Keeping App in Top 200 Charts

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by drewse, Aug 28, 2010.

  1. drewse

    drewse Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2009
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    Hi Everyone!

    So I decided to make my app free for a day (or rather a limited time) with FreeAppCalendar starting yesterday. It quickly rose in the US charts and is now #3 in free word games, #73 in free games, and #175 in all free apps. For those of you who want to know, being in the 150-200 rank in all free apps for a day generates around 10,000 downloads. (Note: I didn't earn this rank until half way into the day so the download count could be higher.) My game also has around 1,100 OpenFeint users in its leaderboards, so the percentage of OpenFeint users is around 10%. In addition to the ranks, the game was mentioned by a bunch of websites as well as on Twitter. Most of the publicity came from FreeAppCalendar, but I did post about my game on a few forums, mentioned it on Twitter, and posted about it on Facebook.

    My question is: do you have any suggestions on how I can try to keep my app in the Top 200 Free Apps Chart? I didn't send out a press release because I didn't have the time, but in the future I would make sure to do that. I'm looking for free ways to get my app noticed or keep in the top charts.

    Looking forward to hearing your comments!
     
  2. RPGGuy

    RPGGuy Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2008
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    I had the most success when I left the game free for a week. If you can get 500,000 people with the game it starts to spread by itself. So leave it free as long as you feel comfortable doing so.
     
  3. draper3000

    draper3000 Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2010
    208
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    Video Editor and part time app designer...
    Staines, UK,
    Wondering the same thing myself.

    My game quake builder is currently doing pretty well in the U.S. top free games, puzzles and action categories.

    It's still the number 1 action game in 13 countries but not in the bigger app stores.

    I made the game free 6 days ago and the downloads went from 5 to 75000 in one day after being for sale for 59p/99c for 9 months.

    It's dropping out of the charts quite quickly each day after a grand entrance. I've submitted an update which fixes some bugs, artwork etc. So I really want it to stay in the charts at least until the update is out to see if the game can find itself a more permanent chart position.
     
  4. TinyTechnician

    TinyTechnician Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2010
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    Developer
    Los Angeles
    5 to 75000 in one day! Just curious if you did something other than make it free? Like paid advertising somewhere or Facebook ad? Or if something else happened along with the App going free. Like a write-up in some notable blog/site at the same time, iTunes N&N listing, etc.
     
  5. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Hollywood, CA
    hey, this is how it goes! a lot of people watch the twitter bots/etc that pick up the free apps and spam them out. also a lot of secondary sites will give hi-profile daily mentions as well.

    no one wants to pay for anything (even a measly dollar, anymore), but everyone wants to grab something that's free if it looks half-decent. I do think it might have something to do with the name (people might read "quake builder" and a few things jump into their head!) and mind that a lot more people have i-Things now, especially a month following the holidays. Like, many hundreds of thousands more people.

    do a google search and you might see if it popped up in some notable places. also as it's relatively quiet right now (compared to the insanity of this past December) people are probably starving for new ANYTHING to scoop up.

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  6. draper3000

    draper3000 Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2010
    208
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    Video Editor and part time app designer...
    Staines, UK,
    freebie success...

    Nope, literally just made it free and did a forum post on Touch Arcade...

    I've since done an update to counteract any negative reviews,

    I assume that if popped up on all the price drop websites/apps and people liked the name or the icon and thought they'd try it out.
     
  7. Ovogame

    Ovogame Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2010
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    Game Developer
    Morestel, France
    What is happening when you put back your App as a paid app?
    I guess, you vanish from the free chart, but what is happening with the paid chart? Do you get a better ranking because of the previous free download?

    thanks

    JC
     
  8. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Hollywood, CA
    this has never happened for me.
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  9. Epox

    Epox Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2010
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    update it, maybe offer a paid version
     
  10. mr.Ugly

    mr.Ugly Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2009
    1,674
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    36
    Berlin, Germany

    this is very hard to achieve.. the moment you move from any side of the pond to the other you loose all your visibility.. everything you've reached by then is just lost, thrown into the bin..

    now one need to ask yourself.. whats the difference that some app actualy gain a benefit from something that would be a logical suicide..

    its just mass exposure and worth to mouth.. if there is alot of buzz around your product while its free there is a chance this will result in a good paid position.. but that usualy only happens if you app is somewhere prominently promoted.. thats the general point of pages like FAAD.. even after you got back to paid your still visible on the front page and people are more likely to try out your game..

    this does not work anywhere as good as a year ago, because there are just to many of thoose sides.. when the appvent calendar started its was something novel and new.. now such pages are there plenty so the attention is spread across alot of such services and therefore the results are lower than they where earlier..

    if you have a game that sells at the lowers point a dollar, i would not even suggest togo free if you do it solely on the premise of earning more money with that app after the promotion..

    if you have a product at one dollar which does not sell.. there can be tons of reasons.. but chances are high that thoose couple hundred thousand free downloads you might achieve are NOT! done by customers who would even considered to buy your app at its original price.

    times change quickly on the appstore its a huge market in a constant shift.. what now is a good tactic is worthless tomorrow because of quick saturation..

    if you go free.. i would personaly suggest ... to see it as a promotional tool for yourself, your brand, and possible other apps you have in the appstore..
    don't go into this by trying to achieve to rise up the ranks with the app you went free... if you have product x , go in and heavily promote your product z in it.. so the visibility of the free game can shed some light on your paid stuff..

    one of the most underrated behemoth of ios games is doing exactly that.. donut games.. take a closer look at their release tacticst and you find a repeating pattern that apparently works pretty good for them..
     
  11. headcaseGames

    headcaseGames Well-Known Member

    Jun 26, 2009
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    Mobile Game Developer
    Hollywood, CA
    all that the Ugly One states is reasonable.
    Going free now has almost no effect on sales directly, like it used to, I would imagine. If you've nothing to upsell (IAP, or other prominently displayed apps) then the thing will likely shoot right back to where it was prior to the free promotion.

    Not enough can be said about the over saturation of the current appstore, but also (and more importantly) the attitudes of customers nowadays. they are simply overwhelmed by choice and unless something big isn't screaming at them for attention (Dead Space, Street Fighter, and obviously huge word of mouth games like Words w Friends, Angry Birds, Doodle Jump) then they will not really be interested in paying a dollar for something which might "look sort of neat."

    It's your job as an independent developer now to stop coding and and arting so much, and thinking about sales and marketing. What can you do to take advantage of what is available to you, to get your voice heard? How can your project stand apart from the thousands, when more and more release every day, and so many of them are forgotten a week or so later if they'd not been outright ignored from the start?

    Think long and hard, do some experiments, and then think some more. Just having some nice games is no longer enough.

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