Developer Report April 2014

I finally managed to come out of hiding! The last weeks have been quite turbulent and less productive, so I was not able to write any blogposts. I did not even have much things to write about.

You may have noticed that the “Headline” of the blogpost is slightly different from what you are used to. I do no longer try to maintain the illusion that I can write a blogpost every single month… Apologies for that. Family and work demand a lot of time at the moment, so I have to switch to a “I write a post when there is something to write about”-mentality. I will still try to write at least every other month, I just cannot guarantee.

So far for the introduction. Now let’s get to the interesting part.

Shortly before the release of Bloo Kid 2 iOS I wrote a small summary about Bloo Kid. Today I want to turn over a new leaf of the Bloo Kid success-story.

GameStick

The GameStick is a new micro-console in the vain of the OUYA that brings Android games to the TV screen. I was contacted by someone from gamestick after he stumbled across Bloo Kid 2 in the toucharcade forum. They asked me to do a port of the game. I said I would first want the game to be content complete (== 5 worlds instead of the current 3) but I could think of porting Bloo Kid 1 instead. Corona supports GameStick (and OUYA) by now, so I figured I would be able to port the game with minimum effort.

They sent me a devkit some days later and I took the following week to make the game run with the latest Corona version and implement the gamepad controls as well as some other minor stuff. And voila, the game has been submitted to GameStick today.
This “move” is totally compliant with my genereal creed to bring your game to as many platforms as possible. I will tell you in the next blogpost if it worked out this time.

This is also a “test-case” to see if it is worth to port games to the platform. Bloo Kid 1 was ported quite fast because Corona already supports GameStick. Since Bloo Kid 2 is created with another framework that does not have GameStick support yet, it will take more time to port it.

bloo kid gamestick
Bloo Kid running on the GameStick. The “remove ads” buttons has already been removed :)

Moneys

While I was trying to imagine how many people already own a GameStick and how many would bother to buy the game, I was also curious to know how much money Bloo Kid has generated during its lifetime of almost three years. So I started collecting all data I could find (or better: that I could remember), trying to consider every advertising network I used in the past. It is not a gapless computation since I e.g. totally forgot the AdMob revenue of the first few weeks and I already deleted my AdMob account since then, so I am not able to recapitulate the AdMob revenue. But you could consider it as “the game made at LEAST that amount of money”, and I bet it will be motivating for everyone of you.

If you need a quick summary of the Bloo Kid development story you can check out my previous blogpost covering the “Bloo Kid Timeline”. I will not go into much detail about the pros and cons of different networks. If you want some more insight, just browse around my blog and read some old posts.

Starting with InMobi

InMobi was one of the first networks I used. It was quickly replace by another one, but nevertheless generated some revenue for Bloo Kid. Most of the revenue came from the Android version. iOs is not worth mentioning here.

bloo kid inmobi android
With InMobi, Bloo Kid generated $4,641

Switching to InnerActive

After Corona introduced InnerActive I made a switch and generated some revenue with it. This time, iOS was more profitable than Android.

bloo kid inneractive ios
InnerActive generated $7,494 in revenue

The RevMob period

As some of you might know, I was using an advertising network called “RevMob” for quite a while with great success. I used it since May 2013 until I found out that the Vungle Network was even more profitable and switched to Vungle since then. Bloo Kid still makes some minimum revenue with “old versions” that still use RevMob.

revmob history
Monthly RevMob revenue since May 2013

bloo kid revmob total
~$45,000 Total RevMob revenue since May 2013

iAds

I introduced iAds somewhere on the way, and it has provided some nice additional revenue so far.

blookidiosadrevenue_cumulated
With iAds, Bloo Kid generated $17,209 so far in little more than a year

The Vungle Domination

During September 2013 I switched to Vungle which I still use to this day. It has generated an incredible amount of money considering the rather short period I have been using it since.

Vungle does not offer the possiblity to generate a diagram for more than 2 months (and I was a bit too lazy to create one myself), so I will just present you the the rough numbers.
Android: $1,905
iOS: $39,950
Vungle generated $41,855 in revenue in just about half a year!

Regular Sales

There is also an ad-free version of Bloo Kid available. Even though the revenue of the sales is a bit despicable when compared to the total ad-revenue, it is still a huge amount of money. You can clearly see how I changed from $0,99 to $1,99 between December and January (following a new and self-confident pricing strategy) and increased revenue drastically.

blookidios_sales_cumulated
Bloo Kid generated $9,838 in sales

Summary

So let’s sum it all up

InMobi $4,641
InnerActive $7,494
RevMob $44,871
iAds $17,209
Vungle $41,855
Sales $9,838
Total $125,908

It is worth to mention that most of the revenue came from iOS. While it is still possible to make a decent amount of money on Android (as you might know from my other blogposts covering my kid’s apps) iOS was the more profitable platform for Bloo Kid.

It might sound unbelievable that a single mobile game, created by a single person in about three months of work, can create that much money, mostly from ads. Taking into consideration that this money was generated during the period of about three years “damps” the sensation a bit, but my expecations where nowhere near those numbers when I first released the game. It is however a proof that staying focused and believing in what you do can lead to great rewards. There are millions of mobile-users around the world, tons of indie-friendly websites, blogs and magazines, and a lot of help from experienced people on the net.

This is also a proof that “exploiting” your game by bringing it to multiple platforms and keeping it updated is rewarded with a long lifecycle and eventually financial success. You will know if this is true for the GameStick-version too in a few weeks when I got the first numbers.

It might not be as easy as it sounds, but it is possible to make a living out of games. People prove it every day.

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27 Comments

  1. We wait a new post $)

    Reply
    • I am currently very busy, but there will be an update soon!

      Reply
  2. Congrats & thanks for sharing the numbers.

    When you change from one ads provider to other, do you also release a new version of “Bloo Kid”? Could you tell us how did you switch an ads providers in general terms?

    Reply
    • What I did in the past was to release a new version of the game which had a different ad provider.
      Nowadays I read a file from my server that contains infos on what of the (already implemented) frameworks to use.
      In the future I would suggest using an ad-mediation service like AdTapsy.

      Reply
  3. Have you been abducted by aliens?

    My second game release, Kittycat Bandit, is getting close to release. I would never have had the courage to work that long on such a project without seeing your results here. Well, who am I kidding, I program because I’m obsessed…

    Reply
  4. I’m an iOS QA Engineer at a multinational company (tip: Minion Rush). And I’m currently working on a iOS game and I would like to ask you some question about monetization through ads.
    I can return the favor in other services if you need some help.
    I’m looking forward to hear from you via e-mail.
    Thanks and congrats for the games you’ve created.

    Reply
    • (my own iOS game) to be more clear :D

      Reply
  5. So you use iAds for banners and Vungle for interstitial?
    How much the displayed banners make? it will increase the revenue if the banner is displayed full-time?

    Reply
    • The iAds make about 20% of the Vungle Ads. I show iAds interstitials on the iPad, though. I guess this is where most of the iAd revenue comes from.
      I do not want to display banners full-time (I only do so in the pause menu), because my apps are still games, and nothing is more annoying than having banners during the gameplay.

      Reply
  6. Nice numbers, so you are using InnerActive, and Vungle as of right now. Have you ever tried Chartboost if so can you provide some numbers for them as well?

    Reply
    • Have not tried chartboost yet. If I’ll do in the future, I’ll let you know :)

      Reply
      • I use Chartboost in combination with Vungle. I show a Chartboost interstitial ad on launch of the game and vungle videos between the levels. The total revenue of Chartboost is a bit higher than the one of vungle.
        But there are still some old versions of my games out there, that do not vungle…

        Chartboost pays mainly per Install, vungle mainly per impression.
        So it is based on your audience, what works better.

        Reply
  7. Which Frameword did you use for Bloo Kid 2?
    Cocos2D-X? Unity?

    I’m pretty happy with Chartboost for Interstitial Ads. I think Chartboost gives me a little bit more revenue than RevMob for the same amount of Session/Impressions.

    I also tried Vungle. But in my case, the revenue was totally unsteady. One day 5$, then 2 or 3 days with some cents. Then again more for a day. Absolutely not comprehensible – in contras to RevMob/Chartboost. So I stopped Vungle. I also think that a single Ad-Screen is not so irritating like a video ad.

    Reply
    • I use Monkey-X
      http://www.monkey-x.com/

      Seems like it greatly depends on the app. I see the best results with Vungle. But this is the best proof that you should experiment with a lot of stuff.

      Reply
  8. Hey,
    Thank you for sharing those numbers. But I don’t get it… In an older post you said that the revenue is 55%(ads) and 45%(sales). Now the sales are around $9k and the ads more than $100k. Is there something that I missed?
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Hey,

      sorry for confusing you =)
      The 55% / 45% splitup refers to “all of my apps in total”, this is Bloo Kid 1 + 2 and my kid’s apps.
      This blogpost however is covering Bloo Kid 1 ONLY. It is more or less a complete sales breakdown for Bloo Kid.
      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  9. Thanks as always. Those numbers are really encouraging. I do wonder, though, if things have changed since 2011… I hear horror stories about the bottom dropping out of the market.

    Reply
    • Things have changed indeed over the last years. My revenue from sales in the appstores has decreased a bit (yet not dramatically), and I always have to update older stuff or release new things in order to maintain my revenue.

      I also think it gets “harder every day” when you first set foot in appstore and have not yet “established” as a developer there.

      Nevertheless, everything is possible. I don’t think my revenue will drop to zero anytime soon.

      Reply
  10. I find your reports very interesting to analyze. It was because of our blog that I decided to give Vungle a try. Thanks!

    Also, I have a suggestion for you. When you publish numbers about revenue, it would be great if you also gave some stats about number of users/downloads or sessions your game has in those platforms. This would help us estimate how our games/apps would do when we implement those networks. I know that ad revenue depends a lot on downloads and sessions.

    Cheers, JaroCep.

    Reply
    • Great to know that I could help you, and thanks for the suggestions.
      I will include this information in my next blogpost.

      I have written about total downloads of my apps every now and then in older blogposts, so feel free to check out the info there in the meantime.

      Reply
  11. Congrats for your success, and it is inspiring me a lot :)
    I wonder why apple platform is making much more than android platform. Because I am planning to create app and attaching ads. Majority of users will be using android. Also i want to know some things.

    1. Does ad networks pay different for different platforms?
    2. Does ad networks pay different for different countries?
    3. Which network should i choose for Android?
    3. Which network should i choose for Apple?

    I really need clear answers for those questions.

    Reply
    • With my other apps (the kids apps) it is about 40% android revenue vs 60% apple revenue. It might depend on the type of app. On the other hand, I bet there are platformers that make more money on Android than on iOS. Like always, it is very hard to tell how the appstores “behave”.

      1. Yes
      2. Yes
      There is no clear answer to what “the best” ad network is. I am very happy with Vungle at the moment. You might however also try some “ad-mediation” networks where you can register multiple networks and switch between them without having to release a new version of your app.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the replay :)

        Reply
  12. How are you using Vungle ads in your app? Are the revenue numbers you posted 2 years worth or 6 months worth?

    Reply
    • As stated above:
      “Vungle generated $41,855 in revenue in just about half a year!”

      I use interstitial ads between the levels. Just download bloo kid 1 or 2 and see for yourself =)

      Reply
  13. “People prove it every day.”

    Feel free to delete/unpublish this comment

    Reply
    • Thx =)

      Reply

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