The doors to the Mac App Store opened on Thursday, January 6th 2011. After a week on the App Store it is time for us to look back and tell you what the opening of the App Store was like for us as developers. And we’ll show you how many copies we’ve sold in this new marketplace.
And Yet It Moves is available on the Mac since April 2009. We were part of the launch of Steam for Mac and even got a feature. Also, it was part of the “Steam Play Indie Pack” for Mac together with World of Goo, Machinarium, Osmos and Galcon. The pack sold extremely well but And Yet It Moves itself only sold 219 Mac copies in the first month.
The situation is completely different on the Mac App Store. The store was launched with surprisingly little fanfare. I eagerly downloaded the system update necessary to access it. And once I had reached the games section I was greeted by a large banner announcing And Yet It Moves. And so were all other visitors of the games section.
Initially we thought we just try to launch the game at its current full price of $9.99. The same price it has on our website, on Steam and even on WiiWare. But we quickly realized that the App Store is not a place where a $9.99 game is easily bought. Established brands might launch at this price point, but our first hours proved that we would get nowhere at $9.99. So we soon dropped the price to $4.99 (just like Osmos did hours before). Here’s a full pricing history of And Yet It Moves:
As you can see we lowered the price one more time – this time to $2.99 – in order to get some traction and enter the top 10. That plan worked out and we managed to get to the 6th place in the App Store’s top games downloads on day 5. We sold roughly 660 copies of the game on that day.
The following chart shows how many copies we’ve sold and how much revenue we’ve received in the first week on the App Store. I’ve removed the actual $’s but the best days yielded around $1,200.00. Have a look at how the price drop increased the revenue and the price raise (on 01/13) decreased the revenue. The full price history is:
01/06-01/07: $9.99 (Original price)
01/08-01/09: $4.99 (50% off)
01/10-01/12: $2.99 (70% off)
01/13-today: $7.99 (20% off)
In the end, we learned: the lower the price the higher the revenue.
It proved crucial for us that the feature and the price drop brought us in the top 10 games downloads culminating in an excellent 6th place 5 days after the store had opened. After 2 days in the 6th spot Braid, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Civilization IV entered the Mac App Store to claim their rank in the top lists. We can’t compete with full-scale AAA games, especially if they’re from this established brands. My personal theory is that the average iPhone gamer, and maybe even the average Mac gamer, is quite used to quirky little titles and cracking the market with a mainstream game is currently easier than presenting an alternative/indie game like And Yet It Moves.
The following graph shows our ranks in the first week. Due to the inability to download stats in the first days (our software had to be adapted to the new store backend), the most interesting development of entering the top 10 is missing. Still, you can see the big picture.
All in all we accumulated revenues of €7,522.00 ($10,042.60) selling 3,322 copies of And Yet It Moves in the first week on the Mac App Store. It was our best launch ever*.
* excluding bundles.