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Mac App Store download numbers and sales figures
by Mike Hergaarden on 02/13/14 05:07:00 pm   Featured Blogs

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

The Mac App Store is a great store, I love how all of Macs users are pointed to one location for their updates and software. This helps direct their attention to our games. Back in 2011 it looked like a new gold mine for indie developers since there was so little competition. However, I experienced this has changed which is why I'm sharing our sales figures. This is also the sad story of how a game on the #1 games spot during christmas generated only very little revenue.

A little history

As soon as the Mac App store (MAS) launched we wanted to get our games on there to make the most of its launch window. One of the first games we launched there was Crash Drive (1), it was ported from the web&mobile game.

Crash Drive 1 (CD1) - https://itunes.apple.com/app/id419911872

Crash Drive 1 Mac App store sales
Crash Drive 1 Mac App store sales (click to enlarge)

The CD1 sales data is so "raw" since it is based on weekly reports only. CD1 was sold at 4.99 USD first, and the price was lowered to 2.99 USD later. Do note the bad rating: We added way too many fancy camera effects which ruined performance on some Macs. We didn't do any marketing (we haven't done so for any of the Mac App Store games mentioned in this blog post actually). So this 7.8k EUR profit was easily worth the port for sure.

Highway Rally (HWR) - https://itunes.apple.com/app/id638277644

HWR_sales
Highway Rally sales stats (click to enlarge)

With the experience of CD1 in mind we decided to go for a premium sales model with Highway Rally (May 2013). It was sold for about 3 - 5 USD and didn't sell AT ALL. About half a year later we decided to make it freemium and let it run via the IAPs. Switching HWR to freemium made 10 times more revenue and I think the monetization could've been implemented much, much better.

CD_appannieCrash Drive 2 -  MAS ranking (click to enlarge)

Crash Drive 2 (CD2) - https://itunes.apple.com/app/id765099329

Compared to Crash Drive 1 (and even Highway Rally), CD2 is a better game on ALL fronts so naturally our expectations were higher for this title. With the lessons learned from Highway Rally we decided not to try premium first and instead went full freemium right at the launch. The game  launched December 13 and received excellent ratings, it easily held the #1 games spot during Christmas. Since iTunesConnect is offline during these days I could not check the stats and was very curious about the results. As you'd expect, we moved quite some downloads...

Crash Drive 2 downloads (click to enlarge)
Crash Drive 2 downloads (click to enlarge)

A #1 US-Games spot during Christmas gets you 5 - 10k downloads per day on the MAS. We now have a total of 125k downloads in 2 months. Now don't cheer for us just yet ;)...

CD2_sales
Crash Drive 2 sales stats (click to enlarge)

As shown in the image above, at 2250 EUR over 125,000  downloads CD2 is making only 0,05 EUR per MAS download!  While we've proven we learned to create a great game that does very well with the public, our next challenge is optimizing the monetization. Luckily the CD2 monetization works far better on mobile, which is the main target platform of the game.

Notes:

  • We never actively promoted any of these games except tweeting & posting it on our company facebook a few times. (We were always way too busy with the web+mobile launches of these games)
  • All of these games were launched on Web + iOS + Android + Mac App store and the games were designed with mobile as main platform

Conclusions:

  • The paid market doesn't allow "launch and forget" anymore (For CD1 it worked, but that no longer worked with Highway Rally).
  • The free market is still open for opportunities, however, get solid monetization in place (based on Highway Rally and Crash Drive 2)
  • Mac Store #1 free spot can drives 5 - 10k  downloads per day (based on Crash Drive 2)

 Follow our adventures! We share both the good and the bad ones: @MikeHergaarden / @M2Hgames / facebook.com/M2HGames

Are our findings in line with your experiences of the MAS? Let me know!

(This is a crosspost from http://www.m2h.nl/mac-app-store-download-numbers-and-sales-figures/ )


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Comments


Pallav Nawani
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Thanks for the interesting data.

Alex Nichiporchik
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Thanks for sharing Mike

do you think Crash Drive 2 would make more money as a Premium game on the store?

Mike Hergaarden
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In hindsight I would have like to try it again...but then again it didn't work for Highway Rally.
I do believe that for a game like CD2 the best would've been to improve the monetization by a lot but stick to freemium.

Chris Clogg
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How have you found it on the iOS store? Last year we launched Stratosphere Multiplayer Defense on iPad (only) and got featured by Apple several times, and basically have not made enough money to support ourselves lol. It is a $1.99 premium game. I think the iOS store is a case of being flooded so being featured by Apple doesn't matter as much anymore (especially for paid games), in contrast to the Mac App Store which just has less volume overall.

David Fried
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The app store is similar to youtube. Maybe you get lucky and find a huge audience, maybe you don't. Being featured can help, but if the people who happen to be looking for apps on that particular day are not particularly interested in that particular type of game... No luck.


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