Have you notice how a small handful of developers are constantly in the top of the mobile games charts? You surely must have heard of Voodoo? What about Ketchapp or Lion Studios?
According to a recent article Ketchapp and Voodoo “make up almost half (48%) of all Arcade Game downloads”. Which may sound crazy but its not surprising, they have a very distinct tactic which is working massively well for them.
Before we discuss this tactic, lets have a look at the top charts right now.
We can see Voodoo and Lion Studios appearing twice in the top 10 along the likes of King and Rockstar Games.
So what is the business model? Lets look at Ketchapp and Voodoo to see.
In the same article discussed early, it is shown that the business model is similar between the two companies. They watch to see what trends are popular and quickly develop a game to match that trend.
This can be seen with Ketchapp’s Fidget Spinner app which made $57,000 in one day. I repeat $57,000 in ONE DAY!
Ketchapp was not the first to make a fidget spinner game, but they saw how popular these types of game are and jumped on the bandwagon.
And this technique is still in use today by both Ketchapp and Voodoo. Lets look at another example. Voodoo has a game called Snake VS Block, Ketchapp has a similar looking game called Color Snake. Interestingly, Voodoo also has a game called Color Road.
You see, a game doesn’t have to be original to succeed and as discussed in a previous post there is enough players out there to share between the two companies and others.
Originality and creativity do not equal profit
One last example can be seen when looking for games containing ‘dunk’…
And lets be honest, this is just a iteration of the famous flappy bird.
So what about the indiedev’s?
Indiedev’s can easily imitate this success but there are three key barriers to success.
First, timelines. So you’ve been watching the game market for a while and you’ve spotted a trend. Now what?
Well lets be honest, gaming trends move quick. But also, if you’ve spotted a trend then you can guess others have too. So you need to move quickly, you need to build and release your ‘unique clone’ as quickly as possible. Like within a week. Most indie dev’s can’t do that so quickly.
Secondly, advertising budget. So you’ve rapidly developed your game, released it and now need to get it out to the players. Bad news, you game will be 1 of the 6,000 released that day. You won’t have done anything amazing, so you won’t get featured on the app stores. And the players don’t know you, so they won’t be looking for you either.
And this is how Voodoo and Ketchapp can use their success to boost initial downloads. The obvious way is that they can throw some of their cash at it in the form of paid adverts. Or better yet, they can cross-promote for free.
The third and most difficult aspect for an indie dev is accepting failure. So you’ve rushed your game through, maybe paid for advertising, but it hasn’t been the success you dreamed of. Well unfortunately that is life.
Many indie dev’s give up at this point.
But just remember, you could be just one game away from making $57k in just one day, just like Ketchapp did.