correct use of your and you're, which is getting incredibly rare these days, I feel massively entitled to dispel the naive notion preached in your comment.
    Unless the presence of 5 stars reviews sticks out like a sore thumb, in the vast majority of cases they will much certainly be profitable to the application. Whether people pay attention to reviews or not, ratings and reviews still play a major role in the ranking.
    Besides, people paying moderate attention to these parameters will grant them only a superficial look before going back to the download or purchase button. In other word, length matters a lot. In this case, we're talking about the 5* rating bar's one.

    The mass is gullible. It also happens to be your target.

    It won't rise without promotion, and if you have no money, you're left with very few solutions, as you have to do everything possible on your own.
     

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