Monthly Report April 2012

So here comes another monthly report, this time for April 2012.

I did not manage to maintain that crazy income of march since my appstore sales have dropped. Not dramatically, but noticable. Like I mentioned in my former report, there might be a reason to this. So my total sales income in April was about the same as in February.

AppStore sales drop (slightly)

So why did the appstore sales drop? I used the Corona SDK for building my apps. As the new iPad with the retina display was released, there was a bug in older Corona apps that made the apps scale wrong on the new device. There was a bugfix from corona, and so there was a bugfix to my apps. Unfortunately, I had to drop support of older devices, since the new version of corona required XCode 4.3 and thus was able to build for iOS 4.3 and higher only. Since apple wants people to buy new hardware, they dropped iOS support for their older devices, like the iPod touch 2nd gen and below or the iPhone 3G. So my apps were no longer available to older devices. This might have caused the drop, even though I did not think so many people with older devices get my apps.

Now, there is a corona version available that fixes the retina display error AND lets you build for older devices again. So I today uploaded bugfixes for my apps to make them available for older devices again.

Once the updates are online, I can verify if the sales go back to what they used to be, and therefore can ultimately verify wether older devices should better still be supported or not. I think I’ll have the numbers by the time I write my next report. So be sure to come back to read the result.

Nevertheless, April was still very successfull. Below you can see the sales curves.

Total income curve


Income of Google Play Store and Apple AppStore. Google is still a bit behind.

With apple sales slightly dropped, playstore and appstore are now nearly on the same level. Playstore seems to be quite constant by now.

Conversion rate

I refer to the conversion rate as “the percentage of people that unlock (and therefore buy) my apps”. Below you can see the April conversion rate for Animal Puzzle on iOS. One chart is the number of downloads of the app, the other one the number of unlocks via inapp-purchase. The quotient * 100 equals the conversionrate. It is currently about 15%, which IMO is very high. I will cover the conversion rate for Android in my next blogpost.

Copyright Infringements


It might seem like I did not produce anything new in the last weeks, but that is not the case. Besides writing my e-book I also created another puzzle app in order to further stabilize my sales. Unfortunately, it was rejected by apple for two reasons. One of them being copyright-related.

To the right you can see a picture of the cars featured in my “Car Puzzle for Toddlers” app. You might recognize a resemblance to Disney’s “Cars” brand. At least that’s what the appstore staff saw. I tried to make clear that I did not use any copyrighted material and all images were created by myself. Plus I did not copy any characters from “Cars”. I just made some “cars with eyes” that should appeal to children. But currently, apple insists that I prove that Disney has no problem with me releasing the app. So I contacted Disney Legal service and am now waiting for an answer. I have already changed the graphics and have a version available where the cars have no eyes, so if Disney sees problems, I can at once release the version without eyes.Of course I will keep you updated about that story.

Another income stream

I cannot emphasize it enough (I’ll keep trying though), but I need to build up multiple income streams in order to ensure a stable income and continue with what I do now. I do not know if the appstore sales will drop further, but I’ll better be prepared. No, I will not link to that e-book again, but I mention it here, because it is supposed to be another income stream. I am already thinking of more stuff besides mobile apps, like selling photos on iStockPhoto. I also think about remixing the Hurrican soundtrack and selling it as an MP3-album. I had this idea for a long time, long before Chris Hülsbeck started his recent Kickstarter-Project :)
It would be nice if you could tell me what you think of that last idea!

Outlook

Regarding the car puzzle, I only need to wait for an answer from Disney. In the meantime, I will try to earn more experience by hiring an artist who will help me produce another app. I want to see if improving the graphical quality of my apps will increase my downloads and sales.

One can think that the better the graphics the more the success. However, looking at games like NinJump or Doodle Jump Now! seems to not directly confirm that statement. Or at least you can get the opinion that nice looking graphics are not that crucial to your success. So I want to try it for myself.

Plus, I have discovered another possible income stream that would be relatively easy for me (as a developer) to serve. I will check it out and tell you in the next report!

Remind me

One last thing: I keep telling you about things that happened to me and stuff that is currently “in development”, deals that I made etc. Sometimes I might forget to update you about certain things. So if you are waiting for one info in particular, please contact me and ask for the status. Chances are that I might just forget telling you something. I write down all I do and prepare those reports, but after all I can still miss a thing.

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13 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for this website. It is so wonderful that you are willing to post such detailed information about your progess, especially your finances. I would have a hard time with that. Since you do such wonderful graphics yourself, would you consider estimating what your process would look like, and the cost involved, if you had to use a separate designer. And the same for any music work that you need.
    Thank you kindly,
    Csaba

    Reply
    • Hi Csaba,

      I’m glad you like what I do. I will start working with an artist in some days to create another kids app and see how that works out. I will then write about the detailed costs/experiences in the near future, so stay tuned!

      Reply
  2. FYI Eiswuxe I think you have comments disabled on your new income report, just wanted to let you know since I think you meant to have comments on. You can delete this comment if you want :)

    Reply
    • Ah, thanks for the hint! Comments were deactivated by default :P

      Reply
  3. Hey – it’s nice to see another longer blog post.
    I’ve been reading it for quiet some time now.

    Actually I’ll have to admit that your cars look like those from Pixar’s “Cars” and you might simply change it and give those car an even more vectorized looks with solid colors and some reflections, but that’s just my opinion.
    It’s nice to see how your conversion rate is.

    I also think that graphics don’t always matter – even though I’m a designer – if your target audience are actually children. It’s always hard to guess what parents will buy for their children or what children actually want – but you seem to have had a good choice ;)

    Hopefully you’ll get your go for your car-puzzle app!

    Hope to read a bit more from you.

    Also – man hört sich ;)
    Bis denne,
    Chris

    Reply
    • Hey Chris,

      yes, there is no doubt that the cars remind one of “Cars” (and I could even consider it a compliment in regards to my artistic skills :P). I just thought that as long as I don’t directly copy any of the characters it would be OK. I am still waiting for a reply from Disney. But if they don’t answer until next week, I will release the version without the eyes and hope that kids still like it. I don’t have time to go over the graphics once again and give them all a totally new look.

      I already gathered some nice information for my next blog post, so don’t worry. I will continue with this as long as I am working as an indie-dev, which hopefully will be for a long time :)

      Reply
      • I’m glad to hear that and I wish you the best!
        And if you are interested in some cooperations, just drop me a line. :)

        Best regards,
        Chris

        (und ich hoffe, dass du auch so geniales Wetter hast und nicht nur die ganze Zeit am Rechner sitzt ;) )

        Reply
  4. I am very happy for your continued success! I have to tell you that your posts really made me think “hey maybe I can do this too.” Before I had always wanted to get into making apps but I thought it would be too hard to learn Obj-c or Java, though now I realize that is not the case at all.

    After seeing your posts I dropped what I was doing (trying to learn web dev) and started working on creating apps. Since then I have had a lot of ups and downs over the past several months, thinking I would never be able to make something even close to as good as what you are creating on such a regular basis, and that if I did it won’t sell or look good enough. (My main problem is graphics actually, you are very talented there as well.)

    Anyway I don’t want to ramble here too much but I just wanted to thank you since I think even if this doesn’t work out for me I will have learned a ton that will be useful to me down the road. I am still working on getting my first app out, and I will not give up on it.

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • It’s really great to hear that I inspired you to try making apps!
      Of course there is no guarantee for success, yet there are many things you can do either right or wrong. And I hope I can point out to some things that you can make right with my blogposts. I think there is still a “luck-factor”, but you can maximize your success-chance if you “follow the rules”. For the most successful apps you can tell the reason why they are successful. There are only few apps that are absolute hits and you dont know why.

      So posts like yours are the reason why I continue writing about my journey. I wish you all the success with your apps! And be sure to tell me as soon as there is something to “promote”. I would be glad to tell all my readers about your work!

      Reply
  5. Thanks for sharing!
    I noticed your income from google play store is nearly catch up with apple app store. How do you earn from android apps? Free+ads or free+iap?

    Reply
    • At the moment, two out of three android apps are “free lite version / separate full paid version”. The third app is “Free + iap”. At the moment I cannot say which has the higher conversion rate. But I can say that “free lite / separate full paid” confuses some people because they buy the app but still start the lite version and wonder why its still locked.

      Reply
  6. Hi Eiswuxe,
    Thanks for sharing Your numbers again :)
    I have one question in regards to Your new game’s graphics.
    They are looking really grate. Are they vectorized pictures? Maybe this is also a legal issue.

    Reply
    • The graphics are not automatically vectorized. It’s all handwork and the images were created from scratch.

      Reply

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