As an addendum to my previous post, How to get Apple to feature your App, I’ve decided to write about how to approach Google and get your app featured on the Google Play store!
Jiri, the co-founder and CEO of Nox Games shared some great insights that will be helpful for game developers looking to get featured on Google Play.
#1 Google is looking for games with at least 50,000 downloads and a 4.5 rating. This is their minimum threshold for featuring games.
In order to get your app to this minimum threshold, read our previous posts about developing your pre-launch buzz & hype campaign and learn as much as you can about App Store Optimization. Additional resources: The Marketing Guide for Game Developers & The Big list of Indie Game Marketing courtesy of Pixel Prospector.
Jiri and the Noxgames team lead up to their Android launch with a large flash game release (flash games aren’t quite yet dead) that promoted their mobile releases. Prior to this game, Nox had no experiencereleasing games on the mobile markets.
They also piggy backed off a super popular event, and launched simultaneously with the World Cup in June!
The key despite having huge competition, was that users really enjoyed the game! It was a casual mechanic mixed with real life players and teams. They leveraged the publicity of the event, and launched a successful studio from the game! Amazing.
#2 Jiri contacted a personal connection that a developer had shared with him. He suggests doing your own research to find the right contact through referrals. Join in browse one of the many Game dev forums and approach those who have been featured before. NOTE: Don’t selfishly ask for handouts, make sure you are engaged and providing value to the community before asking for contacts.
The way Google features games is by region, by country. It’s often best to work on a localized contact, and if the game does well in X country, that contact can nominate your game for future promotion.
In Jiri’s case, after being nominated, the Google Play team requested UX changes based on requirements, and they had to build a new update to the game adhering to their new specifications.
According to Jiri, the updates weren’t very difficult to complete, but we thought it was interesting to see Google take a proactive stance on improving the quality of the game.
#3 Getting featured by Google wasn’t the end of the road for Nox Games. Jiri went on to mention that he had really high hopes for the feature, but it really wasn’t as big of a deal. In his own words “but I have to say, google feature is not a big deal like App Store featuring”.
It’s one “bean in the basket” and indie developers need to actively market their games on a multitude of channels in order to be successful on the mobile markets.
Do you have any tips for fellow game developers? Share it in the comments.
Kyle Waring is the founder of Game Brokerage, a market which helps indie game developers build partnerships with mobile publishers. By aligning interests, game developers can leverage the experience, audience, and marketing budgets of larger companies-- and build momentum for their studios.