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mileafly

Is Windows phone worth it vs iOS and android?

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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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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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"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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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%

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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

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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. 

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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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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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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

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