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Indie Game Developer Income Report - February 2012

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Indie Game Developer Income Report - February 2012

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Welcome to my new income report. It’s a little late this time, but I had to finish some stuff like releasing a new app.

I’ll go for the graphs and numbers right away, so you don’t have to scroll down, check the numbers and then scroll up again to read the post :)

 
Separate curves
You might still remember that I switched my animal puzzle to paid on Android due to the adult-ads issue. That’s why the following picture contains two curves: one for the App-Store and one for Google Android Market Play Store. I won’t show curves for every single app anymore but rather combine them for every store.



App-Store (pink curve) and Google Play Store (blue curve) sales – click to enlarge


As you can see, it was on the 7th of february that the paid android-version of the puzzle launched. At the end of the month google decided that it was the best time to ask for a verification of my account. They asked me for my address and I provided it. A day after, they told me that they were not able to verify my account, deactivated it, and asked me for a scan of my driver’s license or identity card. I proviced that, too, and finally it worked. But as you can see, Android sales dropped due to the fact that my account was deactivated. It took some time to answer emails from people who had problems buying the app at that time… But now everything is fine again.

 
Cumulated curves
You can see below that income from the Google Play Store is roughly about 1/3 of the Appstore income. But keep in mind that I started to sell on Android on the 7th of February, not on the first. And I only have ONE app that is sold. I recently started selling another one of my apps, ‘Animals for Toddlers’ (formerly known as ‘Farm for Toddlers’). I removed the ads there and offer the full/LITE versions like I do with the puzzle. You’ll see next month how this works out.


App-Store (pink curve) and Google Play Store (blue curve) sales – click to enlarge

 

Combined curve

Total revenue per day across all stores – click to enlarge

This curve shows the daily revenue. It demonstrates the usual “high on weekends, low during the week” behaviour I experience all the time.

 

Total income

Total cumulated income over february – click to enlarge

As you can see, I made 6.221 € in total. That’s about $8.223 and thus $113 more than in the previous month, even though february had 2 days less than january this year.

 
What I’ve learned this month

Everywhere you ask (or rather everywhere I asked), people say that the real money on android is made with ads. This might still be true for some/many/a lot of people, but it’s not true for me. And to find out if it’s true for you, there is only one way to find out: try it.

It’s a funny fact that I made more money with sales of ONE app on android than I did with advertising in ALL of my android apps. Funny because I only switched to paid because of that adult-ads issue.

Last month I made $989 with ads on Android (all my apps combined).
This month, I made $1,913 with the sale of ONE single app… the almighty Animal Puzzle For Toddlers.

I am now encouraged to move away from the ads alltogether. I never liked them. I hate them myself, especially in apps, on youtube and on telly. I just considered them an “imperative” to make money on android. Luckily, I was wrong. For me, ads are taking a whole new form of nuisance nowadays. There are fullscreen ads. There are ads that are sent as a notification to your android status bar! There are even some providers that install a search-engine bar on your home-screen! And I myself do not want to support that development.

 
Why is my android app selling so well

There might be some explanation to the fact that my first paid android app sells so well: It was free for a long time and had about 100k downloads and about 3k ratings (mostly positive). So it was quite “visible” at the time it changed to paid. I clearly stated out in the app-description and update-infos that people who want to keep the free, ad-supported version should NOT update. I always try to make everyone happy. And I wanted to prevent people from getting upset. I still got a few emails after the change, but only people asking if there is a way to get the old version back since they updated without reading the description. They were not upset. They asked very friendly instead.

 
Near-Future plans

Encouraged by the sales on Android, I am currently working on bringing my current apps to more platforms. NOOK Color and Kindle Fire to be more specific. The mobile market is changing quite fast, and it’s necessary to be present. I’m not predicting that the Appstore and Google Play will be obsolete soon, but it’s always good to “have two strings to one’s bow”.

After that, I will take my time and evaluate some more engines/frameworks, since I want to be able to cover more platforms than I do now. As I told you, I will focus on more “hardcore”-games in the future. I will still do some kid’s app now and then, but some retro-pixel-platforming-game e.g. is something I would really like to create in the near future. And with indie-games selling better and better via steam, I consider the PC a very important platform for indie-devs. Of course there are some very hard decisions to be made to the design/controls of a game in order to bring it to mobile AND “desktop” platforms. But there are many games out there which master that challenge.

Have a nice weekend!

P.S.: Sorry that I constantly mixed up € and $, but I was too lazy to take those screenshots again :)

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