Twilight Golf is on page 7 of new releases??

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by AndyKorth, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. AndyKorth

    AndyKorth Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Game Developer
    Grr, okay folks. I've got a bit of a rant here. You probably saw a bunch of posts about Twilight Golf, we've worked really hard on it and tried to get everyone excited for what I think is a great game.

    So when it comes out, we check the new releases lists, and find our game listed on page 7, with a release date of October 7th. Apparently, even though we specified a later release date, Apple used our approval date for sorting us. This seems like a big deal to me- even though people on Touch Arcade and other places will see our game, most app buyers are just looking in the app store for their purchases. No one's going to scroll to page 7 to see if anything new has shown up there.

    And worst of all, there doesn't really seem to be anything for me to do about it. I wrote up a post about what happened here.. but mostly I just wanted to rant...

    Maybe someone from Apple will see this and help us out.. heh.
  2. drelbs

    drelbs Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Wow that sucks.

    I think other devs have had similar issues: see this thread...
  3. GregH

    GregH Well-Known Member

    Sep 12, 2009
    I've definitely been baffled by this problem too. My game has nearly no exposure so missing those couple of days in the new releases list is really painful. You should try going into iTunes Connect and changing the release date to today and then wait a few hours; it should show up in the list then.
  4. PixelthisMike

    PixelthisMike Well-Known Member

    I don't belive it will show, out of the developer-set release date and approval date it uses whichever is earliest of the two so setting the release date to today won't do anything since the approval date is still earlier.
  5. PixelthisMike

    PixelthisMike Well-Known Member

    And yes this is unfortunately a well-known issue :( If you set your own release date in the future the benefit is you can target your marketing for a specific release date but the trade-off is that you lose the exposure you would have got from the new release lists.
  6. The same thing happened to me with my game release today... I was under the impression as long as your initial release date was set in the future, the app would show up under new releases on that day. So I am stuck with my approval date, which was 5 days ago.

    Overall though I think I'm better off having waited until I got my new promo video ready, but it's something I'll consider doing differently next time around.
  7. AndyKorth

    AndyKorth Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Game Developer
    Yeah, it looks like I've run into that exact same problem. I see why I was confused- we both seem to have done something like this in the past (I swear it worked for Crayon Ball, maybe updates to Crayon Ball). But still, if it's such a well known problem, why hasn't Apple addressed it?

    It seems like it should be simple to have new releases show up on the new releases list without letting people bump themselves to the top of the list without making any changes to their app.
  8. This seems to be the standard behaviour. It happened to me with my game Charmed too. I was able to go into iTunesConnect and change the date to the actual release date though.

    See if you can do that.

    It was too late for Charmed though, as many other games were already released and I was pushed off the first few "New" pages already. That really, really sucks!

    In the future, I think will set a release date in the future and then when the app is approved, set the release date to that day. I hope doing that doesn't add any delay to the approval process though.

    Can anyone comment on that?
  9. AndyKorth

    AndyKorth Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Game Developer
    The release date is actually set to today, and has been set to October 20th for several weeks. So.. *shrugs*
  10. Intruder_qcc

    Intruder_qcc Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Senior Analyst-programmer
    St-Hubert (Quebec), Canada

    As you probably found out the hard way sadly... :(

    Apple definitely use the approval date to put you on the list, BUT use your release date to know when to put you online on the AppStore. A lot of people got the same trouble, as the settings in iTunes Connect is very confusing.

    So next time you make an update, what you need to do is the following :

    1 - Check iTunes Connect often (several time a day if possible).
    2 - Once you see the status of your apps "Ready for sales" change the release date to today date (dont bother waiting for Apple email, as you probably wont receive any).
    3 - Shortly a few hour later your apps should appear on the new arrival list, 1st page or 2nd page (depend in which category your games is listed in and if they were many approved during that day).

    Other note, when you are listed in the new release list. It's first listed by approval date and then alphabetically. Which mean Twilight Golf will still be lower in the list for that days, so you could still be a few pages down :(.

    I hope you have a chance to update your games soon and be able to get the visibility in the new release.
  11. Seems it's all folklore and superstition around this topic. I believe that when I set the date to September 18, which was my actual release date, that it appeared to be sorted in the right spot in the New Releases list.

    It was still way, way down since I didn't notice this right away, but it seemed correct (otherwise it would have been August 3 due to the ridiculous 6+ week approval time).

    Anyway, I think if you set the date way into the future and check daily for your release, then you should be OK. Then just update the release date once it is approved. At least that is what I will try with my update next week.
  12. sumiguchi

    sumiguchi Well-Known Member

    May 7, 2009
    Developer (Business Apps)
    With Anomaly, I set the date to be the same as the approval date and in my case I saw a boost in sales. Unless you have a big advertising budget I don't see the point in releasing it any later than the approval date.

    In any case, I'd recommend you do a quick update! I'm installing the lite version right now ;)
  13. PixelthisMike

    PixelthisMike Well-Known Member

    Don't set the date of an update into the future, if you do this the app you are updating will be removed from the store until that date. I kid you not! :eek:
  14. Wow...that is some seriously screwed up behavior. Thanks for the warning!

    How can Apple not get something this simple right?
  15. PixelthisMike

    PixelthisMike Well-Known Member

    Hahaha many devs before you have asked the same questions but are still none the wiser!
  16. Carlos

    Carlos Well-Known Member

    Sep 29, 2009
    Software architect, game dev and book author
    xor eax, eax
    As an app developer for iPhone, it's your responsability and interest to read the rules and the announcements.
    This behaviour is also described, and actually it makes sense in some special cases: you might want to postpone the release of your app to a given date (Halloween for example), or due to a serious bug until the fixed update is approved.
  17. PixelthisMike

    PixelthisMike Well-Known Member

    Of course that is your responsibility but as far as I know there is no documentation provided by Apple that actually outlines these pitfalls around release dates. I believe that devs on here have learnt the pitfalls through trial and error and kindly shared their experiences with the rest of us!

    Yes it can under certain circumstances make sense to delay the release of an app or an update to an app. The behaviour that doesn't make sense is missing out on the new release lists just because you set your release date after the approval date and your app disappearing from the app store because you set the release date of an update in the future.
  18. Sorry, but no, it doesn't make sense. In the Halloween case, sure I want the release date of my app to be the date I choose to make it available. That only works in the case of first submitting your app. Nobody says that part is broken.

    As others have just said, when submitting an UPDATE, if you set the availability date to be in the future, then the current version of your app becomes unavailable immediately! The availability date should only apply to the release of the update.

    In your "serious bug" case, there is already a way to remove the current version of your app from sale. That has nothing to do with submission dates. If I discover a serious bug in a binary that is under review, I can reject the binary. Again, nothing to do with dates.

    The normal case, however, is that when you submit your app for approval, the availability date defaults to the current day. When your app is actually approved (potentially 6+ weeks later) it gets marked with the SUBMISSION DATE, not the actual RELEASE DATE. That drops you way down on the New Releases list. Please tell me in what "special case" any sane dev would want that behavior. :eek:

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