Almost one month has passed since Tiny Stack's launch and I've tried different marketing techniques to promote my game during this period. I will talk about what actually worked and what failed miserably.
So, let's jump to the sales data:
|First Month Sales|
Tiny Stack has sold a total 62 copies so far and if we consider its free downloads and the lite version, the game has been played by over one thousand people worldwide.
Sales started with an initial launch spike (A), with 21 people downloading the game thanks to the launch buzz on social networks. After losing exposure on the "New releases" list, sales had quickly dropped to 2-3 units a day. Then we see a spike in (B), which i believe was generated by reviewers tweeting about the game on Twitter.
The next Spike is (C), when the game was covered on iPhone Italia, an italian tech blog. Actually, this is the only one who wrote about Tiny Stack out of the over 80 review sites I've contacted with promo codes!
Then I wanted to try a strategy which is well-known on the App Store: Free for a day. Halloween seemed like the perfect day to try this strategy out! You can see the results in (D) with obviosly 0 paid sales. I thought this strategy would have helped the game to get a larger user base and some extra publicity, but I was partially wrong.
The game did receive over 200 downloads that day, but as you can see it also didn't help sales at all! I think that the only case in which this marketing strategy is effective is when you are promoting something else inside your app (E.g. a game sequel) or when your app is IAP heavy. Mine was neither of those so it was pretty pointless in my case. Fortunately, though, I didn't get any bad review in the process.
Finally, in (E) a lite version of the game was released resulting in a new spike. Unlike the Free-for-a-day strategy, the lite version had an impact on sales so it is definitely helpful. The lite version has been downloaded almost one thousand times and roughly 1 person out of 100 decided to purchase the full version. In-App analitycs shows that an high number of players (20 out of 100) press the "full version" button to see what it is about. :)
That's all for now!
Tiny stack has grossed around 40$ so far, but fortunately the costs for the development were as low as 200$, so it is not a big loss right now and I think the game may eventually breakeven in the feature :)
The costs were so low because I took care of graphics, programming and game design completely alone, using open source tools and frameworks (Yes, it was a lot of work but it was fun!). I spent around 160$ on sounds/music and the rest on advertising.
While these numbers are far from stellar, I think they are pretty decent for a first project. But, more importantly, knowing that my game is being played by thousands of players around the world is an enough reason for me to stay motivated and keep doing what I love: Making games!