Income Report - Run Alien

Hello. It’s time to share my income report. You’ve helped me a lot by answering my questions so it’s time to give something interesting in return. If you are “TLDR guy”, just go to the charts at the end but I think it’s worth reading.

This is the game I will describe:

Me and my friend are 23 years old (many language) developers from Poland. We decided to learn something about mobile game development and we’ve started with AndEngine. Run Alien is our very first android app. We had a lot of difficulties and I think optimalization was the hardest one (the lattest patch decreased FPS so we had to improve it in our next update).

The goal was to learn development and publishing process by making simple game and don’t invest anything but our time. The game wasn’t so simple as we wanted at the beginning but it’s still rather small game. Learning and developing took about 2 months. We still study and we work in normal job 3 or 4 times a week for 8 hours so we didn’t have a lot of time. Our day looked like: 8h in work + some time in university + rest of the day working on Run Alien. It wasn’t easy but we liked it.

OK enough of boring introduction;)

Run Alien has been published 27th/28th of April (it was 28th Polish time but still 27th Google time). We haven’t invested any money in either marketing or graphics/sounds. We’ve done everything by ourselves and we’ve used some free for commercial use sounds. On the other hand we spent a lot of time advertising the game. We started with our facebooks walls + PMs to friends. Then friends walls and friends PMs to their friends. Then we were publishing the game wherever we could. Blogs, youtube channels, facebook groups, facebook sites, review sites, dappwall, forums, cross promotion group etc. We got some less significant publications but I don’t think it boosted our revenue in any way. Most of websites offered paid reviews but we didn’t want to buy them. The most significant review we got was on youtube channel of CoolLooserTech few days ago (check it out).

As I said we didn’t want to invest and we didn’t expect a lot of money. I said that maybe we would earn enough to buy few beers or bottle of vodka. Whole month has passed and we earned slightly more than we expected but it’s still very low. What I noticed, we were distributed outside of GP in China. It gave us a lot of impressions but almost no revenue (1st, 2nd of May peek).

We’ve reached about 250 place in Polish GP ranking and started to fall down. Now we are outside of any first 500 (it’s very sad) but we still have about 50-60 average daily downloads.

It’s time to post some screenshots instead of describing it:)

1$ = 3 zł so just divide money by 3

Our daily installs chart. We probably finished our 30d time period of new apps and got download peek somehow. Anyone can explain that?

This is our overall downloads. It’s barely more than 2k.

Our admob chart. We use two interstitals + one banner.

In conclusion, we got about 70$ in first month which is low but we were learning so I think it’s pretty fair for very first and really simple game without any paid marketing. Now we are working on something more ambitious and bigger and we gonna invest our first 100$ in next game:)


Not bad for 23 yr olds. Im 20 with one collage app and about to launch a game that will go viral (high followers on vine)

The only thing I regret is I didnt started doing this business by age 17-18.

Anyways, I recommend you try applovin. Seems to work fine.

Nice game.
Need to input on the graphics especially the main character. The main character seems to be very thin.

What can i say. The youtube review doubled our impressions and revenue.

Well, almost nothing x2 is still almost nothing:)

Nice results Mateusz. You showed us how marketing is important, you worked hard about that. 70$ is not bad for 1000-5000 downloads.

Btw I still play your game :slight_smile: Enjoyable

nice stats. do’t know much about games earning. i find them difficult to develop.

I had started with App rather than game.
was completely ignorant of android and google. it took 2 months for me to publish the app. i myself did.everything after my office timing.
i never expected revenue out of it.

but surprisingly it gave me $450 in first month itself. it was last year december.

now it has come down to $300 +

so i am more inclined towards apps and developing more.

Excellent first game, way better than our first one ;-). I think $70 is quite good for 1000-5000 downloads, at the end of the year you will have some decent money :wink:

Or it will stop generating any money in few weeks.

Ok, I will go out on a limb here - and say that probably your game will get bigger.

Without having played it - the graphics look decent and interesting enough.

Your download graph could suddenly catch interest if there is sudden coverage.

You have a very high 5 star rating vs. 1 star ratio - though that could be because these are ratings from an initial close group of facebook likers etc.

The fact that someone has bothered to make a YouTube review of your game in the first place suggests some interest.

So I would guess that it is possible your game could catch on - just like the peak you mentioned - i.e. if the right type of user base finds your app - i.e. the types who like this type of game.

This is all without having run the app.

Ok, now I am running the app - I am no expert of games or how to construct them - but it seems interesting enough. The character is novel enough - being too thin adds to the novelty of the character - looks like worm.

Graphics are reasonable - did you do these yourself or hired someone outside ?

Game mechanics seem clean. Only thing slightly confusing was the power charge - double-tap right side and then tap left side etc. … ?

One thing I did note - that the full screen interstitial ads are a bit too frequent i.e. they always appear in certain situations - whereas you should scale back their presentation so if it has been shown once then at least give a 3 minute break to the user. So ad only appears after a while.

Though I have seen apps which seem to be doing well - and have high frequency of presentation of ads - and perhaps this is the new “normal” - but it could be that in this type of game they maybe accepted - I don’t know.

Otherwise I suspect this app could get bigger if the right type of user picks it up and forwards to their friends.

Anyway, good luck.

Maybe introduce the slightly more complicated “power charge” in a later level … ?

This way early user only has to deal with 3 types of controls.

On closing the app I noticed you are running an AppWall-on-close as well.

So this is a lot of ads - I don’t know how your user base is tolerating it - but maybe users have started to expect that more ads will be shown or something ?

thank you for your answer:) Interstitial shows up after every 7 or 8 death. It may seems often if you die on the beginning. Maybe you are gith to increase the gap between them, I will think about it. Appwall shows only once a day and basicly spamming phone back button can make you leave the app and all ads.

We also was thinking about somethink like “power charge” but we are focused on the new game. Maybe if we notice a peek then we will make another patch with some kind of changes.

well that’s really not a bad income for that number of impressions…i got 3x the installs and impressions in my first month and earned the same 70$ as you…i don’t know why my average RPM with 1 banner and 1 interstitial (with a combined CTR of 2-3% average) is waaaaay lower than yours…i would have earned 200ish $ if i had the same RPM as you…i can’t really understand why RPM for similar ads strategy and CTR are so different

His users are probably in the USA… advertisers pay 2-3x for USA users.

Thanks a lot for sharing you story Mateusz, it seems you are a reasonable guy and you have analyzed the perf of your game in a smart way. There are lots of developpers with no clue about distribution or marketing and just think because their app is great is gonne give them billions. So it is a very positive thing you have learned from this game and can do better with the next one. Best of luck for your company and looking forward to your next game or analysis

That’s right. USA made 1/3 of my revenue. Another 1/3 is UK + Poland, and another 1/3 is the rest of the world.

@hammerbot That’s pretty bad. You should check out if everything is ok with your ads. How many impressions, what is your CTR.

@hammerbot why didn’t you integrate interstitials?

so you miss 60% of succesful android developer on GP. You have to read tons of guides and explanations how it works. Good app is not enough to make a big success without plenty of luck.

Wow, that’s pretty bad, one app of mine has brought $2.500 per 100k downloads and another one $10.000. We use admob´s banner & interstitials.
Can you provide some info regarding the usage of your app? Daily users, sessions, session length, demographics, etc

Guys, I am using appannie. There you have better overview about your stats. It’s very nice.

I prefer you to use it