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So, long story short, some days ago I published an iPhone game, I think the game wasn't that bad tbh, and still I got only 10 sells at $0.99.

Are they any publishers, sponsors, or distributors to make your game "visible" on the app store market?, or the only thing you need is to have an amazing game and that's all?

Somehow I think that even if you have an awesome game if you don't do that "marketing magic" correctly you will not exist in the store.

Now I'm making a second game, completely different, and I want to know how to do things right.

If anyone knows something about this topic, let me know.

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migrated from superuser.com Feb 1 '11 at 15:16

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How long has your game been released? Could we see a link to it? –  CiscoIPPhone Feb 1 '11 at 15:28
About a week and a half. Anw, Im making it free right now, there is no point in trying to make a profit of it since the most active time I got 6 sells (release day) Here is the game: itunes.apple.com/us/app/x-maths-tree/id414225981?mt=8&ls=1 –  Artemix Feb 1 '11 at 15:41
I would wait to make it free until you've done more PR, sending it around to review sites and such. Just releasing a game on the App Store with no publicity means that no one will even see your game unless they happen to search for it. –  Gregory Avery-Weir Feb 1 '11 at 20:24
OP = original poster –  Matt Feb 29 '12 at 7:47

7 Answers 7

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Matt Rix has shared some insight about his game Trainyard in his blog. I think the article shows some really interesting facts about sales and how they are related to decisions the developer made.

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100% read, thx. –  Artemix Feb 1 '11 at 19:37

For your game, I have some suggestions.

Interesting idea, but scrap it and start again. Okay, not completely scrap it, but it needs some work :D

(0) rebrand it as an edumacational - pitch it at kids - target the home school market

(1) The music seems kind of repetititve

(2) The music cancels the user's music which might have been playing in the background, don't do this

(3) The initial (easy) trees are way too big

(4) Tutorial with set tree (something like only 6 slots, and a predefined set of ornaments, and you walk the player through the process

(5) First row of first tree should have... I dunno, 6 or 10 slots, then add a row every row or two they go up the tree

(6) rapid early progress is good! Even an adult can lose interest if the first ones are too 'hard' (read as: take too long even if they are actually 'trivial' compared to later trees)

(7) work on the doco. Okay, I get the thing about English not being your first language, and I have tremendous respect for people who speak multiple languages, so my hat goes off to you sir. HOWEVER - when you target the educational market you want to be a bit more precise. Example: trees are not 'male', so do not refer to them as 'his' - e.g. his sub-trees.

(8) Straight out of the gate I think you gave up too easily. The average paid iPhone game makes about $2000, which means that most games make considerably less than that, probably $1000 or less. The average is skewed because you have a small handful of games (Angry Birds) that make enormous money.

So I think you need to reset your expectations. iPhone development is like the lottery, we all hear about the big winners, but most tickets are disappointing. On the other hand, if I paid $100 for a lotto ticket, and it only gave me back $10, that would seem like a bad deal, but if it gave me back $10 every week for the next 5 years I'd be a lot happier and go and buy a lot more of them. :D Rather than getting one massive royalty cheque that you can use to buy a house, lambo and Brazilian supermodel on day one, you need to think of it as a stream of income - or better yet, a tree! A tree that you need to tend and if you take good care of it it will slowly grow until it provides you shelter.


Hope you found these comments useful

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Thx for your tips, they are really helpful. I cant quote you here cuz I dont have enough characters, and I shouldnt make an answer to myself :p, so, I agree with almost everything you said, but this game was more like a test than a real game, the test was successful, now Im making a real game :) Anyway, very useful advices. –  Artemix Feb 3 '11 at 23:11

There are a number of iPhone publishers who will submit your app for you under their name, for a percentage of your profits. One that comes to mind is Chillingo (their other company, Clickgamer, published Angry Birds). If you look around, you'll most likely find one that fits your needs.

There are also companies who promote your app, but I don't know much about them. Appular (according to their website) is one of the promoters for Doodle Jump.

One other thing you should do (that isn't linked to publishers or advertisers) is make a thread about your game on the major iPhone Gaming forums, like TouchArcade. Chances are, someone will find your game who wouldn't have otherwise.

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Thx for your tips, Ill consider those options in my new game. –  Artemix Feb 1 '11 at 15:50


Have people play test your games before sending them off for submission. You'll get great feedback from the people there, and it's really cheap. I usually pay $5 to a beta tester and they offer a lot of constructive feedback.

It's better to have a polished game that you want to market then to have an unpolished one.

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If you don't already, you should have a (mobile-friendly!) website for you and your game, and you should send polite promotional e-mails to sites that do reviews and news about iPhone games. Make sure you include promo codes so that the reviewers on the sites can play your game for free.

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Dont know what promo codes are or how they work, but Ill figure it out, thx. And, yes, Im working on a website :P –  Artemix Feb 1 '11 at 18:04
Look at the iTunes Connect Developer Guide, page 133, "Requesting Promo Codes." You get a certain number per update, and reviewers can enter them into iTunes to get a free copy of your game. –  Gregory Avery-Weir Feb 1 '11 at 20:23

Well you can use in app advertising and get a bunch of app review sites to review your app as well... We did the same with our game.

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I edited your answer to removed the bit that was unrelated to the answer. –  Byte56 Jan 26 '13 at 16:17

In short:

  1. Make your app/game worth marketing.
  2. Integrated Twitter & Facebook in your app:
  3. Localize your app description in app store.
  4. Submit the app and hold it before releasing.
  5. Upload youtube videos.
  6. Submit your app/game at different review websites.

Further details found here.

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