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Business Post Mortem: Wolf Toss: App Store Stats

Before I go into detail on specific aspects of the planning, launch, and performance of Wolf Toss, I do a current round-up of its key statistics on Android, iOS, and Chrome.

First a bit of news: Wolf Toss Passed a million installs on Android this weekend!  It's also received another 500 Android user reviews since my last post.

Before I go back in time to Wolf Toss launch planning or dig into a specific area of the games performance, I want to start with a round up of its current stats to put things in perspective.  Wolf Toss is live in iTunes, Android Market, and the Chrome Web Store and it has been available these three stores since its launch on December 8, 2011.  While the stats are still changing day by day and we're not done with promotion just yet, huge differences across the platforms and app stores are clearly visible at this point.  

Players: Unique players reported for the month of January (through 1/29) were:

Android: 791,627 | iOS: 35,023 | Chrome: 51,415 

The first two numbers come from our in-game analytics which are collected and reported using ApSalar, and the third number is what Google reports for both “weekly users” and “users” of the Chrome version.  It’s not a strict apples to apples comparison, but it’s as close as I can get with our current analytics.

 Unique users in Jan Wolf Toss (Android)

Unique users in Jan Wolf Toss (iOS)

Unique Users in Jan Wolf Toss (Chrome)

Paid Acquisition: Obviously, that's a gigantic different in player numbers, but it's even more interesting when we look at paid user acquisition per platform:

Android: 3% | iOS: 63% | Chrome: 0%

Player Reviews: User reviews on the three platforms stand at:

Android: 4.3/5.0 (3127) | iOS: 4.5/5.0 (72) | Chrome: 4.5/5.0 (21)

The good news is that review ratings are remarkably stable across platforms, which is due in part to the fact that we have a single Lua code base for the game (based on Moai) and offer an identical experience to all players within device limitations - but it's good to know there aren't major difference in user expecations across these three stores.  But the unique players per rating ratio is very interesting.  We have 20x as many players on Android as we do on iOS, but we actually have 40x the user reviews on Android as we do on iOS.

Revenue Comparison:

Folk wisdom among many developers is that iOS users more often pay for content. That may still be true, but Android is rapidly catching up. In WolfToss, iOS users are monetizing only slightly better (~20%) than Android users on a per-user basis. But as you see above, Wolf Toss has over 25 times the number of installs on Android as it does in either iOS or Chrome. On top of this we still have major future promotion possibilities open on Android that we don’t on iOS (feature positions in storefronts owned by the wireless operators, possible re-releases to the Amazon App Store or for specific devices like the Kindle Fire or the Nook). Overall, the much broader reach we’ve had with a three platform launch has opened us up to many more opportunities for success despite our small title promotion budget. We’re also learning a ton about how each platform operates that we’ll apply to our next game. An extra 20% per user pales in comparison to these benefits.

Now that you can see the contrasts in the numbers, I hope I've peaked your interest.  My next post will cover launch planning, why we did this title first, and our experience on launch day.

Feel free to post questions and comments. I'm open to adjusting the arc of this blog series to make sure the content is useful and interesting for Gamasutra readers.

- Mike Arcuri

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