Falling Balls Update

Dec 05 2012 Published by under Windows 8

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At the end of October this year, Falling Balls was released into the Windows 8 Store. After just over a month, I thought it would be interesting to discuss how it is doing, and to answer the question, “should I build games or apps for Windows 8?”

Hard statistics.

Here you can see the download stats. It’s averaging roughly 900 downloads a day, with a best day of just over 1500, and generally trending up. The weekends usually see more downloads than the weekdays. You can also see the demographics of who is downloading the app.

As of this writing, the game has been downloaded about 25,000 times.

The dev center also gives you some pretty cool status such as average app usage per day. Amazingly, in mid-November, people were playing Falling Balls for an average of 17 minutes per day! Average! That’s insane. It’s now around 6-7 minutes per day, which to be honest, still amazes me.

Money.

So what about profit? I decided to follow the successful pattern of releasing the app for free and using advertising. I used Bing ads which integrate well in Windows 8 apps, but you can easily implement any other HTML-based ads in a Windows 8 HTML/JS application.

Here you can see daily ad revenue. There was a bug in my own code in the first release that was preventing the ads from showing up. Obviously, that got fixed on the 8th and has been generally uptrending since then, again with peaks on the weekends. Averages are in the range of around $5 on weekdays and $7-8 on weekend days. (The dropoff for the last day is just because the reports lag a day behind, so there is no data for today’s revenue yet.) In the three or four weeks that the ads have actually been appearing, I’ve made around $120-130. But I suspect that will increase a bit, especially since I’m planning a few upgrades to the game.

Summary.

So far, I can’t say that the game has been the runaway, oh-my-god-what-happened success that it was on iOS, but I’m sure there are a number of factors that play into that, such as the fact that iOS devices were broadly available for a year or so before the app store was open to developers. There was a huge base of people wanting new apps and games from day one. There is also a big difference between the mobile app store market and a mostly desktop / somewhat tablet based app store.

I’m hopeful that the trends will continue upwards as Windows 8 gains traction and more people get Win8 devices over the holidays and in general. But even so I’m not complaining. Already, I’m looking at a couple hundred dollars in passive income. Nothing to quit the day job over, but certainly welcome.

If the situation changes markedly in the future, I will be sure to report on it.

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