Android Markets – New strategy

As I mentioned last month, we released two versions of Escape from Zargnon on several Android stores at the end of December (on the Android Market, GetJar, Mobango and the Amazon Appstore).   In that release, we created two versions of EfZ, a full version ($0.99) and a trial/lite version with banner ads (which we called Chapter 1).  Our hope was that people could try Chapter 1 out, and if they liked the game, they could upgrade to the full version.  In the first month, the installs did not take off in the way that we hoped, and as of February 1, the total number of installs of our free version were:

  • Android Market – 664
  • Mobango – 528
  • SlideME – 468
  • Amazon – 11
  • AppsLib – 736
  • GetJar – 3

For a total of 2,410 installs of the free version.  And, we had one paid install from the Android Market, and 8 from the Amazon Appstore (besides our sales on the Barnes and Noble Nook, which we’ll describe in a future post).  These numbers also include SlideME, where we published the full free version near the end of January.  One thing I should point out is that we put money into advertising the Android Market and Mobango versions, so most of the installs in both markets were driven by ads.  So, for us, the best markets in January were AppsLib and SlideME (especially since EfZ was only on SlideME for about a week in January).

Also in January, we spent some time working to get some reviews of EfZ to help publicize the game, and in the end we were fortunate enough to receive two: one from Android Zoom, and one from Tablified.  Both reviews were thoughtful and accurate, but they were not glowing or enthusiastic (and so, were unlikely to drive new installs of the game).  After we saw these reviews, and the weak performance of the game on the Android stores, we decided that EfZ was not going to succeed with our current strategy.  We knew going into the release that EfZ was simple in design, but we hoped that it would attract some interest because of its unique origins (as a research project).  But, as of mid-January, it looked like we were not gaining any momentum.

So, at the end of January, we turned Chapter One into a free, full version of EfZ (with banner ads), and left the ad-free version out for $0.99.  Our hope is to get more people to try the game out this way, and perhaps drive a few sales of the paid version.

Our next (and probably last!) move is to release web versions of EfZ.  We hope that the game (which will look better in a browser than it does on mobile devices) will help us promote the game, and drive installs of the mobile version.  We’re not sure when the web version will be ready, but we hope to have it out by March at the latest.