My plan - The PAPI Model

The Market is a black hole. It is nearly impossible to be seen. You can fight it all day long, but I have come to believe that you are better off not wasting your time. I have spent countless hours watching the developer console, searching the market, tweaking my applications, and otherwise doing stupid stuff to try to get more presence on the Market. I am just wasting my time.

Rather than wasting my time, I am currently executing on my new plan for this year. What plan? To actually try to grow a business. And to grow a business you need products. Introducing:

The PAPI model

  1. Release as many games as possible.
  2. Every game will cross promote every other game with private graphical market linked ads.

The expectation is that each new game will become at least as profitable as the previous games and will actually increase the profit of the other games slightly because of spillover.

Currently I have two games released, averaging 80 bucks a month each. This is disappointing to me, but I think it can be worked with if I follow the model above rather than what I had been doing previously. I just added a third game. The hope is that the third game will average at least that much and will in fact increase the average for all three. If each game causes a 5% increase in average revenue per game, then this is how revenues will grow for this year:

Num Revenue Revenue
Game Game/Mon Year
2 $80.00 $1,920.00
3 $84.00 $3,024.00
4 $88.20 $4,233.60
5 $92.61 $5,556.60
6 $97.24 $7,001.32
7 $102.10 $8,576.61
8 $107.21 $10,291.93
9 $112.57 $12,157.35
10 $118.20 $14,183.57
11 $124.11 $16,382.03
12 $130.31 $18,764.87
13 $136.83 $21,345.04
14 $143.67 $24,136.31

I feel this is a pretty conservative view of how this business model will preform this year. If any one game gets lucky and becomes hugely popular, then the spillover could be giant and these numbers could get blown away. I will keep you updated as to how it goes.

Sounds like a very good plan.

Keep us updated on how the average goes up with each new game. I would suspect that the average will go down slightly when a new game is released but then ramp back up even higher once the new game builds a good user base.

With each new game released it should build a user base even faster with all the cross promoting and the more games released the less the new game will pull down the average at first.

Another week of caveman pool and things are going about as predicted. I am currently estimating that Caveman Pool will generate about $90 a month on $60 of ad revenue and $30 of upgrade sales. Both Rebound and Tap Crazy have gone up slightly in revenue. Monthly revenue looks like around $100 for Rebound and $70 for Tap Crazy. Yearly numbers at this pace will be just over $3K as predicted for three games in the previous post.

Caveman Pool is a little disappointing. For a second there, it looked like it was going to be making money hand over fist, but the initial brisk pace of upgrade sales settled to about one a day, which is disappointing.

I have just begun work on the next game.

Hey dude, I’ve been taking a look at your games, and I actually have a question, how did you get so many downloads in the first place? Those numbers are impressive! You complain about the visibility but your apps have over 10000 downloads, that’s not bad at all, I would think.

You got quite some visibility, why do you think that is? Any advice regarding that?

And also, I haven’t really had much luck in the cross-advertising business up so far, I have one strong app and I put a button liking to another app but it’s not very effective :frowning: although a 5% increase, as you plan, is a good estimative of the effect. Good luck dude (:

Not sure what to say. I really don’t want to come off as complaining. My apps have done OK, but I think we would all like that hit app that actually makes the time we are investing pay off. I have looked up the metrics on my apps and they are all in the top 5/10% for their respective categories which is great, except even in the top 5% you don’t make enough money to be worth it. That is the problem.

What I am trying to figure out is how to make mildly successful apps like mine into enough revenue to even bother to keep doing it.

Visibility IS terrible. There are hundreds of thousands of apps out there. Beating numbers like that is really hard.

There are three effective ways to increase visibility that I have experience with.

  1. Advertising. Advertising is expensive and generally not worth it. You need to generate at least $0.50 per advertising generated install for this to be a good option. I have advertised and will probably do it again because when I advertise Rebound it makes the trending apps section of the market. I see a 300% increase in Rebound downloads and about 50% increase in my other apps when I advertise Rebound, most likely from the cross promotion. That said, I still don’t think I make enough money to cover the advertising. Admob goes up 3 or so dollars for every 8 bucks of advertising. I wish I knew how to close that gap. I am hoping that with enough games and enough cross promotion, that each ad I run may become profitable. I just don’t know.

  2. Effective keywords in your description that get your app seen in common market searches. There is an art to this. Being on page 20 of an “Angry Birds” search is not what you are after.

  3. Getting your app reviewed on a major review site. Really really hard to do, but when you do, it is the most effective way to get a huge spike in downloads. Most reviewers won’t totally trash an app. Even an average review is worth hundreds of dollars in advertising.

  4. Being +1’d seems to also be important but it is hard to quantify. Apps that have a high percentage of +1’s seem to do really well. I have come to believe that percentage of +1’s is more important that market reviews.

Other methods of getting visibility that I haven’t used extensively are: creating a blog/forum , hitting up Android forums, and posting a useful tutorial somewhere.

As to cross promotion, I don’t use a button, I use a visual ad right on the menu of my app. I think it is effective because I did analytics on it once and because the ad is always displayed, the CTR was off the charts.

Good luck,

How do you get +1? Is it Google+ related? What is it about, really?

Have you thought about other ways to monetize? Why not try some virtual currency stuff with TapJoy? If you can create an effective way to use it, you may get quite some money. Or some of Leadbolt diversified ads, like app icons(I haven’t tried those, couldn’t test it on the emulator) or app walls(never tried those either xD), some notification ads(inside the app, outside they are too intrusive, I think) or some different types?

I just think the regular admob ones are not even worth trying…

Yes, Google+ related. Users can +1 and app on the Market and when their friends do searches and stuff, your app is more likely to show up.

No, I am not going to monetize with a different ad network. I think my results are about right with admob. My eCPM is well over a buck, which is good from what I have heard. Other things may be too intrusive in my opinion. Getting more impressions is more important than getting more money per impression especially if getting more money per impression drives people away. That’s just my take. Actually, it was the point of the post. I have decided to stop worrying about the network not generating enough revenue per impression and instead worry about generating impressions.

Anyway, when you acted surprised that my crappy games were downloaded so much and asked me to tell you why I was complaining that my crappy games weren’t downloaded more, I answered you. You might think I should do something different with my crappy apps, but I am not going to. This is what I am doing. I guess we will find out if this works out.

Good luck.

Yes you did, and I thank you for it (:

Since you helped me I tried to offer advice that I thought might help you, if you don’t think it’s good advice or if you don’t wanna pursue it, that’s fine by me, I was just trying to help, so I’m sorry if I didn’t.

If your games are crappy, I wonder what that makes my owns games xD market-wise.

Please keep posting about your efforts in getting more impressions, I’m sure they’ll be a great read!

Sorry, I was having a delayed reaction to…

… which you probably didn’t mean to come off that way, but I am hyper sensitive after my crushing defeat in the Google Moderator Friday Review thingy.

Your games look great BTW.

Good luck!

Ohhh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way AT ALL, it’s just that my games rarely go beyond a thousand downloads, so your numbers and the fact that you wore disappointed in the numbers amazed me. But now I see how what I said could be interpreted the wrong way, sorry about the mix up. I know that this whole indie developer thing can get stressful at times.

I couldn’t even play your games, I only saw the market page, I don’t have an Android Phone ^-^ but from what I’ve been reading, you code up your owns physics, which is pretty impressive, in my opinion, since those are hard to code with good performance and also to maintain the bugs.

When getting discouraged it’s also good to remember that you keep evolving as both a programmer and as a game designer as you walk the road, so the chances that the next game will be more successful than the one before goes up with each game, so the chances that your PAPI(what does PAPI mean, anyways? xD) model will exceed your expectations should go up with every game, I think.


Hm, that’s really looks impressive!
The numbers are just incredible, Seedload!
I’d love to take a look at your games once;))
Wish you luck, dude!

Try this free image editor. That will simplify your work. :cool:

And how’s your PAPI model work seedload so far? Does your games still earn the same amount of money after those several weeks?

Hello seedload and all other developers here.

I’m a mix of a noob and an intermediate developer I’d say.

We’ve been following a similar method, but we call it the Game Scorpion method of Many Apps, Many Markets.

We are now getting into the cross promotion and FREE app promotion stage to help increase awareness of our current apps (currently 16 in total,

I can’t tell you exact figures, but suffice it to say we are growing daily when it comes to financial abundance (Thank God!).

We currently have our apps in about 10+ different marketplaces and they can be run on many devices.

Our business is growing and so I just wanted to give you a heads up to keep going forward with app development as it has massive potential.

Some things that have been working for us:

-Games unfortunately are HARDER to sell due to the amount of competition and so apps have also become a big part of our development.

-If you can develop a method to get some form of quality into apps along with quantity and are able to use special software to develop apps super fast, then you’ll be able to increase your sales and download volume. (We currently develop between 1-4 apps in a week however some of these apps that we create are updates. We are targeting hitting 100 apps by the end of this year, and I pray to God that we do! :slight_smile:

Anyways, I just wanted to let other developers who may not have reached there yet, that YES it’s 2012, its still possible to make it, keep at it, keep faith in a higher power, it WILL work out.

The worst thing that most new app developers do (an I nearly did this myself after our first app) is give up when sales volume is low and just stop. After our first app and investing thousands of dollars I got back a lousy $300 or so return on investment. I could have quit, but because I love video games and making them, I knew this was what I wanted to do for life, a true passion.

Now 16 apps/games later, and over 10+ marketplaces, I can assure you that we are making money. IT can happen, u just have to keep on KEEPING ON! Persistence and Faith, Keep on believing in a higher power when doubt surrounds you.

The app world is a MENTAL/EMOTIONAL game as much as it is a business.

If you let it, the competition will eat you alive (AND YOUR PROFITS). But if you keep at it, just like anything in life I guess, you can achieve the app developers dream which is being able to do this full time and living the life that app developers get to live.

ENJOY and God Bless!

Abhinav Gupta
Lead Developer and CEO
Game Scorpion Inc.