App Annie as "Captain Obvious"

App Annie analysts have found out that many iPhone games that never get into the box office top 25 on the App Store, but have been stable for a long time in slightly lower positions, are more profitable than the rapidly burning stars of the mobile sky. 

Long-term and short-term

The key concepts of the small App Annie article are long-term and short-term games. Long-term games, according to the authors of the material, in the App Store are those that have lasted in the box office top at 26-125 positions for a year or more. Short–term games are those that have been in the box office top 25 for three months or less, respectively.

The purpose of the study was to understand whether a long-term project has a chance to overtake a short-term blockbuster in terms of profit. For a visual comparison and the purity of the experiment, App Annie analysts took 14 games – 7 of the highest-grossing long-term and 7 of the highest-grossing short-term projects.

As a result, it turned out that in the United States, the income generated during the first 12 months by long-term projects is 32% more than the income generated over the same period by short-term games ($920 thousand versus $549 thousand). Moreover, the most profitable long-term game raised 83% more money than the most profitable short-term application ($3.9 million versus $1.4 million). 

Cut down the loot

In the report, App Annie analysts also promote the idea that the game as a process is a psychological activity close to excitement. That is, your thought at three o’clock in the morning for Diablo “I will go through another act / quest and go to bed“, in fact, does not differ from the mental act of a pensioner in the game room at the moment when she takes another hundred rubles out of her purse and exchanges them for tokens. 

So, according to the App Annie report, the task of a mobile game publisher interested in profit is to make sure that players continue to play and play, and spend their money on it. 

The only problem is that the mobile gaming market is quickly saturated, the struggle for the user’s attention is heating up. According to the latest mobiThinking report, 1 out of every 4 installed applications is removed after the first launch. What is called a cruel reality for many developers who invest their time and money in creating a project. That’s why, according to App Annie, it’s important to make applications long-lived – to keep users at home, so that they come back, and not put the project aside as a boring toy after a couple of weeks of dating. 

However, analysts come up with a conclusion based more on their literary talent than on numbers: “short-term, advertised toys are like fireworks that explode with downloads, attract all attention to themselves, and then disappear into the cold air with a hiss.”

About genres and not only

In general, App Annie formulates two ways to “make money” on the App Store. The first way is to create long–term projects that will always be somewhere in the middle of the cash top 100 and collect money from the loyal community. The second way is to develop short games, where everything is based on a bright picture and advertising, and not on gameplay.

Yes, when choosing a model (long-term or short-term), you need to remember that strategies dominate among long-term games, and action films dominate among short-term ones. In turn, the category of “simulators” is equally successful both as long-term and short-term projects. 

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