Interesting stats from Unite

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Destined, Oct 27, 2014.

  1. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    From the keynote "97% of active mobile users never pay for a game" that is purchase or inApp purchase.

    Makes use of ads look more and more appealing.
     
  2. SnowCoveredGames

    SnowCoveredGames Active Member

    Jun 30, 2014
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    Thanks. Might help explain our latest paid game release. I'm aware people like not seeing ads or IAP but the market seems very heavily skewed in the other direction...
     
  3. Stingman

    Stingman Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2012
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    Very true. But trying to jump in the free to play market these days without strong cross promotion is very difficult. ASO doesn't have as much a pull as it used to, at least until you break into higher download charts. It's hard to break a couple hundred downloads / day now w/ a free app unless it's received a feature, lots of promo etc. And ad revenue on iOS is way better than on Android. If you're just starting out in this market your best bet is to spend time creating a very high quality product and try and approach a respectable publisher that has a huge network for cross promo. Speaking from experience if you can do this your app can generate a few hundred $$ / day from Ads alone. But you need to be doing 2k-5k / downloads a day w/ decent retention rate. All in all, I think both paid and free models still have a market but your approach and of course product quality are 2 very important factors to consider. If you are making a quality RPG game that doesn't have mass appeal trying to go free to play w/o publisher or cross promo support doesn't make much sense. Why not try and cater to a smaller audience and justify your product with a good price? But if you're making the 50,000th flappy bird clone... first... please don't.... but if you gotta go free to play.

    It's a tough market indeed but there are ways to break through.
     
  4. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    I just posted cause the number was higher than I expected. Some people from microsoft hinted that the android and apple stores inapp purchases were main way people made a purchase unlike the microsoft which has a comparable stronger paid (although inapp purchase is still more).
     
  5. Stingman

    Stingman Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2012
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    Ah gotcha. Anyhow, ya it's true what they say that 3% of people purchase something. But 3% is still a lot if you have a product that works for them. I mean 3% of how many users? 1 billion smartphone users? Don't quote me on that but that'd be my guess. I'm ok with 30 million potential buyers hehe... as long as you can reach them.
     
  6. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    #6 Xammond, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
    In a week of returning to the App Store, I have sold ZERO copies from two apps. Yesterday was the first free downloads - thanks to Twitter I guess - of f-i-v-e. I develop for fun but this is a piss take tbh.

    As for *publishers*, we developers should disown the ignorant lot of them!

    I will carry on coding forever, so maybe when I am 100 someone will say "what's that dot?"
     
  7. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    what are your apps?
     
  8. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    #8 Xammond, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
    My released apps automatically returned to the store when I renewed the old developer account on the AppStore HERE and HERE

    Just the free one has an iOS8 issue when the game returns to the opening screen after playing, where touch fails both for the game and multi-tasking. The other app is fully compatible.

    ...Though I'm now thinking that an update is not worth it and I might as well focus on this new IAP Store instead. This week's refactoring of my new game just turned in to creating a new folder instead, I shall make something less.

    Edit: hopefully fixed developer store-link to two app links instead.
     
  9. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    i think you need to look at your products a bit rather than blame the app store.

    I don't see why publishers are arrogant. I know some and they all great. Just because they didn't want your product doesn't make then ignorant. Publishers are just looking for products they think they can make money on because that is there business. You should go to some gamedev conferences and listen, talk and network.
     
  10. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    I coded that stuff 3 years ago, it just came back by itself! I renewed the account to prepare for a new launch, many prototypes and unfinished games since the above links were made.

    The OP pointing out how little people pay had me 'flip' my attitude and finally join them in terms of monetisation method.

    Yes conferences would have prevented this catching-up situ.
     
  11. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    It sounded like you were complaining you have sold any.

    There is still a good market for video games that are paid. I have talked to devs of some of the more successful ones over the last few days. Games on that end need to be special and this is something most indie devs don't have the ability to make.
     
  12. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    Ah right, no it would have been a bonus if any did download early stuff - Certainly if I launched a new game only to see no downloads then I would change category to music.

    I think my new game, refactored to it's main event, would easily qualify in paid. I can only imagine that success with paid requires all of things which I don't have (cross promotion, advertising, reviews, partner/team, luck...). Actually all people regardless of whom presume that I've been twiddling my thumbs since December 2011, rather than throw project after project on the cutting room floor. Once publishers lived up to their 'lack of risk' name I thought...there's only one um!
     
  13. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Both The Room and Monument Valley(in fact their previous app to quote dev "sold about 20 copies") didn't spent a cent on advertising/PR so it shows there is room for premium products. Both of those games are exceptional experiences however.

    Generally okay or even good isn't enough for a premium game. I think exceptional is the word. The best selling premium games tend to be the more unique ones. Stunning visuals/design is a must.

    The more i talk to people the smaller factor I think luck is in general.
     
  14. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    Yes both of those games are exceptional. Monument Valley is more my cuppa tea, and indeed I also had about 20 (max) paid downloads of previously release Tetroms, updates never happened after seeing such a harsh reality first hand.

    'Exceptional experience'...well I think it is achievable, it is only perfectly clear when everything comes together at the end of development. Usually I dump projects if that isn't apparent, well at least during 2012 to now (Attic Eyes, A round voxel game, The melée game on my site, A motorbike game), and now something new which is my best results. But still I refactor the whole thing down.

    I think luck plays a crucial roll during a game's development (real life throws many curve balls relentlessly). Perhaps on release then not so much luck is out of our control.
     
  15. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Thats why I release all my games with some sort of free version. 20 downloads would suck. At least by being free all my games/apps have thousands of downloads.

    For me it is about people playing them and if that happens I am happy. It isn't my job and isn't likely to ever become my job even if I sell a million copies or something (because I love where I am now).
     
  16. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    I remember a similar suggestion in another thread about releasing two versions, Paid and Lite - as they were once named. But since IAP became an option for developers, there doesn't seem to be the above. Even having two separate launches is useless without a "New Releases" button for real gamers to browse.

    Yup 20 sucked big time. It was the end of that chapter of life!

    I've been looking through Top Grossing at the different items for purchase and how they might work for said game. The once which attracts me the most is that of Hill Climb Racing, where there are options to just purchase coins, with all options removing adverts (which are displayed in menus). I really think something like that would be better than splicing it in to two apps. But I haven't thought of a way to make "Coins" meaningful in my new game.
     
  17. Pixelosis

    Pixelosis Well-Known Member

    Jan 28, 2013
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    #17 Pixelosis, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
    I remember reading that iOS customers are more eager to pay than Android ones.

    The 97% figure doesn't surprise me (although I think it's rounded to be simpler to deliver to an audience, the truth being slightly more complex, but not by much). After reading articles and collecting data for a long time, it's mirroring what's generally said about "whales" and other lesser payers or non payers.
    I'm surprised by the idea that people would venture into the freemium area without knowing this basic fact.
    The most lucrative apps are the ones that look pretty enough, with lots of content (money traps) and large exposure. They don't cost particularly much to produce in comparison to the traditional video game market btw, especially in light of the ROI they generate.

    No, the reach is lower, hundreds of thousands, perhaps a couple millions for most. The thing is, the people who pay and belong to the 1~2% spend more money. They'll easily drop $5 and some go up to the three digits, and some mad people going as far as to reach expenditures of four digits.
    You also get a share of poor souls who aren't particularly rich but really do get addicted to any crap iMeth they can put their hands on.

    The rule is that you're making games for few richer people, some who have low phases in their lives and get more or less addicted to your virtual content, even if it's only temporary. Others just don't know how to spend their money and have fun (they think) by spending it on your electronic (BS) content that should cost very little to produce (ho ho ho I bought a hat!).
    They don't care much about the rules, they focus on content value, in a derivative way of the mentality that has superficial people pay more attention to what you wear and drive than what you are and provide.
    Then, the lesser the money spent by a payer, the more focused on the rules the payer is, since he/she's obviously not going to spend much money on all those luring traps you've built into your *cough* "game".

    OTOH, even successful paid apps don't return much money in comparison.
    A game like Monument Valley had covered their costs within one week, but it turned out that the peak of the sales were within that same prime week. I think they got more than twice the money they spent on production in the end, which might sound good but that's hardly stellar, especially for a large company like ustwo.
     

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