So the sales figures for the Christmas game are in, and I thought it would be good to share our experiences, and reflect on what to do, and what not to do in future. 

This project from the start was pretty rushed to say the least; in about mid November we decided it would be pretty cool to release a Christmas game, obviously we would need to get this submitted to Apple ASAP to make it onto the store before the big day and have a fighting chance of actually making anything from it. So we had the deadline of 1st December for submission. After throwing together a simple game concept we set about making the game, and drafting in a friend with graphic design skills to help us out. 

The actual game its self is fairly simple, we designed two key levels and as we were aiming this at kids we thought keeping it simple would be best. The main work involved with the game went into the graphics design which Alex House did a great job of. This was our one and only expense as he couldn't afford to work for free which was fair enough. Everyone we showed the game to thought it was great (which of course we were likely to hear from friends and family!). So with it all finished and tested we submitted to the app store and went about trying to promote it. 

With this being Christmas we originally looked at this as a great opportunity: lots of new iOS device users = more downloads, right? Well christmas also has a flood of apps onto the app store. So actually getting noticed is no small feat! We tried all the main sites for handing out promo codes, submitting review requests and it became clear the only people who were downloading our app was from word of mouth from friends and family (with the odd random download from others). Whilst I knew it wasn't going to be easy, we hadn't realised it was quite this hard. 

The next strategy was to use some advertising, but with zero budget this wasn't really an option. But I had $75 of free inMobi credit, so created a nice advert for the app, and set it out there. Within 48hours all $75 was gone, but the advert had just under 1 million impressions, and 3,882 clicks! Surely some of those clicks had turned into app downloads!! No... in fact those clicks, generated approximately 2 sales! 

 

So in total, we generated approximately £25 sales (after Apple deductions). So lessons learned are that it takes a lot more than just putting an app on the App Store to make any money, it requires a lot of promotion and a good marketing strategy. There is still money to be made, but its tough out there and there are some excellent developers who manage to consistently reach the top of the app store. It takes time and a lot of effort to get there. 


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