Lessons In iPhone Game Marketing

On April 27, 2009

There’s a lot to be learned about marketing an iPhone game from the story of Dapple as told by its creator Owen Goss (Profile) of Streaming Colour Studios. In March, Owen made headlines with “The Numbers Post” in his blog; summary: Dapple cost $32K to build;$535 first month’s revenues.

In this podcast interview, Owen talks about what he’s learned since then, his challenges adapting his initial idea to match existing game genres, the risks trying to build one game to appeal to two distinct gamer-audiences, the importance of concentrating your buzz around an app’s launch day, the critical “pick up and play” requirement for iPhone games and more.

Almost everything we talk about applies to creating success in non-game categories to.

To accompany this podcast, Owen has published a follow up Number Post: Part 2.

You can listen using the Flash player below, download the MP3, or subscribe to the iPhone Developer Podcast using the instructions at the bottom of this post.

For easy scanning of the interview, here is what was covered and when:

  • 1:00 Progression from initial concept to prototype to launch
  • 3:30 Play testing the original concept
  • 5:00 Taking a to-hard concept and making it accessible by placing it within an existing genre
  • 5:30 “Reference point” (matching game genre) + new concept (mixing paint) to create a new experience
  • 6:15 Prototype in week; six months to ship the finished game; time spent between
  • 11:00 Lite version timing, effect on sales
  • 15:00 Importance of concentrating PR/buzz day of launch
  • 16:45 Importance of sending review copies out before game goes live
  • 17:15 Friday, esp. before a long weekend: bad day for getting press attention
  • 17:45 Review site cycle: minimum of one week after they see app for first time
  • 19:45 iPhone review sites important?
  • 21:25 Choosing an audience
  • 23:00 “Identity crisis” — casual game market overlaps little w. puzzle game market
  • 26:00 Losing sales because apps larger than 10MB require WiFi to download
  • 28:00 Next game: immediate “pick up and play” experience

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0 responses to “Lessons In iPhone Game Marketing”

  1. chris says:

    hey there, can someone point me in the direction of a few iphone app case studies that include earnings? – Also, great article. – chris

  2. iPhone Games says:

    We have been in the iPhone Game business for a few months. We are now finding that marketing is probalbly the single most important and hardest issue when trying to make it in this space. It is like the Dr. Suess’s “the Butter Battle Book”. At every turn someone is making a bigger weapon. Then blogging about it.