Extremely low sales for 5 games released

UtopianGamesUtopianGames Member Posts: 5,689
edited November -1 in Working with GS (Mac)
I'm wondering if its just me or if any other devs have really poor sales results.

We have 5 games released,

Tumble Jumble (via click gamer/chillingo)

Jungle Bug with Lite

DropZone with Lite


Ghost Bash made free recently with advertising for the above 4 games (this is the only game i did the art for)

On the 27th May we had 8 sales 2 Tumble Jumble, 4 Buzzbee, 1 DropZone and 1 Jungle Bug

On the 28th we had 5 sales 1 for BuzzBee and 1 for Jungle Bug and 3 for Tumble Jumble.

The future is not looking bright and i expect weekly sales to be approx 35 a week if i'm lucky.

The simple fact is i cant make a living with 35 sales a week and wondering if anybody else is in the same boat or is it just us?

I try very hard to push and market all our games but even the smaller sites are getting swamped with requests now so its even harder to get seen.



  • CannonFodderCannonFodder Member Posts: 230
    Hi Darren, I know how you feel. I have not sold a single copy of my game, Mutant Mayhem all month.
    It's quite depressing to here games as polished as yours selling so poorly. Maybe spending more time marketing your games is the answer? I wish you all the best mate and hope sales pick up soon. Maybe Tshirtbooth can share some words of wisdom on this subject, he seems to be doing really well sales wise :-)
  • synthesissynthesis Member Posts: 1,693
    In short...its hard to tell.

    Hunnenkoenig's company has made close to $350K by my estimates in the last 3-4 months with Alpine Crawler with no advertising. It was a native app (not gameSalad) but its an example.

    Good games sell from what I can tell. But they have to be really good...really deep...and have a long shelf life with lots of playability and cater to a large audience. You can't expect to sell 250K copies with only 100 hours of development time invested...unless you are REALLY lucky or have an absolutely BRILLIANT concept.

    With 100K+ games out there to compete with (and 100s more arriving each day)...its hard to stand out...and the game has to be good. I don't think there is a short cut to success...its just going to take lots of trial and error and determination...mixed with a little luck. You have to have the right idea at the right time. Its got to be fresh, unique, and strike a nerve with the user base to be a huge success. AND its got to be a great game for the price.

    That's just my impression. I could be way off...but its some food for thought.


    *** visit www.spiritApps.com to check out the Spirit Connoisseur Apps ***
    (now available for 17+)
  • JCFordJCFord Member Posts: 785
    @utopiangames once your games disappear of the recently released page one of the only ways of being found is by your keywords. IF you haven't already I would suggest you read my post, it may help:


    Good Luck
  • UtopianGamesUtopianGames Member Posts: 5,689
    Thanks for the advice guys, reading your post about keywords right now!

  • goliathgoliath Member Posts: 1,435
    Have you done any marketing of your titles? From what I gather ( and I will know soon enough as my game will be submitted later this week) getting people to hear about your title is the hardest thing.

    Check out toucharcade and join their forums and try to get some buzz that way. Use EVERY FORM of social media possible (twitter, facebook, myspace etc) and try to get everyone talking (this is my plan at least). Also- do you have a demo anywhere?

    Past that, I would see if there are any cheap advertising options for you and see where it goes from there. Keep it up and please let us know how it goes!!
  • ChaserChaser Member Posts: 1,453
    I know it sucks but it adds up. Typically all of my apps sell at least 2 or 3 a day while all sharing a jump in sales on different days. I max around around 26 and min at 5. My oppinion! Some say they make more to look better. Heck I just did it myself. JK! LOL!
  • WeswogWeswog Member Posts: 1,171
    I have 4 apps and I sell from 2-5 everyday some days even higher but like chaser says it adds up I have almost made enough to get a $150 check so I think I am doing pretty well just keep trying!:)

    Also how many apps do you have chaser?

    Cheers, Weswog
  • expired_012expired_012 Member Posts: 1,802
    I've had my app out for 2 days and i got around 32 downloads so far, I hope it stays this way...but probly not lol. You just have to know how to market your game, to really get it out there so people can spread it, and make it really good and stand out so apple can feature it, that will boost your sales by a ton.


  • slusheslushe Member Posts: 5
    Your games have poor gameplay. Gameplay should always come first. If the game isn't fun then what's the point?
  • POLYGAMePOLYGAMe Member Posts: 3,470
    @slushe - Sheesh, don't hold back! Have you actually played any of them? I can't comment on all of Utopian's games but I bought Jungle Bug Rock'n Roll and it's awesome. Very addictive, hardly what I'd call poor gameplay. Looks and sounds brilliant too.

    @utopiangames - have you tried TriplePoint PR? Apparently they are the bees knees for iPhone app promoting and even cater for those with very little to no cash (percentage basis etc). I'm looking at hitting them up. To make money you need to spend money!

    Hehe, also over here in Aussie there are two jobs on Seek.com.au for Apple app finders/promoters. Apparently they want someone capable of finding great new apps regularly to keep the app store fresh. I might just try get the job and promote all my own stuff - HAHAHA
  • PhoticsPhotics Member Posts: 4,172
    utopiangames said:
    I'm wondering if its just me or if any other devs have really poor sales results.

    We have 5 games released,

    Tumble Jumble (via click gamer/chillingo)

    Jungle Bug with Lite

    Wow... Jungle Bug didn't sell well? That looked like a well-made game.
  • firemaplegamesfiremaplegames Member Posts: 3,206
    I'm surprised that you aren't having more success! All of your games are polished and fun. I remember your Bumps game from the indiegamer forums from a few years ago, also very polished.

    It's certainly not easy to get noticed, but at least your games are high quality and you put a lot of care into them.

    Marketing is usually the weak link for indies, it's much more fun to make games then to try and sell them!

    Don't give up!
  • UtopianGamesUtopianGames Member Posts: 5,689
    Regarding marketing i have done all of the following (i know some of you think i haven't spent any time marketing:))

    FaceBook & Twitter: Announce game and update with progress videos, announce when submitted, released and offer a few codes.

    Press release to all of my contact review sites including Touch Arcade etc etc (this results in very low response even the smaller sites are getting swamped now).

    Forums posts on IGF, TA etc etc.

    Having a look at TriplePoint PR now and will have a look into other marketing companies.

    I must say even though im not happy with click gamer (various reasons) at least Tumble Jumble is selling a few copies a day even now and it's been out ages...last november so maybe using a publisher was not such a bad idea.

    Early results about the 2 lite versions to help push sales is bad and i think it might have something to do with no url forwarding in GS.

    Yep i wont give up...just yet :)

  • POLYGAMePOLYGAMe Member Posts: 3,470
    Yes, no url forwarding SUCKS. It seems Gendai don't want the devs to be successful...
  • JamesZeppelinJamesZeppelin Member Posts: 1,927
    I don't know the secret but the icon and title seem to have something to do with it. Thus so many zombie and doodle apps.

    My main game buggies is selling ok. 10 and often more per day. Not the best but it was worse.

    It was not even selling at all but i tweaked the icon about 20 times and changed the name until it got a jump.

    Go ladybug go. No sales
    Meet the beetles. No sales
    Buggies. Ok sales.

    After examining popular titles I noticed short cuetsy titles or very short descriptive titles seem to be good. So, tried it and it did the trick.

    From what I could twill a title like "caster of the high seas" won't sell but "fishy catch" may do ok.

    Not to say this is the only thing or that All games don this, but if it is unknown with no marketing it seems to help

    Just my opinion from a little trial and error
  • Koda89Koda89 Member Posts: 275
    Yeah.....TriplePoint isn't a good idea, not unless you have at least $800 burning a hole in your wallet. I contacted them about my own games and that is the lowest they say they'll go. A six week ad campaign from them would run you $5000 per title....
  • jacksterjackster Member Posts: 9
    You sales are bad maybe because your games suck?
  • synthesissynthesis Member Posts: 1,693
    JACKSTER is a Troll...ignore him
  • jacksterjackster Member Posts: 9
    Troll my balls, his games probably suck! Why else would they fail?
  • 2-Bit_Tom2-Bit_Tom Member, PRO Posts: 34
    @Utopian, I just bought your Jungle Bug game. Now you've got 1 more sale! Woo Hoo! It's a fun little game and you deserve bigger sales.

    It's got to be pretty hard to make a living at deving iPhone games when the market is so flooded by them. I'm making one for the love of game development, but I don't really expect to make a living at doing it.

    I've worked as a pro developer steadily for 12 years now, and I can tell you that it's tough to make a splash without loads of resources at your disposal. And even then it's pretty hard.

    If you promote the hell out of your game then you might stand a chance. But you'll need to be passionate about it and have some interesting stuff to show. You've also got to decide who you're trying to market to. A game about rolling bugs might be a tough sell IMHO when the girls seem to love chick games like Diner Dash and the boys play gritty zombieville shooters.

    My unannounced game's got an obscure theme as well. But that's okay! I'm only making it because I want to, and thanks to GS, I can do it in my spare time. Plus I'm gonna throw some hotties in there, with an extra dose of butt-kicking action. Hopefully it'll help draw in the manly gamers out there. And even if it doesn't, it's still bad-ass that GS was powerful enough to let me make this game all by my lonesome.

    Best of luck with your game sales, all! As a gamer, if I know that your game exists, and I can immediately recognize why it's awesome, then I'll probably buy it!
  • quantumsheepquantumsheep Member Posts: 8,188
    I like the cut of your gib, sir :D

    Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home...
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/Quantum_Sheep
    Web: http://www.quantum-sheep.com

  • design219design219 Member Posts: 2,273
    I'm thankful I'm doing this for fun, on the side. I really feel for you guys that are struggling to make a full-time go of it.

    I've no crystal ball, but I really think Apple and the iPhone will remain a solid and growing platform for a good, long time.

    I think the economy is having some effect. I know my two paid apps are certainly not selling very well at all right now (alas, I'll not make excuses). But I'm an eternal optimist, and really believe hard work, creative energy and perseverance will pay off in the long haul.

    And that ends my motivational talk for today.


    Nesen Probe http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nesen-probe/id377766693?mt=8
    Tickle Stones http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tickle-stones/id363484260?mt=8
Food Fight! (free) http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/food-fight/id352646643?mt=8
  • vegasmike1vegasmike1 Member Posts: 192
    This is the problem with a program like GS, the allure is "it is easy to do" but the reality is far worse, its not easy to make a good game, I have a game coming out based on a robot called Robosaurus, the real one, if you dont know about it, do a google., Its a silly, expensive thing but its real and you can watch it rip cars apart and burn things up and its noisy and smelly. the client who owns it wants a game for it so we decided sure we can do that. We want to sell some, not make a free app. Last night as we are in beta, I let a bunch of people play the game, I was depressed, some said it was too hard, some said it was too easy, some said they hate robots and a few said they liked it, so. I had whipped up a simple Zombie game, a guy walks on a path through a grave yard to get to his pickup truck, of course he has to kill zombies along the way, there are a few games similar, but more stagnant not moving. Never the less, its NOT a game just some code with some good art to see if I like it. But I made it so you have to kill 100 zombies, and they dont even hurt you when they get to you. There are 3 gun choices, each a bit faster than the one before it, to no avail, as it makes no differrence, you cant loose. I made it for my grandson to play, he liked it, he is 4. But here I have spent 2 months working on ROBO and people were luke warm, but when they saw the zombie game, not a game, they loved it they wanted to get 100 zombies, they did not care if they zombies were non-lethal, they just played it. To the point that one person said, NOW THAT IS A GAME I WOULD BUY. Its not a game, its nothing, something that anyone here could whip up in a few minutes, I mean if I can, you can.

    I pouted for a couple of hours and then it hit me, people like this, and not that so why not do this and not that.I am being paid for the Robo game, so if it flops its advertising and the client will be happy. If it sells, well you know that story.

    We all make games from ideas in our heads and then talk about marketing and all that jazz, marketing smarketing, waste of time, unless you have sony or gameloft behind you, whats the point, it really is a waste of time.

    Ask everyone you see and meet who has a idevice, what kind of game they like, I made a quick app on GS to do a quick survey, some questions, some answers and boom a data base, not a big one but a real one. I have done the survey about 120 times, this is not statistical magnum of data, but people want to 1 waste time, take a break, go to the john, they want something that is fast, and they want something they can do again and again and maybe do better. No one really cares about the art, it does not rate that high, they want GAME PLAY. Joe from Firemaple has the idea down, you can play it again and again, its fast, quick and if you want to play longer you can.

    GS needs to be more up to date with Apple, that would help but its not the main problem, we make games for ourselves not for customers, go talk to people you DONT know, ask them, tell them you are a game developer and you nee their opinion, opinions are like butt holes, everyone has one, some two....isssh.

    Apple is not going to help, Facebook, twitter and all that is not going to help until your game catches on, then it will be a doubling cube you can roll in the mix. Dont even think about starting there, make game play numero uno in the effort.

    We are not making cars that need more of this gizmo and more of that in order to outdo the next guy, we all need game play. GS could help in that regard, but it is what it is. They are trying too, so we are all in this boat together, the sad part is that most of us wont make a dime, most of us will loose money.

    But the key is out there, ask people. Go to the local Apple store, show them your app, talk to the people there, see what they want, then, GIVE IT TO THEM. Give em what they want, not what you want. Dont ask your friends, they are no help, ask the user.

    Build your own survey app, hand it to people and say, here take a minute and answer this, its important to me, please. Then say thanks, people love to help when you ask.

    Off to make a zombie game.....Where did I leave that shotgun...

  • ORBZORBZ Member Posts: 1,303
    Well said Vegas Mike :)
  • 777ideas.com777ideas.com Member, PRO Posts: 895
    I just released my app I got 1 sale yesterday. Thats pretty low.
    Ps: I think it's from some of the gameloft titles are $0.99


    Crossing my fingers and praying for a hit
  • tmoritz702tmoritz702 Member Posts: 11
    Does anyone know whats the best selling game using GS, and how many people actually bought it? Just wondering.
  • expired_012expired_012 Member Posts: 1,802
    The best GS games revenue wise, I would assume, are probably doodle ski, asplosion, doodle cannon, danger cats, star daze, stunt squirrels, and probably more. I haven't hear anything about sales for these games, I'm just going from what I see from the ranks and # of reviews of the games
  • ShpintShpint Member Posts: 404
    Kill the Kings seems to be very popular.

    You know what, we should support one another.
  • skottskott Member Posts: 172
    We have sold around 1200 copy's of DriftClubRacer http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/drift-club-racer/id372594783?mt=8 since it's release mid may. Still selling between 10-20 pieces each day altough we are out of all lists in the app store..

    We have sent promos to theses sites:

    TouchArcade.com (never got a review from them)
    Gametrailers.com Was featured in there list of games (around 2500 user views there)
    Gamespot.com (never heard from them)
    AppSafari.com (Got a review from them)
    A few other small sites/forums.

    The funny thing is that on most sites, we have got bad or average reviews... but still selling

    We also made a youtube promo video, 1600 views. Also got a review on youtube by some dude.. Poor review but nothing negative...

    Never got featured on any lists in the appstore..

    As we see it, it's all about making a good promo video, Great Icon for the appstore, great title for your game and expose it anywhere you can. And of cause a good game :)

    We are very surprised that we are still selling, now that we are out of all lists..

    And last, it's a good help to have the GS Forum to make the first reviews, to write some positive things - hopefully :)
  • UtopianGamesUtopianGames Member Posts: 5,689
    Samurai, thanks for buying Jungle Bug!

    Yeah it's a strange market, we did Bloody Fingers in under a day and it was selling well for a bit and to date we've had 452 sales.

    Yes it certainly is the title and icon that sells apps.

    All i can say is choose your game name wisely and spend time looking at other icons in the top 100.

    Also if you do think of a good name snap it up in itunes connect (pop any old icon and set date to 6 months ahead and upload app later) as you don't want someone stealing it!

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