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Feature: iPhone Development - Everything You Need To Know

What should every developer know when marketing games for iPhone? Brian Robbins explains, as part of a Gamasutra feature offering essential start-to-finish tips for iPhone game developers.
What should every developer know when marketing games for iPhone? Today's Gamasutra feature covers essential tips for iPhone developers from start to finish, and as Brian Robbins explains, there's still work to be done when launch day rolls around. He advises getting the biggest, widest marketing push possible all at once: This way each promotion will stack on top of each other, ideally with an end result of pushing your game into the Top 100 charts. These charts are based on a weighted average of either downloads or revenue depending on the chart, and appear to be heavily weighted towards the most recent 48 hours. The challenge for traditional publishers is that the release date for a game typically isn't known ahead of time, as it becomes whatever day Apple approves the app. Developers can pick a specific release date after that point, but doing so will result in a complete dependence on external marketing since the game will not be listed in the New Releases. Robbins also goes in depth on working with reviewers and addressing the promo code process: Fortunately, most iPhone review sites are familiar with this process and very good at working around these limitations. If you plan to do media buys, most will let you lock down the time once you know your app is released. You can also send review sites advance "AdHoc" builds of your app prior to release so they can potentially have a review ready ahead of time. In addition to advance copies, Apple provides up to 50 promo codes for each application version (submitting an update will reset the promo codes available back to 50). All review sites will accept these promo codes to review apps. Prior to launch, you must get in touch with sites to know who should receive the initial promo codes. Social media networks can also play a role in the promotional process, and developers should also seek out individuals and smaller networks to contribute to the aggregate: Twitter and YouTube are also proving to be very popular channels for iPhone app promotion. Trailers on YouTube can be viewed thousands of times, and nearly all iPhone review sites are very active on Twitter as well. While there are a few major iPhone review sites, there are hundreds if not thousands of individuals and tiny sites also doing app reviews. While no single one of these is significant, in aggregate they have a significant impact as each person may influence 10 to 50 people. The most successful long-term marketing and promotion will realize this and will try to do things to take advantage of these micro-channels. You can now read the full feature, offering everything developers need to know about iPhone, at Gamasutra.

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