Archive for October, 2009

Sitting on top of the AppStore!

October 21, 2009

We blogged earlier about how our iphone puzzle game Fling! hit #1 when we gave the full version away for a couple of days.

Shortly after that, the actual free version was finally approved. Since then, Fling! has had an amazing run, and has been sitting the past few days at #1 of both free+paid top 100 apps in the UK, and in the top 10 of the other English speaking stores – US, Australia, Canada, … 🙂

It’s really been great to see just how Fling! has been so popular with gamers everywhere, and we’re grateful to everyone who downloaded it for helping make it a success.

What advice can we give from this ride for other iphone developers? Well, we might be a little afraid of giving away our ‘secrets’ to success, but really there’s no big-secret here:

  • For us, the model of giving away a trial version of an app in order to sell the full version has proven essential – while we just had the full version of Fling! available, even while it was featured by Apple, we had relatively insignificant sales or momentum. In our opinion, this trial-version model works great for both gamers (as they can try before they buy), and us (as we haven’t found any other great ways to get our apps noticed).
  • How easy it is to replicate this success with the free trial-version and paid full-version model we can’t say – obviously a lot depends on how popular a game proves to be. For example, there’s another game with a trial version sitting above Fling in the free apps in the US for the past week, for which the paid version of that game hasn’t cracked the top 20 while Fling climbed well into the top 10. And even if a game has a free version which is compelling and thus produces as high a percentage of ‘upsales’ as Fling! has, is there any guarantee that the free version will climb to the top 10 free apps in the first place? Its hard for us to say what determines this – our previous game Fuzzle had a free trial version which while also essential to Fuzzle’s success, never reached such heights in the charts (and this despite Fuzzle being featured by Apple under “What’s Hot”, which our experience is showing to be somewhat of a boost but in no way guarantees an app’s success, and despite Fuzzle being released at a time when there was much less competition in the AppStore).

One final note of advice for aspiring iphone developers – don’t assume that even if your game hits the jackpot and reaches the top 10, that you can now retire happy ….. being in the top 10 is great, but its not going to make you rich overnight – if your app spends a couple of days in the top 10, you might come away with 20,000 in sales from those two days (a bit more if you can hit #1), which at $0.99 per sale minus a 30% Apple cut may or may not make you happy … for us, we’re happy but not retiring just yet, and we’ll be continuing to add new features to Fling! to keep it hot for a while longer before focusing on our next big thing 🙂