Someone recently asked me if the games and apps I’ve published are making money.
Not yet, anyway.
But hope springs eternal, and even if I had to give my games away I’d still make them. Maybe just not with so much intensity. 🙂
Sidebar: I do make a living from writing apps, but at this point it’s limited to desktop-based tools, not mobile games or apps. Those things I have in the App Store do bring in money, but it’s pizza-type money, not mortgage-type money.
Here’s the thing — you’ve heard of a little company called Rovio that made something called Angry Birds? They created more than 50 games before Angry Birds came along.
OMGPOP, the makers of Draw Something (and the company recently bought by Zynga for $180,000,000) created more than 30 games before they had that runaway hit.
But us? The indie developers using Corona SDK (and every other framework) — we think we can make one or two games and retire.
Heck, I’ve been in the software development biz long enough to KNOW that doesn’t happen, but in almost everything I do I still can’t help thinking, “Maybe this is The One!”
And I know it’s not just me. I see comments quite often from people who have one or maybe two games in the App Store and they’re lamenting the fact that they’re not making any money, that something must be wrong, that app-making sucks, etc.
While there are people who seem to come out of nowhere with a huge hit that makes money rain down from the sky (Tiny Wings, as an example), I’ve seen studies that show there is a direct correlation between the number of apps someone has in the App Store, and the amount of money they’re making.
Which means if you want to make more money with your apps, you need to write more apps.
And that’s where Corona SDK shines.
Once you’re fluent with Lua and the Corona SDK framework, you can crank out games much faster than someone who’s using plain ol’ Objective-C.
Sidebar: I don’t mean crank out garbage. You can do that in any language. But all things being equal, if you’re creating a quality game or app, you’re going to be able to do it faster in Corona SDK than pretty much anything else.
While there’s something to be said for updating a game, and polishing it, and adding features, etc., the statistics show more games in the App Store mean more money in your pocket.
So if you have a game that you really believe in, and think it just needs some more love before it really takes off and makes buckets of money — the best business decision is to kill it and move on.
But we’re not in this just as a business (right?) so my advice is to put it on the back burner and get another game out there. Then go back and put out an update of your “favorite” app, shove it to the back and crank out another game, etc.
By doing that you’re not “giving” up on your baby; you’re playing the odds. You’re getting the number of games associated with your name up there out of the single digits. And the more people you have playing all your games combined, the better your chances of turning one of your games into a Big Hit.
I’m not just telling you what YOU should do, this is my plan, too. I have two apps and three games in the App Store right now and it’s not nearly enough. Starting right away I’m going to push myself to get five more GOOD games out there as quickly as I can.
Are you sitting on a gold mine? Maybe, but more likely you’re sitting on an egg that’s never going to hatch. The gold mine is still out there — it just requires some digging to find.
Grab your shovel!
Funny you posted this, I’ve been thinking recently about what the mileage is in updating existing apps. Everyone does it but is it rational? Makes sense to fix bugs but I’d like to see some average figures for what the change in sales looks like when new features are added. How many potential buyers look at an app and go “No, I won’t buy it right now, but I’ll keep checking for any new features then maybe buy later”? The app store is so big I suspect they look once and move on.
Passion for the process is a driver.
WOW! that’s great advice! I had no idea that rovio made 50 games before they made angry birds!! I always thought that they became a big company by making just one game!
I guess I still have a long way to go before reaching the “success” stage. Thanks again for this post, you’ve really motivated me to work harder!
is it fair to say that Corona can deliver apps to market faster the Moai?
All things being equal, I’m fairly certain Corona would beat Moai in a get-to-market speed test.
Moai, on the other hand, will always beat Corona if you make an app that requires something Corona doesn’t already offer. 😉