Hashi Extreme Puzzles is a game I released on Android (February, 22th, Download on Google Play) and iPhone/iPad (March, 7th, Download on AppStore). The game is free to download and was released with 560 levels. Levels are grouped in packs: there are 4 free packs with 40 levels each and 4 paid packs with 100 levels each. In an update (March 25th on Android, April 4th on iOS), I added 4 free packs and 4 paid packs for a total of 1120 levels. The game displays ads at the bottom of the screen (using iAd and AdMob). The ads are removed when the player purchases one pack. Each pack is sold $1.49 on Google Play and $1.99 on iOS.
I spent no money and nearly no time marketing the game. All I did was:
- Post on facebook (only 100 fans, many real life friends), twitter (about 200 followers, mostly game developers) and reddit.
- Display a one-time in-game advertisement message in two previous mobile games. If the player taps on “OK”, he is taken to the store page of Hashi Extreme.
I didn’t send links to journalists or reviewers for a few reasons:
- The game is not really original, it won’t stand out enough for most journalists.
- I sent quite many email for other similar games (puzzle games), and it didn’t work out very well (but still got me a few download spikes).
Here is the graph of the downloads (remember the game is free to download).
The iOS downloads (blue) are somewhat classic to what I’ve seen in most of my other games: starting quite high, slowing down quickly and staying there forever. The iOS downloads are between 50 and 100 per day, which is not that bad. The interesting part is the Android downloads (red). It’s a common start too with low downloads, but with a huge spike starting on March, 14th with the top of the hill on March, 31st (3024 downloads that day). The effect is then fading out and still is. The downloads are still quite good today (800 per day). Let’s see what happened…
What happened is that I got lucky! It took me some time to find what was causing this spike, as I could not find any review or post on a big website. It came from Google Play: Hashi Extreme Puzzle was the first game in the section “Users Also Installed” of the game Puzzle Retreat. This section is displayed on the store and is also shown to the players right after he downloads Puzzle Retreat. This was the good part, but the great part is that Puzzle Retreat was featured by Google Play at that time! They have more than 1 million downloads and I guess got most of them from this feature. Hashi Extreme is now “only” fourth in this section, but my other Hashi game took the third place. However, Puzzle Retreat is not featured anymore so it’s not affecting my downloads much more, now. Here is a screenshot from the Google Play app taken from my tablet (NB: the Google Play app changed on April 30th, I don’t know yet the consequence it will have) (click to enlarge):
If you’re curious, I used the following google request to find this:
"users who installed this also installed" "hashi extreme"
If you are a developer and have an unknown spike, replace Hashi Extreme with your game and see if you find any big or featured games. Another user on reddit had a similar spike and could find the origin with this request, too.
Here is a graph showing the money made per day, split between platforms, sales, and ads. The Android download spike is easily visible. Here is a pie chart showing the revenue per source/platform.
Here are the actual numbers used for these charts and total benefit from the game. I developed the game in my free time and don’t value the time spent working on it.
I now localize all my games. I localized my previous game in 10 languages, and 11 languages for Hashi Extreme (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portugese, Dutch, Korean, Japanese, Russian and Chinese). Here are stats on revenue per country: The language I added (Dutch) appears in the iOS Sales and Android Ads. Russia is in good position for sales on both platforms.
Sales per Download (conversion ratio)
Important note: Players can purchase up to 8 packs so this conversion ratio is not really showing paying players.
The Android download spike affected a lot this curve. It’s now quite stable at a low value of 0.8%. However, it takes time for players to purchase packs and I probably should check again in a few weeks.
The iOS curve has the same shape that on my first Hashi Game (see stats). However, it’s much lower (about 50% lower). I’m really not sure why, I honestly think the second game is better. A possible reason could be that on my first hashi game, there are only 60 free levels, while there are 160 free levels in this one.
Even with a simple game, without marketing, it’s possible to make some money on Android. It stills confirm that luck is a huge factor, too. If you like sales stats, make sure you read our other articles on the subject. Feel free to comment, share and tweet.