In the beginning….
I am no stranger to the world of start-up companies. Living in Israel, working in a start-up is almost mandatory like serving in the military. It’s what we are known for. Every Israeli dreams of being the next ICQ or Waze and being purchased for millions by companies like Google or Facebook. So it comes as no surprise that I find myself once again, in my career path working for a start-up company. This time, however is different. This time I have come into the start-up right at the beginning where everyone is still bright-eyed and bushy tailed. The personal investment of time and energy is at an all-time high. It is exciting to come in every day to work, to face the challenges of creating something from nothing and making it the best it possibly can be.
Here’s the catch. There is always a catch. Our product started off as a Facebook Game with the very cool name of OMG! Fortune and very recently has been turned into a mobile app on Android. Creating an app with the goal of being a success is hard enough as it is, but a game? A free ‘slots’ game? It would be simpler to take over from Sisyphus and push that rock up a hill. There are thousands of slots games online and on mobile, so why create a new one? Simple, because there is a market for it. Millions of players love slots games; they can’t get enough of them and are always hungry for new and interesting games. The trick is how to stand out from the rest?
Nose to the grindstone
With competition from games giant Zynga and Playtika, standing out from the competition is not an easy feat. LuckyFish Games decided that jumping into the mobile market head first was not the way to start off. They started off by creating the app on Facebook. Some excellent marketing, jazzy graphics and a lot of hutzpa the Facebook app, found itself with over one million fans. With a ready fan base it was time to move into the mobile arena. It is at this point in the story I came in. Of the 20 odd Facebook games, a half dozen had been adapted to the Android mobile platform. The only players exposed to the game were those who had played the game on Facebook. It was time to get the game out there. With a background in customer support, a smidge of marketing and SEO I had to give myself a crash course in ASO get it done.
Google Play Gets a Makeover
My first job was to completely revamp our Google Play page. A dazzling new set of screenshots, video and of course a completely keyword friendly description was required. With our snazzy new Google Play page ready, it was time to get the word out. Not surprisingly there are quite a few websites dedicated entirely to reviewing mobile apps. It was only a matter of time before our app was reviewed and appearing on over 2 dozen websites. It was then that our rankings began to soar, along with the higher positions on Google Play came more downloads, with more downloads came more reviews.
Double Edged Sword
Nothing quite says “fun” like having the 5 star rating of your app held in ransom by your players. The 5 star review on the Google Play page is the holy grail, as the higher your average rating, the more chance potential players will download and the more downloads…and on and on. And the players know this. Thousands of review comments have the words – if you do x, y and z I will give you 5 stars, but now you only get 1! However, getting that stubborn blackmailer to change their rating even after you have fixed that pesky bug or given them your first born, is not as easy as you would think.
Looking to the future
While chasing the Holy Grail and stepping through the fire of ratings and rankings, LuckyFish Games has set its sights on launching the app on iOS. Unlike the 2 paragraphs on Google, Apples rules and regulations run 29 chapters (yes I said chapters) long. While it is daunting we are up for the task and hope to soon take the App Store by storm.