Vintage Game Shop has been released since about 3 weeks (October 7th), so I thought it was a good time for an update about whether it reached or not the “October Challenge goal” of earning 48$.
First of all, after more work than I excepted, the iOS port of the game was released today!
However, as I only own one iOS device (an iOS9 Ipad Air), the “field testing” of my game has been quite limited. So, if you have an iOS device and would like to help me improve the game, could please test if the game works on your iPhone / iPad / iPod? Thanks in advance!
(please tell me if it does work or not in the comments)
As October Challenge is (mainly) about marketing, here is what I experimented with this game:
- The game is available in three platforms: Browser (Flash) and mobile (Android & iOS). My October Challenge plan was to release the game for free, then try to earn the 48$ through ads, and more specifically rewarded videos. Each version of the game contains a different ads system. The browser version will actually only show ads to registered members of the ArmorGames portal, and are only available on this website. The mobile version are “ads-enabled” for everyone, and thus represent the main “ads revenue source” for my October Challenge. I used ArmorGames inhouse ads system for the Browser version, and FGL Enhance for the mobile ones.
- The Browser version was released on one of the largest Flash Game portal: Armor Games. I can’t overstate how happy I am they accepted the game. Their wonderful and incredibly large player community was actually the first and most effective “marketing push”. The game is frontpaged on the website, which drive a lot of players to the game: about 104.000 plays at the time of writing this article.
- The Browser version contains links towards the mobile version of the game, with the secret hope that if players enjoy the web version, they’ll download the mobile one.
- In order to push both the browser and mobile versions, I’ve contacted about 70 gaming-related websites and Youtubers. The responses have been very few: about 4 articles / mentions in total. I’ve paid attention to target people who could be interest in the game (retro gaming or game history), but that’s still a quite disappointing 5% positive response rate.
- First, I got some articles in non-english blogs or websites: MO5 Mag (France), OUJEVIPO (France) and RetroManiac Magazine (Italy).
- Then, I’ve only got one english-written article covering the game for now, but it’s a BIG one: Polygon ran a full article about the game, alongside with a video review on their Youtube channel.
Overall, the current game audience exceeds all of my wildest expectations: 141.390 plays in total, 21 days after release.
But, unfortunately for October Challenge, the audience is clearly skewed towards Browser instead of Android:
- 138.180 plays for the Browser version.
- 3.210 plays, with only 649 installs according to Google Play, for the Android version. Oddly enough, the FGL dashboard gives me a total number of 1.354 installs. I wonder what explains the difference: is it due to the apk being downloaded outside of Google Play? Or simply an analytic reports bug?
- iOS was only released today, so results will come later for it.
So, yeah, the “conversion rate” from Browser to Android is very low: about 2%.
I must confess that I was excepting more players for the Android version, but maybe this is normal. In your experience, are these numbers “normal”, or is there something wrong with my game?
I saved the most important figure for the last part: the revenue earned from those players:
- The Android version have generated a grand total of… 14.97$ revenue. But bear in mind that there’s a 100$ minimum threshold to get paid by the ads providers, so I might actually never see that money…
- I don’t have any revenue figures from the ArmorGames ads system yet, but I except those to be quite low. For one, rewarded videos on Browser are worth less than on mobile (about 50% less from what I’ve read). And I suspect that very few players actually get to view the ads on Browser. So, If I had to take a wild guess, based on the Android figures, I would say that the Browser version should have generated between 5$ and 10$ in revenue.
So, all-in-all, I’m still far from reaching the October Challenge goal. I think that I’m about half-way there, so I hope the just released iOS version will be able to match Android performance in terms of ads revenue!
While it’s very unlikely that the game will reach the 48$ goal before the end of the October Challenge, I can hope that it’ll eventually fulfill it with time (maybe in 6 months?). I’ll keep you updated either way.
On a more personal note, even though I guess I’m won’t get any money from this experiment, I’m actually very glad that I could try my hand at “marketing” and attempt to monetize a game for the first time. As you can see, I’m a total beginner in this domain, so if you have any idea on how I could improve, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!