Hey guys, as i promised, i am sharing all the data about our 3rd and latest game Tap the Box which has been the only one with some degree of success. My brother and i started working full time on this exactly 1 year ago with no previous knowledge about making games. He is a programmer, i am an Engineer and the roles are pretty clear: He programs, i do everything else. In the beginning of our 2nd year our goal is clear: Make a million-downloads game. Well, enough talk, lets go to the numbers.
Tap the Box - Costs Summary
Programming time: 4 months full time (my brother)
Design time: 4 months full time (me)
Graphic design: $1.000 (Freelancer)
Music & Sfxs: $ 40 (audiojungle.com)
Promotional video $150 (Freelancer)
Advertising $3.000 (Facebook ads)
So basically, we spent 4 months working and spent an additional $4.290
Tap the Box - Income Summary
December 2013: $3.522 (120k downloads)
January 2014: $1.122 (9k downloads)
February 2014: $380 (4.5k downloads)
December 2013 Income
We used Admobs Banner and Interstitials. The banner appears when the game is paused or in the menus, while interstitials appear every 3 minutes (when the game is paused)
You can see the information on the screenshots.
As you can see, the income peaked on Christmas while it quickly began to decrease after, coinciding with the end of the “New App” period. Not appearing in the New Apps rankings is making the downloads to drop quickly (1.5k/day), hence the income is dropping as well. And also, people are finishing the game (80 levels), so they don´t have many reasons to come back. Nowadays, it is making $90 per day and decreasing.
I would like to know your opinion about making new stages, lets say 60 more. If this would take my brother and i 1 month of full time work, do you think it worth it? Otherwise, what should we expect in terms of income and downloads for the following months?
About advertising & Facebook ads
Our original plan for advertising was to promote the game on facebook on small countries to try to reach the top charts. Therefore, we decided to spend $3.000 divided into 4 small countries: Chile, Austria, Belgium & Switzerland. The first week we would spend $750 in Chile and see the reaction and then invest the rest of the money on the second week. We spent the $750 in Chile, with an average CPC of $0.04. We didn’t track the installs because it needed facebook integration which is quite painful, but i am quite confident that the conversion rate is somewhere between 3-4 clicks = 1 install.
At the beginning of the second week, there were 3 factors that made our strategy to change. First: the impact on the rankings was not what we expected , second: we were not getting enough clicks to spend all the money for the other countries even with a CPC of $0.12 and third: one month before my brother release a very simple game, spent only $150 in ads in USA and the game become a decent hit in terms of downloads but very good in terms of revenue (US players were much more valuable than we thought).
So, what we did was to divide the remaining $2.250 in 3 regions: USA+UK+Australia , Germany + Austria + Switzerland & France + Belgium + Netherlands. For the first group, we mainly got clicks from the US with an average CPC of $0.08, and for the 2nd and 3rd group we got similar amounts of clicks for each country and an average CPC of $0.1. We got a decent amount of downloads, were trending apps for a couple of days in some countries, but the game never really took off. You can check on APPANNIE the rankings we achieved in each country.
What we learnt from this experience:
- Not to invest in Chile or any 2nd world country, their eCPM its just too low
- We are going to focus on English speaking countries now: UK, USA, Australia, maybe Canada. Their eCPM is noticeable higher than the other countries.
- We do not longer believe that a ranking position can be so bought so easily as we thought. So we forget about focusing on small, “conquerable” countries but to go for the big ones.
- We need to learn so much, but we will persevere until success.