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Showing posts tagged with Free App of the Day

March 24, 2014

Jesse Freeman

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

Reviving the Classics

DotEmu is a Paris based company that specializes in breathing life into classic games on modern platforms founded by Xavier Liard and Romain Tisserand. After being established in 2007, they quickly made a name for themselves  as a developer with well received ports of games like Square Enix’s Final Fantasy VII and VIII for Steam, SNK Playmore’s titles such as Metal Slug 1,2,3,X and King of Fighters 97. More recently, DotEmu became a publisher as well and released popular brands such as Double Dragon, Another World, R-Type and Raiden. They have been moving to mobile and chose to publish their Android based ports on the Amazon Appstore.

I was a huge fan of these games growing up so getting the chance to find out how DotEmu was finding success on the Amazon Appstore was a personal thrill.

Rising to the Top of the Charts

DotEmu’s first game in the Amazon Appstore, R-Type, quickly reached the number #2 spot on our best-selling apps list. While DotEmu has had similar success on multiple platforms such as iOS, Android, Desktop and more, they said “we consider Amazon as the best alternative to Google Play in terms of revenues for the Android platform.” Now with seven games in the store including Double Dragon Trilogy, Raiden Legacy, Another World and The Last Express they are continuing to release just what classic gamer fans would love.

Screenshot from R-Type on the Kindle Fire

With so many games being released for the Amazon Appstore, DotEmu tackled the problem from the top down. “From a business perspective we needed to make sure all the costs associated to the publishing of our games on Amazon were below the revenues we could expect.” But this all comes down to an important question on how you can manage the time investment for supporting a new platform like Fire OS and maximize the return on investment  (ROI) at launch.

Integrating GameCircle into an Existing Codebase

DotEmu’s Android games are built with Cocos2d-x on top of their own custom technology with features to handle multiple achievement/score API support, controllers support and more. When approaching the way to integrate Amazon’s GameCircle API into their existing codebase, DotEmu took a forward thinking approach. They spent the time upfront to integrate the GameCircle API correctly into their framework. While this integration initially took them two weeks for their game engine, it now takes only a few days per game thanks to the effort they initially invested upfront. With this quicker development time plus an additional 1-2 days of QA time for each new port, DotEmu can now easily bring additional games over to the Amazon Appstore that offer the extra features that GameCircle provides.

After receiving a few thousand purchases per game released on the Amazon Appstore, DotEmu is already seeing a return on their time invested. That means moving forward, any additional release with GameCircle support is immediately profitable after launch given the upfront work the put in early on. But there’s more to being successful in the Amazon Appstore than just the time that goes into integrating our APIs.

Working Closely with Amazon for Launch

Marketing your game in the store makes all the difference and DotEmu took advantage of working with our editorial team to create the biggest impact they could at launch. “Amazon is [a] very efficient [way] to advertise our games to the gamers liking retro games.” said DotEmu. In addition since the team didn’t require much help with the porting process, they were able to focus more on the marketing side things.

The good news is that this sort of help form Amazon isn’t reserved for top publishers. Any developer can apply for our Free App of the Day (FAD) promotion to work directly with us to help promote your game and gain brand awareness once you are accepted into the program.

Premium Pricing Still Works

So how did the team do? According to DotEmu, they “generated between 10.000€ and 50.000€ of net revenue on the Amazon Appstore in total”, all of which came from premium priced apps (as opposed to in-app products or advertising). Of course it helps to have a game with a recognizable brand for customer loyalty but it also depends immensely on the quality of the end product. The experience has been a success for DotEmu as they received a positive return on their investment in getting their first game into the Amazon Appstore.

By taking the time to implement Amazon’s GameCircle APIs in a way that supports future projects they can now release games with deeper integration on the platform and continue to increase their ROI. “The way to be successful with Amazon is to really think about long term business relationship and not to just release one game and pray for results without any support from the Amazon team.” according to DotEmu. This way of thinking is true about any platform, not just ours.

Let Us Help You Succeed

The audience for retro gaming is growing in the Amazon Appstore and with the help of great partners like DotEmu we are helping expand that category and open it up to our user base. We can’t do it without more great games like the ones being produced by DotEmu so keep them coming and take advantage of our platform’s unique APIs such as GameCircle as well as marketing opportunities like FAD to help grow your audience.

Screenshot from Another World on the Kindle Fire.

 

According to DotEmu “Today getting noticed in the digital world is extremely difficult and we can bet it will be more and more difficult in the future” which is why they also went on to say that “building up a long term business relationship with Amazon is consequently a no-brainer”.

Additional Resources

For more resources on publishing Android games to Fire OS, integrating with GameCircle and the FAD program, check out the links below:

- Jesse Freeman (@JesseFreeman)

 

March 21, 2014

Mike Hines

Don’t send a gift, we’ll give one to you

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

Yes, on our birthday this year, we’d like to offer you some gifts!  Before we get to the numbers, let’s take the wrapping off our present to you. Starting on March 16th we kicked off our birthday week with discounts on apps and in-app items along with some great Free App of the Day specials (FAD). Starting today and running through Saturday, we’ll offer a “Appstore Hits” FAD bundle, which is valued at over $50 and includes titles like Monopoly, POLARIS Office, Dr. Panda Airport, Swype Keyboard and more.  You can find this FAD bundle at www.amazon.com/FADhits.

We’re also continuing the deals and discounts we kicked off our birthday week with, where you’ll continue to find deals of up to 60% off on select apps plus amazing promotions on in-app items for titles including Wheel of Fortune from Sony Pictures, Terraria from 505 Games and Warner Bros.’ Batman: Arkham City Lockdown. As an added bonus, for a limited time, customers who buy select in-app items within great games like Asphalt 8, Animal Voyage, Kingdoms of Camelot, The Hobbit, Sonic Dash, World at Arms and Despicable Me: Minion Rush can earn up to 50% back on the purchase price in the form of Amazon Coins. 

Great deals will continue to run through March 29th, so check back to our store for the latest. We hope you enjoy these savings. Now on to the numbers.

Amazon Appstore by the numbers

The Amazon Appstore launched on March 22, 2011 with 4,084 apps available for users of Android devices. Since that day, the Kindle Fire line of devices has launched with the Amazon Appstore, and an increasing number of mobile carriers around the world are selling Android phones with the Amazon Appstore pre-installed.

We’re happy that we’ve been able to meet the needs of so many customers over that time. We thought you might like to see some of the numbers from the Amazon Appstore over the years:

Downloads

On our Birthdays, these were the most downloaded apps:

Amazon Appstore Numbers

Number of apps: Over 180,000 in the US

Number of countries: 198

Hours required for a developer to submit an app: Less than 1

Delivering value to developers and customers

Since we started three years ago, both customers and developers have seen value from programs like Free App of the Day, Amazon Coins and Appstore Developer Select. We’ve also expanded our developer services significantly and have launched services like Mobile Associates, which lets developers earn commissions on physical goods sold on Amazon.com, and A/B Testing which helps developers tweak and tune their apps in real-time. These services and others have helped developers earn more money, and we’re certainly not finished yet. Look for more innovative cross-platform programs and services in the years to come. As always at Amazon, it’s still day 1 in this business, and we’re just getting started.

What you can do

  • Keep an eye on the Free App of the Day here.
  • You can get started on the Amazon Appstore in less time than you think.  You can create a free Appstore developer account in less than 30 minutes here.
  • You can submit one of your existing apps in less than an hour (watch this video to learn how).

 

January 28, 2014

Jesse Freeman

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

In August of last year we enabled HTML5 developers to publish hosted web apps next to native Android apps in the Amazon Appstore, making HTML5 web apps discoverable to millions of Amazon customers. Starting today, developers can set a list price for their web apps, giving them another way to monetize web content to Amazon Appstore customers in nearly 200 countries across the globe.

Prior to this update, web apps published to the Amazon Appstore were automatically set to free.  In the latest update developers can now set a list price in specific currencies based on the local markets they’re publishing their web apps to. This is great news for developers looking to publish their first web app to the Amazon Appstore, and the feature is now retroactive to all web apps that have already been published. That means existing developers simply need to log into their Developer Account to see an updated “Availability & Pricing” tab with the option to charge for the app.

Now with the ability to set a price for web apps in the Amazon Appstore, HTML5 developers can take part in our Free App of the Day (FAD) promotion. For developers not familiar with this program, qualifying apps gain greater exposure that could drive significant traffic to their apps. Opting into the FAD promotion and being selected enables us to work directly with the publisher to be featured in some of our most visible marketing placements. This includes placements on mobile devices, Kindle Fire, and the Amazon Gold Box Best Deals page, which are complemented by social media exposure including Facebook and Twitter announcements. These placements and the exposure they provide can drive significant traffic to the featured apps and allow the developers to grow their install base quickly. 

To learn more about qualifying for the Free App of the Day program, check out this post on how to get approved, and make sure you opt to have your web app considered for the program during the app submission process.

To republish an existing app as paid, simply edit the ‘Availability & Pricing’ tab and enter a list price, which is already defaulted to free. The same list price changes can also be made to any submission set to “IN PROGRESS” that is waiting to be approved for release.

This is just one new feature we’ve added to help make publishing HTML5 Web Apps to the Kindle Fire best in class. For more information, check out the HTML5 Web Apps detail page

-Jesse Freeman (@JesseFreeman)

 

August 15, 2013

Mike Hines

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

Occasionally, we'll have a developer ask if the financial benefit of participating in the FAD program is worth it. Will it help them ultimately grow their app revenue?

Below is a guest post by Tasharen Entertainment, a small independent developer in Toronto that created Starlink – a strategy game – available in the Amazon Appstore, Google Play and the Apple App Store. They recently issued a blog post highlighting their success with the Free App of the Day program and we thought we’d share it with you.  It’s always compelling to see a developer try something new, measure the actual results across several app stores and find out their test was successful. The article was originally posted on Tasharen’s blog post here.


Starlink has recently participated in the Free App of the Day promotion on the Amazon App Store. Before joining the promotion I did my research, and saw that there was some controversy about it, but I went for it anyway. Two weeks later, I am happy to share the results.

With Starlink being a rather obscure strategy game released with zero marketing a few months ago, its player base has been expectedly small: of the 2500 players before the promotion, around 80% were pirates who got it for free. Number of daily players was around 100 — which was actually a fairly high percentage, all things considered. The sales died down quickly after the release. I think the “best” day earned around $65 in sales, but the average daily income since release has been around $10 — a rather sad amount. Nonetheless, factoring the fact that Starlink is a first game I’ve released on the mobile platforms, and that an average first-time release is only expected to earn around $500 during its lifetime, Starlink’s ~$1400 lifetime income was actually already ahead of the curve.

Enter the Amazon’s Free App of the Day promotion. The process was started by Amazon themselves who got in touch with me and asked if I’d be interested — I said of course. After some emails back and forth, the date was assigned: July 19th — a Friday. Perfect for a game!

On that day, over 102,000 players have downloaded the game. North American rating of the game averaged at 3.5/5, with the majority being along the lines of “I don’t get it”, complaining about the sparse tutorial and the game being too difficult even on the beginner difficulty. Curiously enough, Japanese players rated the game 4.5/5.0 (over 7500 downloads). Apparently Japanese players had an easier time understanding an English-language game than native English speakers!

After the promotion I wanted to wait two weeks to see the effect the promotion would have on the sales of the game on all of the platforms it was available on. Now, keep in mind. I myself did nothing. I didn’t say the app would be promoted, didn’t release any news about it, no new videos, nothing! I wanted to see the raw effect the promotion would have. Some of you may go “wtf” at this, but keep in mind — Starlink for me is, and always has been — an experiment. My goal has never been to make it the next Angry Birds, but to experiment with the different platforms, methods of monetization, cross-promotion, etc.

So here is the raw effect of the promotion. Before the 19th, the statistics looked like this:

  • Amazon sales: 3 units per week
  • Google sales: 5 unit per day
  • iOS sales: 1 unit per day
  • Daily players: ~100

Two weeks later, the statistics seem a lot healthier:

  • Amazon sales: 34.5 units per day (almost 8,000% increase)
  • Google sales: 22 per day (340% increase)
  • iOS sales: 10.2 per day (920% increase)
  • Daily players: 2,041 (almost 2,000% increase at exactly 2 weeks after promotion)

Total estimated income for the 2 week period immediately following the promotion: $1,385, or almost the same amount of money they game has earned in the 3 months leading up to the promotion.

  • $646 from Amazon
  • $464 from Google
  • $186 from iOS
  • $69 from Desura
  • $20 from PayPal

So the obvious question is — from my point of view, was the promotion worth it?

And the answer is a resounding “Yes“! And if you are an indie dev who’s considering participating in the Amazon’s Free App of the Day, here’s a small suggestion for you: don’t concern yourself with the players who will obtain your game for free. Instead, think of all the players that will follow and will buy your game based on the attention it will receive and the word-of-mouth talk that will follow.

Or in other words, think of it as free marketing done right.

Thanks, Amazon!


If you have an interesting story or experience to share with other developers through a guest post on our blog, email us at mobile-app-marketing(at)amazon.com for consideration.

April 24, 2013

alexbow

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

One of Amazon’s unique features is the paid app for free each day for consumers, Free App of the Day, making it easy to discover new apps and games. For developers, this presents an opportunity to grow your audience quickly and have your app featured prominently on Amazon.com, the Amazon Apps mobile app for Android, and on Kindle Fire tablets. Many developers have had success by featuring their apps as part of this promotion. One recent success story is EnsenaSoft, a developer based in Mexico that creates casual games like Fantastic 4 in a Row HD and Mahjong Deluxe HD.

In late 2011, Amazon reached out to EnsenaSoft to see if it would be interested in participating in Free App of the Day. “We were very excited to get this kind of exposure from within Amazon, and best of all, it was free,” said Samuel DanHartog, Chief Creative Officer at EnsenaSoft. On January 1, 2012, Amazon featured EnsenaSoft’s app, Mahjong Deluxe HD, as Free App of the Day. “This helped us increase sales on our app not only on the day of Free App of the Day, but also afterward,” said Samuel. “Mahjong Deluxe HD also moved into a much better position in the rankings, which it has maintained to this day, over a year later.”

In fact, EnsenaSoft was so pleased with the results of featuring Mahjong Deluxe HD as Free App of the Day, it also wanted to have another one of its games featured. Even with cross-promotion within its apps, Barnyard Mahjong HD had been struggling. After Barnyard Mahjong HD was featured as the Free App of the Day, the free version and the paid version both have had three times as many daily sales compared to sales prior to the featuring as Free App of the Day.

“Thanks to the Free App of the Day promotion, and the high quality store that Amazon offers, our app downloads (both free and paid) are higher on Amazon than any other Android store,” said Samuel. ”The retention rate of users on Kindle Fire is higher than other platforms. On our free apps, that means more ad impressions, as well as more opportunities for cross-promoting our games.”

In fact, Samuel tells us that the success EnsenaSoft has had from featuring its apps in Amazon’s Free App of the Day program outweighs the success it had from spending actual money on marketing campaigns. “None of these events have brought us near the quantity or quality of users that Amazon brings,” said Samuel. “Free App of the Day has helped us grow in popularity on Amazon, but also has contributed to growth on other app stores as well.”

Are you interested in having your apps featured in Free App of the Day? If so, let us know here. We review every app and game submitted, and if your app is chosen, we’ll be in touch with you to discuss next steps and ensure you’re on board.

January 28, 2013

Amazon Mobile App Distribution Program

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

SpinFall is a small indie mobile game development company based in San Antonio, Texas. The husband and wife team of Franklin and Stephanie Lyons have been developing mobile games as a hobby for the past three years, and have recently decided to dedicate all of their time to creating fun, family-friendly games. Their latest game is Frog on Ice,where you use tapping motions to propel Plop (a frog) across an icy terrain,while defeating bad guys and collecting treasures.

Fon-1

When the Free App of the Day team reached out to SpinFall to see if they were interested in participating, they were excited to hear more about the opportunity, knowing that it would give them an opportunity to expand their customer base. “For indie developers like us, this kind of exposure is priceless,” said Stephanie. The Free App of the Day team worked closely with SpinFall,providing tips and assistance leading up to their scheduled day.

“Watching our download number skyrocket all day was really exciting,” said Stephanie. “What we obtained that day was more important than cash. We acquired a solid customer base and received a ton of customer feedback.” Frog on Ice received more downloads on that day than it has previously in all markets combined. Plus, the app had more than 100 new reviews.“The reviews have enabled us to improve our game based on what people really want,” said Stephanie. “Plus, our revenue went up on other app stores that day too.”

“Our profits on Amazon are still at least double than what they were prior to Free App of the Day,” said Stephanie. “Since then, we’re earning more on Amazon daily than on iTunes or Google Play.” Plus, the added awareness caught the attention of the San Antonio Express News, who has recently written about their company and games. “Anywhere else, marketing efforts of this caliber would have easily cost thousands of dollars to implement,” said Stephanie. “But with Amazon’s Free App of the Day program, we didn’t have to spend a dime.”

SpinFall’s advice for future Free App of the Day participants:

  •  “This isa great opportunity for developing a customer base. You’ll get masses of downloads in a 24 hour period.”
  • “Make sure you’re using some sort of analytics tool. You’ll get a bunch of helpful information that you can use to make educated decisions about your app and marketing efforts in the future.”
  • “Don’t get offended by negative reviews—use themto your advantage.”
  • “Plan ahead of time to see how you can use FreeApp of the Day to your advantage in your overall marketing plan.”

SpinFall was very pleased with the results of Frog on Ice in Free App of the Day. They gained added visibility, a new customer base,access to analytics they’ve never had before, customer feedback, and even a bitof local fame.   If you’re interested in participating in the Free App of the Day program, you can submit your app for consideration here.

August 24, 2011

Winkie Chen

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

Farkle Dice - Free and Farkle Dice Deluxe (Ad-Free) are two popular and well-reviewed apps in the Amazon Appstore for Android.  Developed by Smart Box Games, the apps present a fast-paced dice game and offer both solo and social gaming experiences. 

Smart Box Games was one of the first developers to join the developer program after the Amazon Appstore launched in March. 

Why did Smart Box Games act so quickly to join a brand new store? Todd Sherman, president of Smart Box Games, said that as a small, independent game company, “Our priority is to make sure the games have beautiful art, professional sound effects, and music, and are programmed to be stable and responsive. We typically have limited resources for marketing.  The Amazon Appstore gives developers like us a chance for success by offering customers multiple ways to explore and find games.”  He added, “For example, you can navigate the store by Top 100 Games, or by category, or through widgets powered by Amazon’s recommendation engine such as ‘Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought.’ Plus, the first year fee for the developer program was waived.”

Within a few weeks of its publishing, Farkle Dice - Free skyrocketed to the top of the Board Games category and soon climbed the charts under the Top 100 Free Bestselling Games. 

Amazon featured Farkle Dice Deluxe (Ad-Free) on July 23  as the Free App of the Day, a daily promotion in which we make a premium app available to our customers for free and prominently promote the app on Amazon.com and in the Amazon Appstore. 

Farkle_fad

 

We set an expectation of approximately 75,000 downloads for the Free App of the Day promotion with Farkle Dice - Deluxe. “Our actual downloads far exceeded that expectation, and we were thrilled by the exposure and the comments from new players,” Sherman said regarding the result of the promotion.  What does it mean for Smart Box Games to have so many new users? “As part of a long-term monetization strategy, we plan to contact those newly acquired users via the messaging function within Farkle Dice - Deluxe when we release our new game later this year.”

June 29, 2011

alanaamazon

Note: Effective 08-26-2015 Free App of the Day (FAD) has been replaced with Amazon Underground.

One of the most high-profile features of the Amazon Appstore for Android is the free paid app of the day, or FAD. The primary benefit to you of having your app selected for a FAD spot is increased visibility. First off, there’s the 24 hours of visibility both on mobile and online. Each FAD promotion is complemented by a Facebook post and Twitter tweet the same day. After your app’s time in the FAD spotlight is over, it benefits from being included in the “Most Recent Free Apps of the Day” shoveler on the Amazon Appstore for Android homepage.

Fad 02
 

In addition to this direct visibility, your app will continue to get post-FAD exposure throughout the store. Because of the increase in app downloads typically associated with FAD, you app is more likely to show up on the product detail pages of other apps in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” feature. The recommendations engine is one of Amazon’s strongest shopping features, helping connect customers with the right items across multiple categories. FAD apps also tend to register higher in Amazon Appstore for Android Bestsellers lists.

Fad 03
 

Apps that can be launched on Android exclusively at the Amazon Appstore for Android or that offer something extra to Amazon customers that they can’t get anywhere else make for particularly intriguing FADs.  Developers with strong brands and a solid portfolio are eligible for multiple FAD inclusions.  For some high-profile apps and games, we may send an e-mail to our customer base.

If you’re interested in recommending your app for FAD promotion, there are a few things to remember:

1.       Only the most recent version of an app will be considered, and your app should appeal to a wide audience.

2.       To maintain a positive customer download experience for non-wifi apps, only apps of 20MB or less will be considered, and no “stub” apps that require additional content download will be considered.

3.       We want to make sure customers know which devices the app will work on, so the app must pass Amazon’s internal testing.

If you’re interested in recommending your regularly paid app for FAD promotion, please completely fill out the Marketing Proposal Form. Pay particular attention to the Proposal Description field, sharing any additional details you believe would help elevate your app in the selection process. In addition, let us know:

1.       How many downloads your app has to date.

2.       The list price of your app.

3.       Any reciprocal marketing (social media, blogs, Amazon Appstore badging, etc.) you are able to offer.

4.       That you understand the requirements for approval.

Our FAD calendar fills up quickly, so be sure to submit your proposal early. Letting us know about an app launch weeks or even months in the future will help us plan accordingly.

If your app is a contender, someone will contact you to offer more details about FAD inclusion and what to expect as your app goes through the approval process. You will only be contacted if your marketing request is under consideration. Please enter a specific marketing request only once.

Free app of the day – it’s more than just a passing FAD.

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