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Just testing something out.
I’ve been meaning to make a Krashlander numbers post for some time now. I think Krashlander has finally peaked in terms of popularity on the Windows Phone Market place so now seems a perfect time for such a post.
In order to give the numbers some context here is a quick history for Krashlander on the Windows Phone Marketplace.
The paid version of Krashlander was released around October 20th, right about the time the U.S. Windows Phone launched. It was released as a 99 cent game. The paid version quickly climbed to be one of the most popular indie games in the marketplace
(Indie meaning non-XBox Live)
On Feb 22nd, I released Krashlander Free. Krashlander Free peaked at, I think, the #2 spot for free games in the marketplace and #7 for apps/games combined.
Krashlander Free was a full version of the game with ads. I did not try to up-sell players from the free version to the paid version as the free version seemed to bring in more per-person than I would get from a 99 cent sale. The paid version
was really more for those that just really didn’t want to see the ads.
As you will see in the charts, Krashlander Free really cannibalized the paid version but numbers-wise I think it was worth it.
Overall I’ve been very pleased with the Krashlander numbers. Windows Phone is just getting started and if these numbers scale anywhere close to linearly with phone sales then I think it’ll be a great place for developers to make some money.
On to the numbers.
Krashlander Paid (10/19/2010 to 05/19/2010)
Krashlander Total Daily Downloads (Including Trials)
The above chart shows total daily downloads. This chart does not represent purchases because trials are included in the numbers above and not everyone that downloads the trial ends up purchasing the game. The spike you see occurred when Krashlander
was featured in the marketplace.
The actual numbers for the paid version of Krashlander break down as follows:
Total downloads (including trials): 21,147
Total purchases: 4,477 (I get 70% of that which is $3133.00)
Conversion rate : ~21%
Krashlander Free (2/22/2011 to 5/19/2011)
Krashlander Free Total Daily Downloads
As you can see, Krashlander Free has substantially more daily downloads than the paid-with-trials version of the game.
Since this is a free game, the downloads give no indication of revenue. Microsoft’s Pub Center is what I used for serving ads in Krashlander Free. Here are the revenue charts for that. (Note, I’m purposefully not showing impressions and/or eCPM as I believe
that is against the terms of Pub Center)
Krashlander Daily Ad Revenue
This chart requires a bit of explanation.
The beginning of the chart is very low due to a bug with my Pub Center account. A couple weeks in March were really high do to what I can only assume were inflated eCPMs. The rest of the chart is a bit more “normal” in my mind.
Total downloads: 187,298
Total Revenue from ads: $15,011.37
Krashlander Free and Paid Totals
So, combining things here is what things look like.
Total downloads (Free, Trial, and Paid): 208,445
Total revenue: ~ $18,144.00
There you have it, all my numbers… well almost. I actually also made some money from a special promotion deal with LG. The contract does not allow me to disclose the amount, but lets just say it was a solid number.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post. If these numbers scale with the phone sales, which I think should start to take off when Nokia gets in the game, then Windows Phone is going to be a great place for developers.
Mango! That's what’s next.
I’m currently working on the framework that will be used for my next few games. Certainly a Krashlander sequel will be one of them. I’m targeting sometime close to the Windows Phone Mango release this fall.
Been hoping for this for a long time. Krashlander was featured on the Windows Phone 7 on 2/26/20011.
Thanks to all who made this happen.
There is now a free version of Krashlander in the Windows Phone marketplace. Not a lite version to upsell my paid version, but a FULL version with all levels. The only difference is the free version has ads, the paid version does not.
So, why do this? Why release a full version of the game for free? Read on…
Ads (Pub Center) Work
Pub Center is basically Microsoft’s version of Google’s
AdSense. Now, with Windows Phone, Pub Center is available for use in Windows Phone games and apps.
Krashlander has been available as a paid game since the Windows Phone launch. If I had to throw out a sales-per-day number, I’d say it averages around 25-35 sales a day. I get about 70 cents per sale. Not bad. Makes for some nice extra
However, a recent blog
post by Elbert Perez of
Occasional Gamer shows that it’s possible to make substantially more than that using Pub Center Ads. The graphic below is from his blog post (Note, Elbert has 7 or 8 games in the marketplace which partly accounts for his great numbers)
Image comes from blog post by Elbert Perez
Now, I’m not delusional and I don’t think by flipping my game to free I’m going to be rolling in the dough, but my “bet” is that I can make more per-day with Ads then by selling my paid version of Krashlander. Also, Elbert’s not the only
one claiming to make good money with Ads. Others have also hinted they have had better luck with Ads then with paid games.
Since Elbert published his blog post, it appears the eCpm and therefore revenue from Ads has gone down a bit. Even so, I think they are still, currently, a better bet than paid games/apps
Trials Do Not Move Games
The hope, both Microsoft’s, mine, and I think most others was that by baking a trial api into the Windows Phone and making it easy for everyone to offer a free sample of their game or app, developers would not need to go the iPhone route of making both a
“Lite” version of their game and a full, paid version of their game. The trial version was suppose to make the free/lite version un-necessary.
Good plan, but it’s not working. Best I can tell, free games and apps get anywhere from 10 to 100 times more downloads than games and apps with free trials. People actively search out free Apps. They don’t (and in fact CAN”T), search for
apps or games that support trials.
I don’t know what the solution to this is, or if there even is one, but right now if you want to build a user base for your games on Windows Phone, free is where it’s at.
XBox Live Ceiling
As I mentioned above, Krashlander has been available as a paid (99 cent) game since launch. And, for pretty much this whole time, it has sat right at the bottom of the XBox Live titles in the Marketplace. In fact it is actually above a number
Krashlander living under the XBox Live Ceiling
Now, in some ways this is great and I am happy Krashlander is doing as well as it is. However, given how XBox Live games are promoted and positioned in the Marketplace, I don’t see Krashlander, or any other indie game for that matter, ever being positioned
anywhere but below a long (and getting longer) list of XBox Live games.
I’m not here to complain about this. It is what it is and I’ve voiced my concerns to those that matter. I just want to express my opinion that as things currently exist, routing around the XBox Live games by going free seems to be a better bet.
Let EVERYONE Play
There are a lot of countries that have the Windows Phone but are not able to purchase games. They can play all the game/app trials and the free games, but they can’t purchase them.
Releasing a free version of Krashlander will let these folks play my game and hopefully help build a “following” for my games.
I’m getting blog-fatigue, so I’ll wrap it up.
It’s still early days with the Windows Phone ecosystem. I expect things to change often as Microsoft figures things out. Someday it may make more sense to focus more on paid games again instead of free Ad based games. If that is the case then
I’ll adjust. Staying fluid, I think, is the key
With the Nokia deal there will hopefully be a momentum push for Windows Phone and it will reach critical mass. If it does it’ll be a whole new game for us developers.
Look for Krashlander and Krashlander Free in the Windows Phone marketplace.
Just uploaded a couple gameplay videos for krashlander. These videos show the game on an actual device (Samsung Focus). My primary reason for showing these is to help anyone having some trouble playing the game. A few have told me they
are having trouble with level 16 and others have told me getting a perfect score on level 13 is impossible.
Hopefully watching these vids will help.
Apologize for the poor quality. I currently do not have a good camera for recording live gameplay. These were done with my iPod touch.
Here are the vids:
Krashlander Level 13 Triple Kill on Samsung Focus
Krashlander Level 16 on Samsung Focus
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