What we say
Sorry about the lack of posts this month, things got busy and the updates suffered. So I’ll try to get everything in this one update.
Android Market Sales
Since our last post on Android sales numbers the new market client in Android 1.6 has rolled out to most users (we think). The new client prominently features the top paid apps, and allows for two screen shots. Our game Battle for Mars has been on the first screen of top paid games, or just off of it for most of the month. We definitely thought this would make a big difference since it’d now be one of the first games people would see when going to the market. In percentage terms it has made a big difference, we’ve seen a roughly 50% increase in sales! The bad news is that’s a 50% increase on not-so-good. So we’re up around ~$90 a day now it looks like. That isn’t super encouraging, but we’re still optimistic in general (as you’ll see in the next section). However, there remain some serious problems with the market that we hope get addressed soon:
- 325 character app description limit
- Applications inexplicably missing for some customers: Example support thread or look at these sad support search results. We get asked questions like this all the time in support emails, we can’t figure out what’s wrong.
- Download failures. There’s several super long support threads about this that I’m too depressed about to go find.
- Refunds (to a lesser extent). Here’s an example user comment on a game made by a friend of ours: “Great game, loved it. Beat it in an hour – refund.” The game is $2.99. As John said, that’s similar to hearing “Loved that movie, it was $12 but only 2 hours so I decided not to pay. Loved it though.”
We’re working on updating our games to support higher screen resolutions. The Android SDK support for this is pretty impressive, so hopefully we’ll have things working soon. Also, I want a Droid, so I have some incentive to make things work well. If the Verizon or Motorola CEOs are reading this (they definitely are) please send us several free phones. Also, I need to borrow (all of) the corporate jet(s).
Despite the less-than-stellar sales numbers, we’ve decided to finish our home screen as a product for eventual release in the market. After all the great feedback we got we really wanted to see it through. There are a couple compromises required to be able to release it as a market application, mainly relating to the system status bar, but I think we’ve figured out a way to make it work. As far as a release date, that’s definitely still undecided. We’ll post updates here as we get closer. We probably will want a new name for the project as well, if you have any suggestions please post them in the comments.
Update: I made it a little more clear that the home screen isn’t available in the market yet.