Reflexive – portal, e-commerce and DRM provider

29 04 2008

If I would have to name developer friendly portals, Reflexive would be on one of the top positions. Now, after release of Runes of Avalon 2 I can say that they are not only a portal that let’s you earn quite good percentage of sales price.

Do you need an e-commerce provider? Well, if you sell on your own for sure you need one. I use eSellerate, some use Plimus, a lot of developers uses BMT Micro and many others. But this may change… because if you set up affiliate account and sell your own game through it you can earn 90% of sales price, which usually is $19.95. That’s one of the lowest rates in the industry.

But that’s not all. Since they wrap your games (without putting Reflexive splash screen) you don’t have to worry about DRM. Forget about home made solutions, forget about Software Password.

And last but not least, you can use it as hosting service. No more worries about bandwidth.

The best thing about using Reflexive?

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First week at BFG

22 04 2008

This was very interesting week for me. I could watch closely release of two games that I cared about: Runes of Avalon 2 (my own game) and Stoneloops! of Jurassica (game made by friends from Codeminion). Both games are of similar high quality, as you probably already know. Well, the week has passed. We haven’t broken into the top10…

At first, I thought we will struggle to hold in the top 100 chart, but it wasn’t so bad. Actually, beside one day both games have been climbing up in the top 100 chart. Runes of Avalon 2 reached position #45 today, and Stoneloops! made it to #56. RoA 2 made it to the position #4 in match-3 games, Stoneloops is #2 marble-popper.

First week at BFG graph

What was interesting to see is the #3 position that Stoneloops have held for almost a week and a correlation with the top 100 chart. So while for all this time it was #3 marble popper, it was ranked between #117 and #63 position in the top 100 chart. No change in it’s own category, but a shift of 54 spots in the top 100.

Here’s the snapshot of match-3 top games. I hope that Runes 2 will continue to move up on this rank.

Match 3 genre top games

Runes of Avalon 2 also launched at Reflexive (same day) . So far it have made it to position #36 for PC Games and #14 for Mac games (browse by top sellers).

May the sales be with us, little developers :)

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How hot is your game genre?

21 04 2008

On April 15th 2008, Big Fish Games released Runes of Avalon 2 (RoA 2). This event led me to watch the top 100 chart even more closely than I did before and brought me to a few interesting conclusions. Now I am sure that whether you “get in the top 10 or die” is even less correlated with how high the production values of your game are or how polished it is. It is strongly correlated with… game genre.

Stoneloops! of Jurassica launched one day before Runes of Avalon 2. This game was developed by my friends at Codeminion so I watched both releases very closely.

Both Stoneloops! and RoA 2 have very high production values and are very polished. RoA 2 was put in the match-3 category, Stoneloops! in the marble poppers category.

Runes of Avalon 2Stoneloops

The top 100 chart is updated daily. Stoneloops! debuted on 81st place. The next day RoA 2 debuted on 73rd place, but Stoneloops! fell out of the top 100 chart. After another day RoA dropped 8 spots to 81st place, but Stoneloops! made it back into the top 100 chart with a climb of 27 places (ranked at #90). One day later RoA 2 made it back to position #73 and Stoneloops! peaked to #81.

While I was happy that we stayed in top 100, I was wondering how high both games are ranked in assigned genres. To my surprise… they ranked quite highly. Stoneloops! is the #3 game amongst marble poppers. RoA 2 was #7 amongst match-3 games, then #10, and then #6. That was quite a shock to me. Games ranked at #3 in the marble poppers category can sell worse than games ranked at #7 or even #10 in the match-3 game category.

The top 3 marble games are (as of April 16):

game title actual rank best position
DragonStone #21 #7
Tumblebugs 2 #50 #18
Stoneloops! of Jurassica #90 #81

The top 10 match-3 games (as of April 16):

game title actual rank best position
Hoyle Enchanted Puzzles #20 #16
Hidden Wonders of the Depth #24 #7
Rainbow Web II #36 #12
Cradle of Persia #54 #7
Magic Match Adventures #66 #6
Cradle of Rome #72 #5
Big Kahuna Reef 2 #75 #2
Amazonia #77 #5
Around the World in 80 days #80 #10
Runes of Avalon 2 #81 #73

While the #1 marble popper and #1 match-3 games are ranked on very similar positions, the #2 marble popper sells a lot worse than the second and third highest ranked match-3 games. Its potential is close to the fourth place match-3 game. The #3 marble popper sales are even worse… its sales potential is about equal to the #13 match-3 game. To make things look even worse, Stoneloops was the #3 marble popper on April 15, but was not even in the top 100 chart.

So lets check some other genres. The #1 brain-teaser game (IQ: Identity Quest) is ranked at just #51 on the top 100 (peak at #35), the second (JigSaw365) is at #65 (peak at #6), and #3 is… not on the top 100 chart.

Are you working on the best platformer game right now? I’ve got bad news for you. The #1 platformer game – Supercow – is not on the top 100 chart. #2 (Super Granny 4, which I have heard was a successful game) is not on this list either…

Hottest genres?
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1.01% site conversion

15 04 2008

I check Google Analytics every day. I want to know what’s happening. The good thing about GA is that they update it daily (just daily), so you can’t get too addicted.

Today, for the first time my site conversion was over 1%. Site, not game. That means that 1 of each 100 visitors, not downloaders bought a game from my site, or actually… bought one of my games, since I don’t track affiliate sales in GA.

1.01% site conversion is an average for last 30 days (little update, next day it went up to 1.05%). You can see on the graph it peaks to as high as 2%. Unfortunately there are still days where I sell nothing.

ecommerce overview 

The good thing is that site conversion was not correlated with number of visitors. It means that even in peak times those were quality visits. Obviously, site conversion is correlated with your games conversion. So the better your games convert, the better your site converts.

Interesting peaks
April 1st,
Tuesday – 2.17% – well, that was April Fools day – I don’t know if that’s just coincidence but I posted a joke on that day that prices for all my games will rise 10x next day :)

March 23rd, Sunday1.96% – I send out newsletters on March 20th

April 4th, Friday – 1.75%

April 8th, Sunday1.58%

March 16th, Sunday1.39% – well, Sunday is just the day for buying stuff online.

While Sundays have usually high conversion rates it doesn’t mean that I have highest volume of sales on this day. The most busy day is usually Saturday.

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