What to do with a ready-made application, or why you need a publisher

With the advent of the Apple App Store and several replicated “success stories” about how the developer managed to quickly make more than one million dollars on one application, a real gold rush seized many. Unfortunately, as experience shows, it’s not enough to just make a “cool game” for iOS and download it to iTunes. Now there are more than 500 thousand apps in the App Store, and to notice exactly yours, you have to try. And not to the users, but to you.

The main problem is that iOS apps can only be distributed through the Apple App Store. This is the only distribution channel that takes 30% of sales. You can’t dictate your own rules, you can’t buy advertising, you can’t influence the ranking in the tops (by the way, no one knows all the criteria of which, by the way, this is classified information). And then what is possible? It remains to experiment and rely on the experience that appears after the launch of more than a dozen applications.

The developer, accordingly, must decide whether he will release his product on his own or contact the publisher. The advantages of the first option are obvious: you still have full control over what is happening, and most importantly, all the revenue and fame will go only to you. If you give the application to the publisher, then it will be released under his brand, and the income will have to be divided.

Choosing from these two options, ask yourself:

1. Are you going to release many applications (more than 10)?
2. Do you know how and what to do to promote your app to the top?
3. Are you ready to invest money (and a lot of it) in marketing?
4. Do you know how to publish reviews on popular websites?
5. Are you ready to provide support for users who, if successful, will be more than one hundred thousand?

If you answered “yes” to all five questions, then it is most likely worth releasing the application yourself. Otherwise, it is better to contact the publisher, who will take on all the “headache” and, most likely, will be able to provide better results, bringing you more money in the end, even after deducting his share.

According to Evgeny Kuzmin, the author of the very successful Cover Orange application: “Just making a cool game is certainly not enough. Going to the AppStore without a publisher is like getting up on the abandoned outskirts of the city with a stall and selling cigarettes of a new brand from it – no one will go to you, even if they are harmless cigarettes, even if they do not cause cancer, but treat it – no one will know about you. The publisher motivates people to go to your stall.”

What exactly does the publisher do? Despite the fact that each of them has its own characteristics, the range of services is about the same for all: production, testing, localization, interaction with the media and review sites, technical support for users. The main goal of all the work: to promote the application to the tops, to provide it with the maximum number of downloads and, of course, sales. Therefore, when choosing a publisher, be sure to check what results the applications he has already released have achieved, specify how many applications he has in his portfolio and what exactly he plans to do with yours.

“I am sure that a competent launch of the game is the first step to success. Developers do not always attach importance to how the icon looks, screenshots, description; they often do not know by what rules it is necessary to select keywords – and this can sometimes determine the fate of the application. But everything is not limited to the launch: the promotion of the game in the App Store is a painstaking specific work that requires constant attention to detail and specific experience.

According to i-Free estimates, the number of companies creating mobile applications is growing rapidly: in Russia there are now 5-8 companies with a staff of 25-50 people, 10-15 companies with a staff of 10-25 people and more than 30 teams with a staff of less than 10 people. But there are no more than 10 Russian companies that can qualitatively perform the entire range of publishing services.

The percentage that a mobile app publisher takes varies. In the field of mobile games, for example, G5 offers the developer 50%, Alawar Entertainment – 60% if the product is already ready, and Nevosoft – 80% of the profit received from sales of the game in the App Store.

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