Relaunching an app


I have an app called Chesspresso. It’s a correspondence Chess service, so you play a number of games at a time as opposed to 1 in one sitting. I launched it probably about 2 years ago now and when I launched it, it was using the 2-app free / paid model. It currently has about 6/7K users using it every week and about 9k games of Chess get completed on it every week. The app never really did very well in english speaking countries, but in others it did pretty well in the rankings. The majority of users are Spanish, French, German, Russian or Portuguese.

I re-wrote the app with a more modern interface and a more efficient server side, and in-app payments to upgrade users and I released it 2 weeks ago. Disaster…

[li]I had to change the Paid version to Free because the new v2 used In-app billing for user upgrade. This reset the app position from one day being 15th, to total obscurity obscurity. It has now gone from one of the most prominent apps under the “Chess” search term to not even appearing before the apps that aren’t even really Chess when you search for Chess!! I was totally devastated after putting months of work in v2.[/li][li]A lot of the core users didn’t like the new interface, and I removed 3 features as they weren’t really being used. The users were quite vocal and the rating dropped, but not hugely.[/li][/ul]

So, I’m thinking out a strategy to re-launch the app…
[li]Relaunch the app under a new package name. Move all the users from the previous app to the new one, and introduce 3 new strong features a lot have been complaining that are missing with this new version. I will move the users with a remote trigger I have on the server to tell the users to do download the new app and uninstall the other. So that will throw a few 5K+ downloads towards the new app in 24 hours.[/li][li]I am thinking of releasing this new app under a new company name and re-brand it a little bit. I will be using the Chesspresso platform for multiple games in the near future so a brand for all of them I feel is important. So, it will be pushing 5k downloads from 1 company to another.[/li][li]I will then spend the rest of the month marketing the hell out of the app.[/li][/ul]

So basically I’m asking peoples opinion on this plan. What do you think? Risky? Crazy? Good /Bad idea?

Interesting story, sorry to hear it didn’t went very well.

It is hard to tell if your re-branding idea will work but I wish you good luck!

I wonder if you could have released BOTH the legacy and new app together - so you could steadily inform users over some period about existence of the other app - have that build up users/rise up in rankings - and then turn the switch to increase the new features etc. - i.e. as it can be dangerous to do things too fast (as google algorithms cannot keep track - you need to act in a way which essentially directs the google rankings to move focus to the new app - explanation is very non-tech).

Yes I am considering this. Slowly moving the 5 or 6 thousand daily regulars over to the new app version as opposed to moving them all in a day or so. I was doubting that a very big spike in traffic wouldn’t really make much difference to ranking. I would love to know other people’s opinions on this point. Anyone?

Question shortened: Is a big traffic spike for 24 hours of lets say 5,000 users better than the same 5,000 spread over 2 weeks? (Considering that 99% of the users would not be uninstalling)

I don’t have an opinion on your second question, but I have seen ranking (for a keyword) fluctuate quite fast i.e. from day to day sometimes. I have seen bigger jumps as well - for evidently no other reason than a slight rise in downloads etc.

Big spike in traffic on 2nd or 3rd day after release is a perfect scenario to get charted in “top new free” :wink: Talking from experience…

Question is: “How to get that big spike…”

force users of old app to download new one?

@Bond So did your app seem to capitalize on that spike? Did it make a difference short / medium / long term to your rankings and downloads?

I’m not the OP…

Sorry I mean @toxic

yes, i was able to get into top 25 new free for the category easily

Anyone here tried to unpublish an app, then republish with a different package name (and possibly new keystore file) with the EXACT same title/description etc.

In theory it SHOULD be possible to leverage off the same keyword traffic you were getting before AND have another shot at being put int Top New Free category.

I know that developer do do this if they lose the keystore file etc. - and I’ve seen some good games have such updates (though often there will be additional content in the app).


Dont risk and better put some new content, it will not take so much of your time but at the end you will be in safe side.