As some may know, we are working a on a pretty ambitious indie game for a couple of months: http://forums.makingmoneywithandroid.com/income-reports/17070-football-game-development.html (feedback is welcome) and among many task i do i have been wondering and researching about how to get to 1 MM downloads, the mark we have set to consider the game a success. I have concluded there are 4 ways of getting downloads with a game (i cant say about apps), none of them easy to achieve and they need to be mixed to improve the chances of success:
Initial Boom: Strong initial (paid) promotion following by a boost in the rankings bringing a lot of downloads during the first 3 months and then declining to a low level. The success of this approach depends on how high was the boost. As seen in this forum, results vary from 10-50k downloads range to +1MM.
Keyword ranking: For me this is the most overrated of the 4. The android market is so tough for every word that it is very hard to rank high, and after you made it to top5 or top1, how many downloads is that bringing you? 100/day , 350/day? I don’t believe it brings more than that… Real data is welcome :-).
Similar apps: Another way of getting downloads is by appearing as similar apps for other important apps. For what i have seen/read, this seems to be a stream of downloads, although one of our apps is matched with Color Zen, which has more than 1MM downloads, and never brought more than 200 downloads/day. Since one of the most important factors to match app is the download counter, this approach does not seem to work alone but needed to be combined with 1) and 2).
Being featured: I believe this one to be the most underrated way of the 4. Yes, everybody wants and has dreamed about being featured, but what have we done to be featured besides trying to make “the best” app we can , some Google searches and crossing the fingers? I believe most of us, including me, have only launched the game, went the 1), 2) and/or 3) route and hoped for the best, believing at some point the app will trigger Google´s feature team alarm.
Well, that worked for me once (and is currently working) , when Tap the Box got featured in second position for Fun with Physics category in USA and Canada. Results? 150k downloads in a month. Now is featured in position 8, bringing 400 downloads/day. Why did it get featured and my other apps not? Is it the best of our apps? Well, yes…, but i dont believe that to be the only reason, so many excellent apps never get featured… I think an excellent app just give you a chance of getting featured, but you will never have an opportunity if your app dont come to Google´s eyes. So how did it Tap the Box make it? Did an excellent retention rate, ratings, or download numbers ring their bells? Not the case of Tap the Box… So then i rechecked Tap the Box´s listing and found something interesting. Check this out:
Category it was featured: Fun with Physics
Tap the Box´s short description: “Tap the Box is a simple and fun physics puzzler.”
Tap the Box´s first sentences of the description: “Tap the Box is a simple and fun physics puzzler. The objective is easy: Get the jewel on top of the Golden Box. Experiment with real physics as you play with different types of boxes and ropes to figure out the solutions to over 80 progressively difficult levels.”
I believe that not to be a coincidence, i think Google came up with the category and then, when looking for candidates (after trying to fit any King´s games into the category) , typed some keywords, as one of the mechanism to find candidates. And they stumble upon Tap the Box, they checked it out, they considered to be worthy of getting featured and Boom!
Lets pretend i am right about this, i know many of you will argue i am not, but what if i am? I mean, for example, how many games in the “Running game” category have the word “run” on the title? At least half of them. For the ones believing this could be truth, i ask you, what would be the first step to in order to optimize the store listing trying to get featured in 1 or more categories? Knowing what to optimize for, in other words, knowing the categories. That´s the purpose of this thread, to make a list of all the features categories. Since categories change across countries, everybody will have something to contribute, i never knew of the existence of the Fun wit physics category even after getting featured…
For example, here in Chile this are the current categories for games:
- New Games and best updates
- **Most downloaded games, best of the week
- 2014 Best Games
- Star Wars games
- Multi-players games, play with friends
- No wifi, no problem
- Arcade games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- Casual games, fun games for all.
- Puzzle games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- Games to play today
- Sports games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- **Endless runners
- Card games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- Achievement games, beat challenges to unlock challenges
- Casual games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- Quick reaction Games, ramp up your reflexes
- Casino games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- Adventure games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
- **Racer games
- Puzzle games, think before acting
- Action games, RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
**not sure if this is the exact translation Spanish-English translation
What do you think? Regards.