Your game theme makes all the difference

Advertisers pay more to appear in games which audience is for them more relevant, more likely to join their game.
I experience a bitter demonstration of that right now and here are my two extrem cases.

Weekly Admob banner numbers:
Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 09.27.55.png

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 09.27.59.png

As you see creepy has around 13x times more impressions by players, is generally played more and longer.
But it only made $1.28 and Brofist Legend $4.01.

If Creepy would have the rpm of Brofist it would have made 51,40 this week.

I wonder if there is any chance to increase the rpm of a game retroactive.
But I am afraid its just depending on your theme and keywords.

But overall I am simply happy that we have that extra monetization channel now specially since Android games had no such option before. Its not gigantic but still noticeable and helps me definitely paying my bills. So thanks game salad for adding it.

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 04.47.07

I learned something so I shared it here,
Cheerio Dave


Advertising my app with Chartboost

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.19.20
Some update its good but I really wanna see if i can reach the cpi of 0.50
Also I see direct impact on charts.
The first day I did geo sweden and switzerland it even reached top 100 in sweden from being unranked before. I stopped the geo after 2 days and focused on another country, poland and the same effect reached top 100 in role playing
I think the already existing good ratings of the app make it easier to score with less downloads higher in the rankings. And it seems to consider % increase downloads to last week/days.

Geo 1 (2 days) Switzerland and Sweden
Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.21.51

Geo 2 (2 days) Poland
Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.22.52.png

Chartboost Advertising my App via CPI

GOAL: Drive installs to Orcs as it is my highest ARPU game right now
So I just use this post as a small update about how my advertising test went.


CPI= Cost per Install
I pay to get a user to play my game and hope to make a profit after that fee.

ARPU= Average revenue per user
How much money your app makes on average per user.
Installs/Total Revenue within same time frame= ARPU

iOS tends to have 30% higher ARPU with my Apps compared to the android versions.
Orcs ARPU $0.24
Three Points ARPU $0.03

Steps 1:
Testing video ads:

I setup chartboost video ads to drive installs to my game.
Which works NOT with CPI but rather you pay for each completed video view.
It should be ending up cheap than CPI but of course it is not guaranteed to generate an install.

The video ads didn’t create an impression or install at all, regarding to Chartboost I just bet to less to be shown, even with raising it to $0.30 even tough it says the minimum is $0.01.
Also they kept referring that an install right now costs around $2.50 instead telling me why my impression NO CPI campaign doesn’t start rolling.

Also started testing it with $0.50
No installs generated or paid.

Steps: 2
Testing Interstital pop up ads:

I took the remaining $100 and created another campaign an interstitial one this time.
Bidding $0.50 for an install right now. Definitely again way above the minimum price ($0.25). But way below the suggested bid. I just wanna see if I can get a download here and there for that price range.

If that all doesn’t work I might just go big play and pay the $2.50 for an install since I did not find a way to transfer the $100 back to my main balance. And I also wonder how much impact such installs have, how much can bring me a „quality user“, would it effect my ARPU calculation or is it the same.

Steps: 3
After 1.5 days with no result I increased the CPI to $2, the suggest bid is $1.65 to $2.50 here.
Awaiting a result soon..

Your app just needs a very solid ARPU to be able to play in the league.

Key factors for having a great ARPU:
+Well selling In-apps (with solid range $1.99 to $10+)
+Re-play value or/and a lot of Content / Player Progression
+Banner ad
+Chartboost ads
+Right niche where advertiser pay more to get installs (popular section)

if you can manage to achieve $1 ARPU your already playing well.
Of course your ARPU is also effected by how popular your game is and the with it coming „meaning“/“importance“/“relevance“ which:

+increases the likely hood to sell an in-app
+increases the play sessions
+increases the value of your shown ads as they start competing to be shown in your app

Game Developer looking for the right Marketing Partner to expand

Here quickly what I did so far Marketing wise for my self-made Mobile Games and what marketing partner I look for.

The Mini Push
So far I used Facebook Ad Campaigns on App Installs. Investing 100 Euro using a CPC of $ 0.25 leading roughly 300 extra downloads.(they convert very well) It is kind of the a mini push to give a game the real chance to be discovered.

My ARPU’S (Average revenue per User)
Simple highscore games  $ 0.05 ARPU
Example: Three Points

Simple Cookie clicker games had an ARPU  of $ 0.08.
Example: PewDiePug

Orcs, My newest game has an ARPU of $ 0.15

Which is by far the highest I achieved so far. Additionally it gained a solid fan base.
The Game will get updates on a regular base, to maintain players it has and give them more to do.
Orc Friday

I am looking for more exposure for the game now.
The plan is to come profitable out of the next marketing move and I need a strong partner for that.
Someone who is interested to help me up and work with me over some time.

One of the strategies would be to boost the game to the top 10 of a smaller country to get the game noticed.
Another would be reaching more Review sites and blogs which have real active players visting.

For the start i am willing to invest up to 1000 Euro.
I only invest in options either offering a CPC < $ 0.15 with a real goal (not jus some for the installs sake) aiming for a country push. Witch will require a partner that can bring the downloads within the required time frame to rank the top 10 of the small country.

Or multiple review/media exposure offers that results in enough estimated downloads to pay back the expenses.

So is there anyone which feels like we can do great?
Than please write me here:

Investing into building a Market Presence

Today I’ll start investing some money in the online presentation (amount of likes) of the Sha Cat Facebook Page and the young Youtube Channel.

Current statistic:
Facebook: 41 likes (page below)
Youtube: 120 views (video below)

Facebook Ads:
Starting to use Facebook Ads with very specific target audience
13-17 year old Girls from Germany which like candy crush, iPhone, cat and games.

1day/8 Euro
6 days/48 Euro

=108 Likes per day estimated

Youtube Ads
A specific picked video of mine will be featured via Google AdWords.

7.38 Euro per day = 450 views per day estimated
6 days / 44,28 Euro

Total cost this week:
92,28 Euro

Let’s Check the results by end of the Week.
Best regards,

Moving Forward – Learnings of the „The Sha Man“

So I officially stopped investing time in promoting The Sha Man(iTunes) and see it as a first step which I had good learnings off.
It will stay in the Developer Portfolio in iTunes. So when ever I create a Success It will benefit from that and maybe get some Attention too.

The new project
Here a list of what I will do different and what I will do the same.

What I will do again:
I will be using Gamesalad to develop the Game and take 3-4 months developing time.
I will do my own Graphics, Sounds and Music and the same Core Gameplay again.
Marketing wise I will create a Twitter, Facebook Page and contact Youtubers for Gameplay Videos since I see them as an existential minimum if you want to be successful in the online world.

What I will do differently:
The Game will have a clear understandable level by level Progression Layer not as detached from each other as I had it with The Sha Man. As a new addition the Game will have a simple Narrative structure to give Player additional Motivation/Reasoning to progress. Overall I will go for a less „nerdy“ Game Setting and go a little bit more into the girly direction. I will change from full Price Game to In-app purchase model including an In-game Currency.
The end of the game will be left open for more Content, so I can patch new Content and over longer time create a News stream which I can push through Marketing Channels.

The next Game will get a real website, a one Page Website for the Game, like a business card with all links (iTunes, Blog and Social Media) this enables to practice search Engine Optimizations.
My Girlfriend has taken over a lot of PR Work and has created lists with cooperative press Partners. And another list where you can get cheap paid Reviews. We will send Promo Codes and Information to the press 2-3 Weeks before Release this Time. Additional I got a Tip of a Gamesalad Community Guy which suggested prMac for Marketing which I also will use.

More Details I will post here soon!

Marketing Post-Mortem

Hi guys! So I released my first mobile Game „The Sha Man“ about a week ago. I and my Girlfriend tried our best to give the Game some Attention.

Marketing/Promotion Steps:
Facebook: Created a Facebook Page, with Diary like Content and Screenshots, we started with that around 1 Month before the Release.  After I reached around 43 likes via my own Friends I decide to boost the Page via the Facebook Promotion Option.

I quickly learned that you get the cheapest (most rapid like rate within paid time frame) from India and the Philippines. But their actual interaction with the Page Content equals zero. (almost as they get paid for it, or are bots?) So I guess if you want to use this Feature than target iPhone relevant Countries like United States, Germany, China, Switzerland….

I put in around 200 Euro and reached 2165 Likes within 10 days.

Twitter: My Girlfriend created a Twitter Account and started to follow relevant Players, in order to get their Attention to us. This led to around 50 Followers from which 2 re-tweeted „The Sha Man’s“ Release, that was cool.

Youtube: I Created a Youtube Gameplay Video, simple Screen capturing.
Additionally I contacted like 12 Youtuber’s which review Games or do „let’s play’s“, two of them responded to upload some uncommented Gameplay on their Channel. One of them actually did. See here!

Websites and Blogs(Press): We wrote to around 20 Blogs and Websites such as Pocketgamer and Toucharcade (big players). Not one wanted to do an unpaid Review when they even responded.

Forums: We wrote our Promo Text and Links into different Game Forums. This kind of worked once we learned that they want Promo Codes to access to the Game for free. You can create 100 of them for each Version of the Game in iTunes Connect. A valuable Marketing Step.

Software Community: I created a Topic for my Game on I’ll got 250 views and nice motivational Feedback, of a very supportive and active Community. After that I created a second Topic with 10 Promo codes, within 2 days 7 where taken and proper Feedback given. That was encouraging and insightful! I handed „The Sha Man“ in for GameSalads Game of the Month. ( Not yet ended) But it looks like close to Christmas the amount of Games produced within the Community trippeled and some of them are very strong Competition.

Blog: I started to write this Blog. Not only for Promotion but to provide an authentic Experience from a Indie Game Designer.