Just over a year ago on Feb 7th, 2013, I released my first iOS game Krashlander - Ski, Jump, Crash!
I've been meaning to write-up the details of the past year on iOS in the hopes that some other devs will get something out of it. As always, I'm short on time, so lets just get right to the meat.
All The Numbers
As I said above, Krashlander was released onto the AppStore on Feb 7th, 2013. It received some great press from Touch Arcade and I was very lucky to have it featured by Apple. Here is what the 1st week looked like.
As you can see, that was one hell of a 1st week and it was WAY beyond anything I was expecting.
After a week, Krashlander fell off the primary featured list and on to a sort of secondary "Hot" list. Not as nice as the 1st week but still nice.
Here are the numbers for the entire 1st month. As you can see, things fall pretty quick as the feature fades.
Once Krashlander fell into the long tail, it pretty much stayed there until, on Oct 25th, I decided to make Krashlander free for the weekened. (Oct 25th to Oct 28th) It got picked up by a number of the "Apps Gone Free" style sites and Touch Arcade, again gave me a great mention.
Here's what the numbers (rank, revenue, and downloads) looked like surrounding that time.
Some interesting things from above:
- Going free was definitely worth it. It increased my daily revenue from $5.00 - $8.00 a day to $15.00 - $25.00 a day.
- The downloads you get as a free game are INSANE. I really liked having all these new players. I didn't want to switch back to paid, but my goal was(is) to go full time "indie" someday so I reluctantly switched back. (More on this near the end of this post)
Near the end of 2013, I was approached by AppTurbo and asked if I would like to be featured as a free app of the day. App Turbo doesn't (or at least didn't) have a big presence in the U.S. but they seemed pretty popular over-seas. I decided to give it a try.
App Turbo slotted me in to be featured on Jan 16th, 2014 and Krashlander would stay free until Jan 19th. I really wasn't sure what to expect at the time. I was hoping to get something close to what I got the when I went free the 1st time in Oct. Well, as you can see below, I definitely got that. :-)
(As a side note, App Turbo was great to to work with.)
The revenue bump was nice, but I was most blown away by the shear number of new players I added in these few days. The feeling you get knowing so many people are trying out your game is awesome. I know only a fraction stick around, but it's still great. It made my game feel alive again!
After this big free promotion, things pretty quickly fell back to "normal". Here is how things have looked the last couple months.
Now, as if I don't already have enough charts in this blog post, just to pull it all together, here are revenue and downloads for the entire life of Krashlander.
From these graphs, you can see Krashlander earned almost all its revenue in the 1st few weeks while being featured.
You can also see how drastically a free game can crush a paid games in terms of downloads!
Overall, I'm very happy with how Krashlander has done over the past year. I still have not made enough to go "full-time-indie", but I did make enough to build a small office in my basement and purchase all the hardware, software, and services I need to keep things moving.
Part of the reason I'm writing this post is that I'm about to change things up a bit for Krashlander. Krashlander has settled firmly into the long tail now and makes $10.00 - $20.00 a day. Not bad, but maybe I can do better. (Big maybe there.)
On Thursday, May 1st, I'll be releasing a separate free version of Krashlander. The free version will be supported by minimal, non-intrusive ads (No ads during game-play). To start off with, I've chosen Chartboost and Vungle as my primary ad providers.
My goal now is to get Krashlander - Ski, Jump, Crash (Free) up the free charts and see if I can make more money off ads than what the paid version is currently making. I have no idea if it'll do that well, but that is partly the fun of it!
Links and Stuff
Krashlander - Ski, Jump, Crash! (Free) -- Link will be live on May 1st