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I just finished doing a major upgrade for a old mobile title, that haven't seen an update in over a year. Lots of new content, things are looking nice.

Sadly, these days it takes an average of 12 days to get the update through the iTunes approval tube, but less than 2 hours to throw it live right away on Google Play.

If i put the version up now, i can hit the autumn vacation period on android at least, and iOS people will have to wait till their version has been approved.

But I hear from other studios that they wait and launch both updates at the same time, to reach a socalled "synergy effect", since (as I understand it) attention to the update spills over to the mirrored platform.

But... I am simply skeptical on this. Is this effect really so strong, that you would postpone launches for weeks ? And googling for a bit, I'm having a hard time finding any numbers that can back this strategy up.

To put it more direct : Is holding back a app launch till all platforms are in sync really "worth it" ?

Ofcouse I will hold back my PR-horses till the upgrade is ready for both platforms, but is it really that bad to do a "premature" launch of an app on one platform ?

If anyone can back this strategy up with more than just a gut feeling (numbers and charts are always great) I am all ears. I'm not doing anything to my app untill I have some solid intel on these upgrade strategies.

PS: I am aware the same method is being used on initial app launch, where in a way it makes more sense to me. If you have any data on how strong the benefit of this strategy is there, I'm all ears too.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just a note: some mobile games like Clash of Clans, etc have stopped doing this except for super major updates, but that may just be a side effect of their huge user base. \$\endgroup\$ – Pip Dec 3 '14 at 15:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that good answers to this question must be backed up with concrete data and/or statistics. Speculative and discussion-oriented answers will be removed as without the presence of hard data this question is off-topic. (Apparently I cannot add this as a post notice without first removing the bounty, which I'd prefer not to do.) \$\endgroup\$ – Josh Dec 3 '14 at 15:48
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Ok since you want numbers, I can only guarantee you one number: 1. That's me. But some things can't be put into numbers, and that's how people feel about certain things.

When you release updates for different platforms at different times, and assuming the user are already waiting for this update, the users who have to wait longer get the feeling of being on an second class platform. On the other hand, if you release "premature" updates only on one platform and not on the others, then this community might feel like a test environment, like rats. I personally don't like it to play unfinished/broken games unless I am aware of that and in the mood to do so. I think if you explain the the community that on iOS the validation process generally takes much longer then the desync of releases might have no noticeable affect on the community. Just be honest with the community, and don't lie to them.

A different story is it when your game has multiplayer. Then you should make sure that everybody has access to the same version at the same time. It's not nice when somebody can't play with his friends, because he does not have access to the same version.

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Depends solely on the Game play !

During the project postmortem of failed games the development manager has to justify the failure and at such times the launch date is one the best escape excuses. But the truth is it was the bad content selection from day one itself.

If the game content and game play is really fabulous then after the Quality assurance is complete I do not see any reasons for holding the release.

You wait for the cross platform coherency just to make sure maximum number of downloads. Because once the bad reviews/ratings have been posted then hardly anyone would like to try the game.

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