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Is Windows phone worth it vs iOS and android?


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#1 mileafly   Members   -  Reputation: 217

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 09:22 AM

I have wondered this for a time, do you think releasing your game on windows phone is worth the trouble? Do anyone have any stats on the % revenue from iOS vs Android vs Windows Phone?



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10158

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 11:25 AM

There are several threads in this forum about stats. I recommend you check those. App Annie might have useful information for your decision. I recommend you collect information (not only about sales figures but also about trends and installed user bases and your own preferences) and make a decision grid. http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm


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#3 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22714

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 04:35 PM

"Worth it" is relative.

 

There may be fewer phones out there, but there is also less competition. What matters is if you can sell enough units to turn a profit, and the comparison about the costs and risks of attempting other methods of turning a profit.

 

There are many companies who think it is worth it. They may decide even if it flops, the benefit of a toe-hold in the market and polluting the pool is worth a loss of cash. Or they may honestly believe they can get enough sales to turn a profit.

 

Your reasons for making a Windows Phone game are probably different than mine, and each of us can decide differently the risks and values involved.


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#4 mileafly   Members   -  Reputation: 217

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 12:18 PM

I tried to search around but I did not really find anything. It would just be interesting what the stats are for people between Android and Windows Phone apps for example. If the revenue is generally 10% of that on Android, or 50%



#5 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22714

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 01:02 PM

The data does not generalize that way.

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#6 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8122

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Posted 20 February 2014 - 03:54 PM

The general lay of the mobile landscape today seems to be that no one makes money on pay-to-own games -- that is, ones where you pay once to purchase the game and that's it, you own all there is to own. There are many reasons, but chief among them is that you *have* to get on a top apps list to gain visibility so that you can generate a user-base that's large enough to support you. Even a $0.99 pricetag makes people think twice about buying your app, so you never get that early spike in downloads that's necessary to crack those lists. A secondary reason is that, on Android, side-loading apps is so easy and popular that pay-to-own games are simply pirated to a massive degree -- and because Android is so large (even moreso than Apple, worldwide, in install base) and necessitates various non-pay-to-own schemes, basically the entire market follows.

 

Even many of the larger 'AAA quality' mobile titles from the likes of Epic don't often turn much (if any) profit from the initial sale of a title alone -- its often just one piece of the pie, and DLC or micro-transactions make up the rest, often the majority. The thing is, once additional content or monetization schemes start to account for 40% or more of your profits, its often then more profitable to just give away your game, because the additional DLC revenues will more than make up for it.

 

All this is kind of tangential to your question, but it frames any response. The question is the same, but different -- How many people are engaged in the Windows Phone marketplace, how many of their eyeballs can you capture, and how many of those can you convert to paying customers? You always want to get more return out of your port than you put in, but in general having access to more eyeballs is always good, especially when you support yourself by selling additional content.

 

Some pluses to the Windows Phone market:

  • Once you support Phone, its relatively easy to also support the Windows store (Surface and Windows 8+ apps), and presumably Xbox One when the SDK is released.
  • There's currently less competition on Windows Phone, making is easier to get noticed. Getting recognition for your Windows Phone version could help build your presence on other platforms (e.g. a popular reviewer notices you on Windows Phone, and you get some press. The story also mentions the other platforms you support).
  • Like iOS, Windows Phone is much less prone to piracy than Android.
  • Although they're third in market share now, Windows Phone seems to be generally well-liked and well-reviewed. Devices are getting better, market share is growing and at a rate that outpaces the other two platforms. It might not be something you decide to do based on today, but on your expectations for 6 months or a year from now.
  • If you pass $50,000 in Windows Phone revenue, you get to keep 80% of revenue thereafter, instead of the perpetual 70% that other platforms offer.

 

Some downsides:

  • Obviously to start, Windows Phone market share is relatively low now, even if its gaining on the other contenders.
  • If you wrote the majority of your game in C or C++, and used good abstractions, a port should be straight-forward. But you will have to implement a new DirectX-based renderer, audio playback, UI, and other miscellaneous platform things.
  • Less communal experience with that ecosystem, no one knows what's different about the Windows Phone market. Mostly people treat it no differently than iOS or Android, and often as an afterthought as well. This may or may not be close to an optimal reality.
  • The analytics platform across all ecosystems is less than optimal, but this is especially true of Windows Phone / Store. On other platforms, serious devs tend to use third-party solutions. Not all of those third party solutions support Windows Phone and Store yet.

Edited by Ravyne, 20 February 2014 - 03:59 PM.


#7 mileafly   Members   -  Reputation: 217

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 05:33 AM

Thank you for that long answer, but what I am really asking for is if someone have released on all these platform and what their "stats" are. Like if their income was 70% iOS, 20 Android and 10% Windows phone for example or if Windows phone maybe just had 0.05% of their income from the game. 



#8 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22714

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 02:29 PM

Again, the numbers don't generalize that way. One game may have 70/30, one game may have 90/10, one game may have 20/80, one game may have 0/100.

Some statistics will generalize, they can be used for estimates on different titles. That statistic does not generalize.

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#9 SimonForsman   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6299

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 04:50 PM

Thank you for that long answer, but what I am really asking for is if someone have released on all these platform and what their "stats" are. Like if their income was 70% iOS, 20 Android and 10% Windows phone for example or if Windows phone maybe just had 0.05% of their income from the game. 

 

It can vary greatly between games and sales isn't everything, the exposure you get on a less crowded platform can greatly boost your sales on the bigger platforms.

 

Developers buy tens of thousands of copies of their own games and pay people to write reviews and use other shady tactics to push them up on the lists, EA and other big publishers are releasing high profile games using established brands for iOS and Android, You need to advertise your game very agressively in order to stand a chance on those platforms or get lucky with some viral youtube videos.

 

On WP things are alot easier. Less competition makes it easier for people to actually find your game and if the WP users like your game you can be fairly certain that the iOS and Android users will find out about it (Even WP users have friends).

 

This is pretty much the same situation as on the desktop, if you are a small unknown indie developer you want to hit as many platforms as you can in order to maximize your chances of getting noticed, the smaller the target platform the easier it is to stand out.


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#10 mileafly   Members   -  Reputation: 217

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:38 AM

Hm, thanks for the input, but again I am not asking for any business advice. Have anyone released on WP and/or Android,iOS and have some stats on how it went comparatively? Or know a place where someone have posted some stats on this?


Edited by mileafly, 15 March 2014 - 05:38 AM.


#11 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8122

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 01:47 PM

I think we understand that you're not asking for business advice, but what we're telling you in response is two things: firstly, that there are intangibles that simple dollar terms don't account for, and secondly that the limited information you are asking for doesn't actually inform your decision, despite the fact that it answers your question. In short, you aren't asking the right question to derive an answer that actually helps you achieve your intent of, presumably, being more profitable than not.

 

Usually when someone rejects such an answer, its because they are looking for a question who's answer backs up their own preconception of what the answer is or should be. In this case, the answer to the question you're asking is actually irrelevant to your intent. Every game is different, every genre is different, every way of monetizing your game is different.

 

Its like trying to decide on which side of the street to build a new store by polling a few stores to see which is most profitable and on which side of the street they're built. There might be a coincidental trend among those you poll, but its not evidence of a larger trend -- trends have to be large (e.g. statistically-relevent) in order for you to predict them, rather than relying on a sort of superstition. This also fails to ask the right questions -- when locating a store site you need to ask "Which street here is the main thoroughfare?", "What's the local competition", "what other, non-competing stores anchor the area?", "What's the local population and their median income?", "Is the local economy growing or shrinking?" -- what side of the street a store is on, or how much money they made in isolation, doesn't matter two wits without other context.

 

If you've already developed the other context in your business planning, then you should have identified how much money you need to make on a Windows port to be worthwhile, and the question is not how much money Window's might make relative to other platforms, but whether or not you can match or exceed that figure, quantitatively.



#12 mileafly   Members   -  Reputation: 217

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 05:10 PM

I don't have any preconceptions. I don't understand what is so hard to understand about my question. I am looking for information on how games are doing on the Windows Mobile platform compared to the other platforms. How complicated is that to understand? It does not have to be revenue based, it can be total installs or whatever. Anything that shows a ratio of installs/revenue/plays anything on one platform vs another platform for the same game. 

 

Maybe this graph on Humble Bundle makes it easier to understand. If you scroll down a bit you can see a pie chart of the user base on Windows, Mac and Linux. That is the kind of information I am looking for, but for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. (Primary Windows Phone)

 

https://www.humblebundle.com/weekly


Edited by mileafly, 17 March 2014 - 05:13 PM.


#13 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8122

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 08:32 PM


Anything that shows a ratio of installs/revenue/plays anything on one platform vs another platform for the same game. 

 

And again, you can't generalize from that, except for the obvious.

 

Games that are popular and recognizable (like say, angry birds) will asymptotically approach numbers that will fall roughly in line with what the current market-share split between OS platforms. A popular game is equally popular on all platforms on a per-capita basis.

 

Games that are not popular or widely recognizable fall literally anywhere on the spectrum -- generally they are equally *unpopular* on all platforms, but its possible that they could be be a break-away hit on the platforms that have less competition just because there are fewer options.

 

Anecdotally, you would expect to do no worse on Windows Phone per-capita than on any other platform because its the least-saturated market, but no amount of data will tell you what the likelihood of breaking away on that platform is for your particular game. Given that, you can sort of predict your likely (but not guaranteed) minimum revenue or install-base using Windows phone market-share relative to other platforms, but again it won't predict an upper-bound.

 

It depends on what regions you consider (which would be reflected by what languages you localize for), but current market-share split is roughly 70/20/10 between Android, iPhone, and Windows Phone. Take that with a grain of salt because those numbers aren't split out to distinguish older WinPhone 7 or android devices, and don't incorporate iPods, but at least you can see that we're talking factors of magnitude, rather than orders. The market potential of iOS is probably between 2.5 and 5 times that of Windows Phone and Android between 5 and 7 times that of Windows Phone (and roughly 2x that of iOS).

 

Even that's an incomplete picture though -- iOS devices tend to skew towards those with more disposable income, and towards western user bases. There's a lot of cheap android phones in less-developed geographies.



#14 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22714

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 09:50 PM


I am looking for information on how games are doing on the Windows Mobile platform compared to the other platforms. How complicated is that to understand?

It is hard to understand because it doesn't make sense.

 

Let's apply it to some other products and markets, so we can see it not make sense in those fields as well.

 

* How well are automobile sales going in Van Nuys, California, USA, compared to Campbelltown, NSW, Australia?

* How well are t-shirt sales going in London, UK, compared to Los Angeles, USA?

* How well are cell phone sales going in Johannesburg SA doing relative to Bogota, Colombia?

* How well are beer sales going in Dublin Ireland relative to Provo, Utah, the 'most sober' city in the US?

 

While you can find an answer for a specific number, such as the per-capita sales of Honda Accord, or the sales ratio for JC Penny catalog, or the number of Nokia devices that still function, these numbers are virtually useless as an independent metric.

 

 

 

 

 


Maybe this graph on Humble Bundle makes it easier to understand. If you scroll down a bit you can see a pie chart of the user base on Windows, Mac and Linux. That is the kind of information I am looking for, but for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. (Primary Windows Phone)

That has nothing to do with game sales, and everything to do with the distribution levels of the OS.

 

Open up their graph, and in another window open Wikipedia's frequently updated usage share of operating systems. Note that the total paid by platform on the indie bundle is very nearly identical to the ratios of the platform.  In other words, people on every platform are buying it almost equally.

 

For a popular game that is exactly what the marks will look like. Perhaps 10% of all people owning the devices will buy it, so your distribution will almost exactly match the distribution of the operating systems.  No surprise.

 

Most games will have very little distribution. Very few people on any platform will buy them. Consequently it will still match the distribution of the operating systems. Nobody is buying it equally on all the platforms.  Again, no surprise.

 

Then when you start porting between machines, usually one platform will be considered the lead platform and the other platforms secondary. The lead platform will (again, with nobody being surprised) typically have a higher distribution than the lesser platforms. 

 

It has nothing to do with the platform, and everything to do with the implementation details of the game.

 

 

 

Taking advantage of St. Patrick's Day today....  Sales of T-shirts printed with "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" are going to be very different in Dublin Ireland relative to their sales in New York City, USA, and the difference in sales has nothing to do with the kind of cotton used in the shirt. 

 

The metric you have chosen has no intrinsic value. It is the wrong metric. No amount of understanding it will make it suddenly have value.

 

 

It is asking the wrong kind of question.  

 

There are many other questions out there that would be so much better: What is the market distribution? What is the approximate number of 16-24 year old males owning a windows phone? What percentage of Windows Phone owners download one game in this genre every month? Among those in a specific demographic on a specific game, how many people used IAP to complete a transaction, and how much money did they spend? These are very different questions that do make sense, with answers that can be used to evaluate the business case.  They are also answers businesses keep very secret and that market research companies charge for.


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#15 JDX_John   Members   -  Reputation: 284

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Posted 24 March 2014 - 01:42 PM

While these points about generalisations being difficult are valid, I kind of side with the OP here. It's perfectly true that it may vary a lot between games how their downloads and revenue split between platforms but it can still set some useful upper/lower boundaries. e.g if it varies massively but no game you can find makes more than 20% of its revenue on WP, that's useful information.

 

On the other hand OP, the fact people aren't giving you pure data isn't because they can't understand you, it's because they don't have the data. You can choose to ignore what they do tell you, arguing with them about it isn't helpful. 


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