Publishing on Apple

iOS Development

Official website:

Annual fee of $99

iOS development is incredibly easy to access and get started with. It is the
single biggest factor in the many changes the games industry has gone
through recently. Without iOS, developers would not now have the
opportunities they do to self-publish on so many different formats.

That said though, there are downsides. It is very hard to make money on iOS due to the incredible over-saturation of the marketplace. Getting your game noticed is a battle, and it is a sad fact that most titles on iOS earn very little revenue. If you do happen to get a hit game on iOS you will see huge
earnings, but be realistic before you begin, as that is the exception rather
than the rule.

So, statistically speaking, the odds of achieving success on the App Store are
tiny—and this applies to Android as well as iOS. Worse, the odds continually
decrease with the many thousands of apps that are released on the app
stores daily. Your chances of being discovered diminish every day, and that
is a tough market by anyone’s standards.

Right now it is really hard to offer any sound advice on how to make your
game a success on the App Store; the best approach seems to be to

experiment, ideally with more than one title. Try different pricing strategies,monitor your analytics closely, update your app regularly and always make sure that your mobile game is easy to learn and playable in short bursts.

Perhaps the most important aspect of mobile development is to choose your
business model early on in the game design stage. A free-to-play game
should be designed as such from the offset; don’t try to retrofit free-to-play
into a game as it just doesn’t work. The available choices are:

▶ Premium
▶ Premium + in-app purchase
▶ Free-to-Play/Freemium
▶ Ad-supported

Make sure that you cultivate your customers over time, cross-promote,
update your game often and provide value to customers.

And regarding free-to-play, perhaps I should explain what it is, just in case
you don’t already know (and I know you do know), but for the record:

Free-to-play (F2P) is a type of game that gives players access to a significant
portion of the game content without the player having to pay. The most
common approach is based on the freemium software model, whereby
players are granted access to a fully functional game, but must pay micro
transactions to access additional content or to improve in-game abilities or
speed-up progress through the game. Often free-to-play titles require
significant ‘grinding,’ whereby the player must spend many hours building
up their progress, often quite arduously. This is where micro transactions
then come in, to speed up this process and give access to the cool bits of the
game much quicker. After all—most mobile gamers are busy people, and
can’t spend hours levelling-up.

Additionally, only a very small portion of players will actually pay anything
for a F2P title. Right now approximately 0.15% of mobile gamers contribute

50% of all of the in-app purases generated in F2P games, which is an
incredible statistic!

Something like two thirds of the mobile market are F2P games, but it is
interesting to note that there appears to be a swing away from F2P at the
moment, and a resurgence of premium releases. Apple themselves are said to be keen to get more high-quality, higher-priced premium titles on the App Store right now. Bear in mind though that for a successful premium title you do need either a strong brand, or a very clear audience, or failing that awhole lot of luck!

The App Store details:

▶ You pick the price
▶ You get 70% of sales revenue
▶ Receive payments monthly
▶ No charge for free apps
▶ No credit card fees
▶ No hosting fees
▶ No marketing fees
▶ Volume purchasing
▶ In-app purchases
▶ iAd rich media ads

Sales and Promotions

Short-term sales can be very useful to increase sales and raise awareness foryour game. The holy grail of app development is to get your game featured by Apple; you can expect massive sales increases if this happens.
A featured app listing only lasts a week so your goal should be to go as high
in the charts as you can and then extend your popularity after the feature is
over. Aim to start a sale towards the end of your featured week to close with a big sales boost, which should keep your app climbing up the Top lists after the featured listing has ended.

Free app weekends/days can also really boost users for your app, often
massively increasing followers in a very short space of time. Wait until the
app has been on the store for a while though (so price trackers will pi up
the change).

Mac Development

Official website:

Annual fee of $99

As with PC publishing, you have a number of options you can pursue with
Mac development. You can sell directly from your own website or use one of the game portals listed in the ‘Publishing on Game Portals’.

Mac distribution actually offers you the chance to punch above your weight
due to the relatively unsaturated market. It is much easier to get featured in
a variety of Mac outlets, even with a smaller indie game. The Mac
community can be a very friendly place, so make sure you take the time to
engage with them as much as possible.

Mac App Store

From my own experiences, and those of other developers I have spoken
with, games on the Mac App Store don’t tend to generate much revenue.
This is a shame, as it is a great store system, which isn’t flooded with

What they Say

“The Mac App Store makes it easier than ever for users to discover, purchase and download your apps directly on their Mac. And with the Mac App Store available in over 150 countries, you can showcase your apps to millions of users around the world.”

The details:
▶ You pick the price
▶ You get 70% of sales revenue
▶ Receive payments monthly
▶ No charge for free apps
▶ No credit card fees
▶ No hosting fees
▶ No marketing fees
▶ Volume purchasing

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