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Cuddle Bears Gets Update, Free Version

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I haven't posted here in a while. Most of that has been because my side-projects were completely buried under the weight of my job project (go play Lil' Birds for iPhone/iPad !), and I don't really have the authority/clearance to speak publicly about my work, leaving me without content suitable for a GameDev journal entry.

Work has settled for me a bit though, so I've had some opportunity to revisit my personal work.

You might remember Cuddle Bears. You really should only remember it if you have amazing memory or you're way more interested in me than you ought be, but you might. There's always been an update planned, and I finally gained the free time to execute on it.

So it's out now. It adds a fair bit to the game - most notably, unlockable score multipliers to give players incentive to continually play.

The game's free version was also released. It has complete feature parity with the paid version, with the only change being that some of the menus now have ads at the bottom.

It's my first experiment into ad-driven games, dipping my toes in to see how they perform. Cuddle Bears is by far my most downloaded side project, so I figured it was a good candidate, and I'm not sold on the efficacy of trial versions for iOS games.

It's interesting to look at some of the differences between how the two are doing:
  • Whenever I set the paid version to free, its download count bumps up to about 200+ a day. That's not a large number by iOS standards, but it's large by the standards of all the games I've released independently.
  • On the other hand, the free version is being largely ignored. It's a little early to tell, but it's currently sporting about 25 downloads a day. That's pretty tiny by any standards.
  • Neither version is being rated very much. The initial version of CB had about 40+ ratings (mostly acquired during free periods). Currently the update & free version have yet to hit 5.
  • Ads on iOS have a surprisingly high click through rate. MdotM is reporting 4 clicks from 70 impressions. Again, the numbers are too small to make many definitive statements, but I had about that many clicks from Facebook ads with 10,000 impressions.
  • The ratio of new downloads to number of play sessions is *much* better for the paid version, though that's probably just a function of how many players the paid version has.
    Those are just some initial thoughts. It's not a lot of data to work with yet - I'll put up an updated post after some time has passed to evaluate how progress is going.

    In the meantime, you should definitely get the game and leave a rating. Either version, I won't be picky. ;-)
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