Friday, May 1, 2009

Fireminty Fresh App Store Data

Thanks to Calvin Lim for sending me an interesting story on Techcrunch covering a refreshingly candid report from quality Australian developer (turned iPhone publisher) Firemint about their experience to date in the iTunes App Store with their uber-hot "Flight Control" game. The game, which is currently selling for $0.99 in the US App Store, has received overwhelmingly positive user reviews and was parked in the #1 paid Apps spot for weeks Here are some key take-aways:
  • Firemint estimates 700k downloads since 6 March 2009
  • 57% of sales come from the US, followed by UK with 17%...over 80% came from English speaking countries
  • Game sold ~35k units WW on best day, ~20k units in US on best day
  • Techcrunch estimates Firemint's Rev @ ~$485k (700k x $0.99 x 70%)...but could be a bit higher since $0.99 is promoted as a "sale price"
  • Firemint saw sales bumps during Easter and as result of press coverage
  • Sales declined pretty steeply at #1 position, going from ~13.k/day to ~9.5k/day in the US in 2 weeks

Overall these are great numbers. The 2 biggest concerns I have are:

  1. Price erosion on the platform (which I've been harping about for a long time) seems very difficult to get into or stay in the Top Paid Apps at over a $1.99 price point
  2. Short effective shelf life...from this report & other anecdotal evidence, it seems like good titles peak very quickly then drop quite rapidly...eventually to get lost in the increasing clutter of the App Store catalog

This report is a treasure-trove of data and I'm sure it will soon serve as a primer for the entire mobile games developer/publisher community. I hope that Firemint's willingness to share real-world numbers will start a trend in the mobile content space...on this and all other distribution platforms.

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