Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What I learnt about the mobile apps business from McDonald's

McDonald's make great burgers (your preference may vary), IKEA make pretty cool furniture, BMW make awesome driving machines.

Do you get what's going on here?

Publishing apps business is delicious!



Over the years building and publishing mobile apps and games, I've noticed and experienced myself an important aspect that makes a successful mobile apps business.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Year that Was, the Year that Will Be!

As the year comes closer to the end, its perhaps time for reflections on what has happened, and what's to come.

Last year (2013) was a big roller coaster for me, ups and downs and loop-de-loops.

2014 was a surprisingly rather stable year. If anything, I feel I've grown better in many ways.

10 million downloads.. and counting!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mobile Advertising vs Other Medias

Advertising makes it possible to get many things at a free/almost free price tag.

Thus, the reason free mobile apps are often having ads in them. These ads "pay" for the users to get these apps and games.

Mobile advertising is BIG business. For example in a recent report by Glu, about 14% of their last quarter's $84m revenue was from in-app ads.

Best mobile ads implementation strategy

How ads best work for one app might not work for another. I've noticed though, that the revenue generated from ads is often related to how much ads are being shown in an app.

Forget eCPM. For those familiar with my blog will know I'm no fan of eCPM. In the end, what fills your bank account is not eCPM but the actual revenue that you get.

Right, this is a tricky situation here. You've worked and spent time and money on an app, surely you're looking at a return on your investments here.

What's worked great for me, besides ads on start-up, game ends and in between levels is an ad shown within gameplay.

Many users (and developers!!!) often complain about ads in game.

Showing more ads will most likely result in much negative reviews from users. Even big names such as Angry Birds get much negative reviews on ads.

Try Heyzap to implement a (skipable and/or rewarded) video ad.

But let's look at other advertising mediums in regards to this.

The Billboards

Driving from point A to point B, you come across many billboards on the road. Or in your train stations. Or at the bus stops.

The billboard did not wait for you to turn off your engine or complete your journeys before popping up.

The Newspaper & Magazines

Premium ads are shown on the front page. And ads are shown through out the paper ( and worse in a paid magazine, sometimes it feels like you've paid to get an advertising brochure huh? ).

The TV

This is a classic. The most effective ads are those shown during the movie. Once a movie is finished, I usually dont wait to watch ads.

Football, Formula 1 and other sporting events

Ads are shown throughout. On billboards beside the pitches, on TV timers, scrolling across the screen, at half times (super bowl ads anyone?), on players jerseys, on race cars.

Advertising is most effective when the user is there watching the ad. These "traditional" mediums have such implementations, I don't see why the fuss with mobile ads.

Hey, if its such a bother, a user can simply turn off their data connections before running the apps (try doing that with the other mediums). Or get the premium paid ones.

So let's stop complaining about ads, and realise that our real "customers" are not the users, but the advertising companies that pay us for space in our apps.

It works best when its a win-win for all parties. Users, well, they will be users.

Cheers!
Bill

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Of successful apps, and failures!

My last post on the cartoon mini golf game highlighted what I thought was my best game yet. Unfortunately, it was a total disaster in terms of getting downloads.

The mini golf game barely broke the 10k downloads mark at the end of the first 30 days.

Compare this against the football goalkeeper game which I did a case study on, it was really a disappointing achievement.

But that's the reality here. The mobile apps business is a real beast, and its really tough to tame it.

From what I've read, Supercell makes an estimated $1.3m from Clash of Clans daily. Their 2nd outing, Boom Beach makes about 10% of that ($130k daily). Guess, relatively speaking, Boom Beach isn't quite what they would call a success.

And really, what's there with Rovio besides Angry Birds (milked and reskinned to the max) ? It really looks like they are a 1-hit wonder (yes, yes, I know there are other games too, but they are no where near the pig killers).

The point is, I'm not picking on these great companies. If anything, I would love to achieve what they have. I'm just trying to highlight how this app space works.

One day you're flying high, and you decide to make it better the next round, and BANG! You're shot down. Its worse when its one of your better efforts, and when we are just a single developer with limited budget. There is NO guarantee that a better piece of work is gonna be more successful.

Since releasing the mini golf game, I've published a few more games. One is an infinite air race game (looks like its not even gonna break 2k downloads in 30 days).

Another is an infinite ski racing game, too early to tell how it would perform, but its not off to a good start.

And a couple of days ago, I published a cartoon themed football flick game ( where you flick footballs to a target in a cartoon setting world). This game started off pretty good from the looks of it. There is hope that this one might make it.

Will it repeat the performance of the goalkeeper game? I'm hoping it does, maybe even better than the other game. Hey, we can believe & hope!

So, if you've got a game that did not perform, or a disappointing app, dont feel down. It happens to all of us, even to the great masters.

The secret is, do you have what it takes to stay in the game long enough to see a difference being made?

Cheers! And success to all!
Bill

Monday, September 22, 2014

Download and Play the Best Mini Golf Game on Android!

Aloha!

I've just published a mini golf game on Google Play. It's basically the 2nd edition of my Cartoon Mini Golf Game series (the one released last year hit 1m downloads in less than 1.5 months, making it my first mega hit!).

cartoon mini golf games
Cartoon Mini Golf Games 2 set in cartoonish little islands