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Android users will pay to play

By on December 13, 2011

Paul Johnson is the co-founder and managing Director at Rubicon Development.

After a previous post regarding sales of our Great Little War Game for iOS, the team asked me if I’d make a follow up post, now that the game has been out on the Android platform for a similar length of time. I’m always happy to oblige so here we go…

We released on Android using the simple “just buy it” model, that seems to be going out of fashion these days, with some trepidation. There is a lot of hate on the internet about piracy and miserly customers etc., but I’m glad to see that my faith in human nature has been fully rewarded and as usual the haters have it wrong. Very wrong.

Sales from the first three months have matched the iOS equivalent period very well indeed. In fact the entire release period has felt like a pleasant case of deja vu for us. Just like iOS we had a moderately successful batch of initial sales. And then just like iOS we got picked up for a major feature on Google Market and sales went silly for a bit. Post-feature, sales have settled down quite nicely too, again as they did for iOS.

We were averaging about $800 per day before the feature. During the feature, sales ranged from $3,000 to $6,000 per day, which was great. Sadly though these features only really last a week, so the total sum was less than during the iOS one, but I’m not complaining. Since then sales have been doing between $700-$900 per day.

One random element that did us proud was the recent “10 Billion” promotion that Google ran. We were one of the chosen ones there and got featured on the very first day. Although all the games on this promotion were sold for 10 cents, the actual sales volume went silly. And I mean proper silly – at one point we became unable to track what was happening as we peaked above 400 sales per minute. Yep, per minute. Now if only we could do those numbers at the proper price!

To sum up, we’re on track to have taken around $125,000 by the end of this first sales quarter and that’s not too shabby a return in my book. That’s certainly way above what the haters would have you believe. If you have an iOS game that’s pretty decent and you’re wondering about porting to Android, just do it.

In other news, our latest game has just gone live on iTunes this week – Yachty Deluxe. (An Android version won’t be too far off). This game represents our first outing into the “free with advertising” sales model and I’ll glady report back on that in.. er.. 3 months? :)

About Paul Johnson


  1. Pingback: 销售实例显示Android用户愿意付费体验游戏 | 游戏邦

  2. Nicholas Lovell

    December 23, 2011 at 6:39 pm

    Let us know when you’re ready to share. We’d love to post it on GAMESbrief

  3. StarCommandGame

    December 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Very interesting article. We are currently wrestling with sales data and expectations as well – as well as wether to publish for android given all the piracy issues. You have basically closed the book for us though. Android it is. Awesome article though. We plan on doing the same when our game comes out – really helps other indies set expectations and strategies for success.

    Much appreciated.

  4. Luca Spiller

    December 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I think app discovery is still a major issue. When Tiny Tower first came out I saw my iOS friends playing it, and loved the idea. So I dug out my old iPod Touch and lost a few days of my life. I was kind of dissapointed that there wasn’t an Android version available, but that seemed to the norm. The other day I noticed that it was now available for Android – and had been for over a month!

    On another note, I would be interested to see how Kairosoft are doing. They have been pretty good at releasing their new titles onto both platforms fairly quickly and follow the paid-for model.

  5. sindre

    December 16, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Second that.  I would also have bought at full price if I was aware of it.  It is truly a great little war game :)

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  13. Peter Holcroft

    December 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Having bought GLWG during the 10c sale I can safely said I’d be more than willing to pay the full price for it, just a shame I hadn’t heard of it before. Hopefully the increase in players will help raise the sales through word of mouth.

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