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Taptitude – a Windows Phone Success Story

By on May 15, 2012

This guest post is cross-posted with permission from Four Bros Studio.

FourBros Studio began developing Taptitude early in 2011.  This article is going to look back over the last year as the game has evolved to see how far we’ve come and how we got here.  For those not familiar with Taptitude, it is a free Windows Phone 7 game with a collection of over 60 competitive minigames.  We initially launched Taptitude in March 2011 with just a handful of relatively simple minigames, and have since updated it every week adding new games and platform features.

Taptitude is free to play, and is supported by pubCenter ads.  In this buisness model, you are paid based on how many ‘impressions’ you get each day.  The amount you’re paid per thousand impressions is refered to as ‘eCPM’.  For example, if you get 10,000 impressions at $1 eCPM, then pubCenter will pay you $10.

Over the last year, we’ve seen exponential growth in our impression rate.  For the first few months we made very little money, and only served a few thousand impressions per day.  As we stuck with the project we added many weekly updates with features including online leaderboards, stars to unlock minigames, coins to purchase game upgrades, and stats to track your progress.  Taptitude continues to evolve, but lets take a high level look at how we did on average over the last year:

We’re at nearly 100 million ad impressions, and much of that was in the last few months as you can see from this breakdown of impressions per week over the last year:

Over the same timeframe, you can see that our eCPM fluctuated pretty wildly:

We would love to get $3 eCPM every day, most of the time it’s closer to $1.  In the next chart we can see how our revenue is a combination of both eCPM and Impressions:

As you can see, in the weeks of November we had a big spike in eCPM resulting in record revenue despite having significantly less impression than recent weeks.  As we settled into the lower $1 eCPM we’ve had to grow our user base in order to make it up with impressions.

At the time of this writing, we are about half way through April and we have record impressions per day as seen by the following chart.  There are two clear dips in this chart that show when we diverted our pubCenter ads over to AdDuplex during different marketing blitz efforts.  The reason for this is that we either show a pubCenter ad or a AdDuplex ad, but not both.  Toward the end of this graph, you can see our 1 million impression days!

* NOTE: the dips in pubCenter ads correspond to a spike in AdDuplex ads because this is where we marketed our game using AdDuplex.

The graphs above show how our impressions have grown over the last year, now lets look at how that correlates to our userbase growth:

In this chart, the orange line shows the cumulative downloads of Taptitude, and the green line represenets the number of unique downloads per day. You can see from this graph that we stayed pretty flat at around 350 new users a day for over 6 months!  There are a couple spikes which tend to line up with getting featured in the Marketplace, releasing major new updates, as well as marketing campaigns that we ran on Facebook and AdDuplex.

Taptitude has been downloaded nearly 300k times in the last year.  With this many users, it’s interesting to slice and dice the demographics.  Lets look at the data we’ve collected in the last 30 days.

We publish an update for Taptitude every week.  We wondered how quickly our users were updating to the latest version:

Most of our active users do a good job of staying on the last few weeks, but there is an anomoly where a significant portion of our users are still on v4.5.  It turns out that v4.5 was the last version we released pre-Mango.  Anyone that hasn’t updated to Windows Phone 7.1 (Mango) will be stuck seeing only version 4.5 on the Marketplace.  We’ve asked our users why they don’t update to Mango, considering it’s free, and most of the responses were because they didn’t have a computer to update their phone with.  Unfortunately this can’t be done over the air.

Now let’s break down which phones (devices) have played Taptitude in the last month:

Nokia is leading with the Lumia 800 followed by the 710, with the 900 making significant gains in the short period of time since its release.  Despite this, HTC is actually the #1 manufacturer at this time due to the breadth of devices they offer:

We also keep track of the ‘culture’ of the phones that play Taptitude.  This corresponds to the region that the player is from:

As to be expected, en-US is the primary culture considering Taptitude is only localized to English.  This is followed by a significant portion of our users coming from Great Britain, Germany, and Spain respectively.

Windows Phone is a rapidly growing market where indie developers can be successful.  We are looking forward to an even better second year as indie game developers, and can’t wait for Windows 8!

That wraps up our analysis of the last year of Taptitude.  In a future article we will dig into some of the specific stats that we track in game to see how our users are doing.  If you like this type of analysis, follow @FourBrosStudio on Twitter, and/or check out the Taptitude Facebook page.

UPDATE: thank you all for the interest in our post. Looks like many of you are interested in the per-day figures as well, so here is a chart showing our per-day revenue over the last 30 days.

About Tyler Furtwangler