Developer Reports

We know how hard it is to start a business. Especially as an independent developer with no funding. When we decided to run a company in 2011, we were thankful for every piece of advise we could find. We were also motivating ourselves with other developers’ success-stories. And we immediately began blogging about all the stuff that did work for us. And the stuff that didn’t.

These experiences are written down here, to give back something and help other developers make their decisions. Welcome aboard!


Two more months in the underground

Hi everybody! In my last post I talked about Bloo Kid 2s recent success on Amazon Underground. Now, two months later, the story continues, with both the free Underground version and the premium Fire TV version picking up steam. For those of you not familiar with the Amazon Underground revenue modell I suggest the following read: Amazon Underground   Amazon Underground Downloads Downloads went down a bit at the end of May, but we are still very happy with 31k downloads in the last two months. Especially with >250 downloads daily and multiple peaks over 750.   Amazon Underground Usage Time Even with less downloads in May, the engagement time went up. People were playing over 4,300,000 minutes of Bloo Kid 2 during the last two months, with about 60k-80k a day! Wow! Remember that amazon pays you for every minute of user engagement.   Fire TV Sales Ever since downloads on Amazon Underground increased, the sales for the Fire TV stick version increased as well. I can only guess why this is happening. Underground is not available on Fire TV, and some people might see the Underground app as some evil data kraken (not necessarily from R’lyeh though). So maybe people see that the game is popular on underground and then buy it on Fire TV. 2k people bought the game during the last two months, and the daily sales seldom drop below 20.   Revenue Those are some pleasantly surprising numbers. Revenue-wise, this means: Underground: $8.515 Fire TV Sales: $6.240 Total: $14.755 That’s nearly $15k for just two months, making Amazon the most profitable platform at the... read more

Out of the Underground

Hi folks! Today I wanna talk to you about: Amazon Underground Some of you may have heard the recent success stories of Halfbrick, Coffe Stain Studios or developers I did not even know existed making more revenue on underground than everywhere else. The only way for me to find out if this is all marketing or if there’s some truth behind it was to try it myself. As mentioned in my last blogpost, Bloo Kid 2, among some of our other apps, has been released on Amazon Underground a while ago. It took some time until this version picked up steam, but today I am going to present you some very promising numbers. For those unaware of the amazon underground program, here is a short excerpt from amazon: [pullquote align=”full” class=”” cite=”amazon.com” link=”https://developer.amazon.com/public/solutions/underground” color=”#f9982a” size=”12″] […] Amazon Underground includes a new monetization model where Amazon pays developers based on the amount of time your app is used. With Amazon Underground, you can turn 100% of your Android users into revenue generating customers. You get paid starting from the very first minute your Amazon Underground app is used, and you will continue to be paid for every minute of use by every customer in exchange for you waiving your normal download or in-app fees.[/pullquote] As I said, I ported some of my kid’s apps and Bloo Kid 2 to Amazon. For the latter, it was quite easy because I already integrated GameCircle for the Amazon FireTV version. Downloads Below you can find the current download numbers. The yellow line is for Bloo Kid 2, the lines close to zero are for all the other... read more

Bloo Kid 2: The definitive revenue breakdown

Hi all, it has been quiet here for too long now… You probably have noticed that I was busy porting Bloo Kid 2 to more target platforms. I was also experimenting with some other things like Amazon Underground, but this will follow in a (soon to come) blogpost. Today I want to focus on presenting you a complete revenue breakdown of Bloo Kid 2 on all platforms where the game is available at the moment. Since there are still more platforms to port the game to, I will update this post as soon as there is enough information available for more insight on the sales.   A short prelude For the sake of completeness, here is a very short summary about the game. Bloo Kid 2 is a retro-style platformer that was developed with the Monkey-X cross-platform programming language. It was first released for mobile devices and later ported to a number of different platforms. So here comes the list (in chronologic order) Please understand that some platform holders do not allow to make sales numbers or other sensitive data public, so I must spare some details. But I bet you can always do the maths to see the whole picture.   iOS App Store   Release 03/06/2014 Out since 662 days Downloads to date 143.000 Revenue to date $14.694   The iOS version is free with ads. I use Vungle video ads between the levels for monetization. Users can remove the apps via in app purchase ($1.99). This is also the version that took the most time to complete, because it was basically the “full game”. I worked... read more

A New Developer Report

Hi all! As promised, I will be posting “developer reports” again. The only difference is that I will not name them “Developer Report [month][year]”, since I cannot promise that there will be somthing to write about each month. Or there will be two interesting things to write about in one month at times. As of today. Two topics. One post. Total confusion…. (I just want to compensate for the long silence, hence the information overflow in this post). I wanted to name this blogpost “Windows Phone and the Price of a Cheap Translation” first, but this would be misleading. These are two separate topics that have nothing in common, and I will start with the first right away:   Windows Phone There are many different stories of whether it pays off to port your mobile app to WP or not. Some apps see huge financial success, like Taptitude (read the success-story here). Other reports paint a more or less abysmal picture of WP like the (one year old…) comparative report here. As always, the truth is somewhere in between, and can be different for everyone. So here are my two cents: Bloo Kid 2 on WP Since the Monkey-X Framework I used to create Bloo Kid 2 already supports WP, it did not take much time to consider the port (and to even port it). So my advice as always at this point: Choose your framework wisely. There are enough “engines” out there today that every aspiring developer should be aware of, so pick your favorite one carefully. Multi-Platform coverage should have a high priority in my opinion. You... read more

Bloo Kid 2 breakdown and the importance of keywords (again!)

Time flows like a river… (and history repeats…) It is time for another blogpost. Bloo Kid 2 has been out in the wild for quite some time now (it has already received an update by now!). And its revenue is finally starting to increase towards something that I would call successful. Time to share some numbers with you! To my greatest surprise (and satisfaction equally), Bloo Kid part one is still making a lot of ad-revenue up to this day. Have a look at the charts below to see the correlation between installs, daily active users, video-impressions, eCPM and revenue for Bloo Kid 1 + 2 iOS (Android revenue is just a fraction of the iOS revenue, hence I’ll go without it). Bloo Kid ~2.000-3.000 installs per day ~10.000-12.000 daily active users. That “anomaly” between May and June is a tracking problem at Vungle I assume. Those DAUs create about 8.000-16.000 video views a day eCPM is $7.00 to $12.00, which I would regard as “pretty high” And finally, these 8k-16k views generate about $75.00 to $175.00 revenue a day The following is a combinated chart showing all the above curves in one diagram. It looks a bit confusing at first, but you should get the point once you have a closer look at it. Judging from the above chart, you can see two things: Somehow, everything depends on everything. The days where downloads and DAUs are high, views and revenue are high as well. Even though this is no big surprise, it is good to know that, “having twice the users” roughly translates to “having about twice the... read more

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... read more

Monthly Report November 2013

Greetings! This month I managed to write a regular “monthly” report, not a “bi-monthly” one like the months before. I have heard your call (in the comments and in emails / twitter messages) so this month I will focus on the percentage composition of iOS vs Android, sales vs ads, countries etc. iOS vs Android First, I am going to fuel the ongoing debate about which market is the better one by presenting my own stats. In the past I mentioned that my iOS vs Android income is %50 / %50. This has changed over the last months. Below is my current income composition. At the moment, there is a 70% (iOS) to 30% (Android) ratio regarding my total revenue. “Android” does include google play store as well as 3rd party stores (amazon, samsung etc.). The only 3rd party store worth to mention though is “fuhu apps” which makes about 15% of my total Android sales revenue. There is little chance to make ad-revenue in those 3rd Party stores, since the common “get paid per install” model (like with Vungle or RevMob) always sends users to the google play store, and it is not allowed to link to google play from within an app that was downloaded from e.g. the amazon appstore.   Paid vs Ads The question wether it is better to use advertising in an app or better sell them as paid apps is also very interesting. If you have a look below you can see that I profit from both of the models. In my opinion, it greatly depends on the type of app you have created. For... read more

Monthly Report July/August

First of all, let me appologize for the delay regarding this blogpost. I just did not find time to write something during the last weeks, so I once again “combined” two months into one post. One of the reasons was that I was visiting the gamescom in cologne, to show Bloo Kid 2 at the pocketgamer “big indie pitch”. Therefore, I was working on a “presentable” version of the game. To the right is a picture of me explaining the game to the folks of making games, a german magazine covering game development related stuff. It may look like I am asleep, but in fact I was wide awake at that moment 🙂 It was a great event and people were quite interested in the game. It was a great motivation-boost for me, and I will continue designing levels for the game once I finish this post. Check this link for some aftermath of the event. Riding a dead horse Bloo Kid has become some sort of “guinea-pig” for me when it comes to trying out experimental stuff like new ad-networks, social services etc. And since Corona SDK is supporting google play game services now, I decided that it is once again time for a new experiment. The game has been out in the wild for over two years now, so in mobile-game terms, it is really “ancient”. One might wonder if it makes sense to update such an old game. I say: it depends. In the case of Bloo Kid, it totally makes sense. I have talked about how I built up a strong “daily-user” base in Bloo Kid... read more

Monthly Report June 2013

Welcome to another monthly report. I’ll pick up where I left off in my last report: Affiliate links My monthly income via GeoRiot has increased from $286 to $338 without me doing anything. OK, I have added Brazil and all other south-american countries to my affiliate network, but their share in the total click-count is marginal. Since I have more or less constant download rates (the “less” beeing discussed later in this post) the amount of people I send to the appstore via affiliate link keeps growing. That’s the main reason for the increased revenue. See below for the complete june stats. after the “nasty” setup of networks, affiliate marketing has become a no brainer You can see that the “top” link is a link to 100 Chambers Free, a mobile game created by my brother who runs codinsoft. I decided to add a full-screen ad in Bloo Kid FREE to help him get more downloads. Since the link is an affiliate link, I actually make money by helping him promote his game. RebMob ad revenue I also told you last month that my revmob revenue went up and down due to some problems with apples new “UDID”-policy. Now that RevMob and Corona sorted out their problems, my revenue from revmob is higher than ever. Be sure to read my older blogposts to see what I think makes Bloo Kid that “long-term-successful”. For the first time I managed to make more than $5,000 a month with revmob AppStore and PlayStore sales So that was the good news. The bad news is that there is a slight “downward” trend to... read more

Monthly Report April + May 2013

I was very busy during the last two months so I did not find time to write about my april experiences. I decided to catch up on this by combining april and may into one blog post. I hope you don’t mind. As a result, I have lots of things to tell you this time. I will start by providing some information on a question that is commonly asked in the comments. The question is “what kind of service / software do I use to track my downloads / revenues”. Apart from using the dashboards commonly provided by ad-networks like RevMob, I use Distimo Monitor to track my numbers. It is a free service, but you have to enter your login data for all the accounts you want to track. They also use your data (anonymously) for market research. They also run a blog with interesting information, based on that market research they do with the collected data. Status Quo Some of my readers not only want to know about my recent progress but also about the “steadiness” of my venture. So here is the revenue curve for the last two months, featureing all apps across all platforms. summarizing all apps and stores, I still manage to make five-digit revenues monthly To maintain that momentum, I release updates of my apps. About one update every 1-2 months per app. I do not update EVERY app I ever created, only the “big” ones. This would cost too much time and I would not be able to release anything new. I also try to release a new kids app every 2-3... read more