To Free or Not to Free

I just compiled some weekly stats on my Werewolf iPad app with some interesting results. I switched it from being a $1 app to being free about a week ago. The game has an in-app purchase to unlock extra features in the game. Here’s the free week and week prior…

Free (last week)

  • Installs = 3100
  • In-App Purchase of $2.99 = 18
  • Total sales = $53.82

Not Free (week prior)

  • $1 Purchases = 17
  • In-App Purchase of $1.99 = 7
  • Total sales = $30.93

So the free version made more money and got downloaded by 3100 people. Hopefully some of which will eventually upgrade too. Since its a party game meant for at least 8 or so players, presumably it won’t even get played until the next big gathering. And even if no one upgrades, its at least nice to know that many people will check out some of my work.

Anyway, I thought it was worth sharing here since some of you have apps in the store already. And I don’t think free is always the way to go, certainly wasn’t with my last app, but in this case that model seems to work.

Oh and if anyone is curious how the app is getting that many installs on zero advertising (other than this blog) check out the full title of it. “Werewolf – Curse of Pandora”. What an odd name, almost seems like the word “Pandora” was crowbarred in there. And isn’t there a Pandora Radio app? Yeah there is actually, its one of the top downloaded apps of all time.  Hmmmm =)

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8 thoughts on “To Free or Not to Free

  1. Listen. I watched most of your tutorials, and you are undoubtedly one of the best around, saving perhaps a few names. I also know how deep it to program for IPhone. It is very frustrating going through all that to make only $50, even if it is one week, because it will dwindle eventually.

  2. Why would it dwindle? More iPads are being sold everyday. Its just the opposite, the market is actually growing. Plus I think you missed a major point, the free demo (being installed 3000 times per week) will eventually bring in future sales.

    But lets assume the worst. $50 a week is $2600 a year. And it takes zero work now. I love zero work =)

  3. Cristian Gradisteanu says:

    Interesting point. How is this going. compared with the Zomibe Air Strike app for iPhone launched earlier?
    I think everyone loves zero work 😉
    Good luck with the sales.

  4. Zombie does around 100 sales a week. So pretty damn good. If I had 7 or 8 more games like it in the store, my mortgage would be covered.

  5. Cristian Gradisteanu says:

    Oh..that’s great. As Avraham said..maybe you should try marketing the apps a bit for better sales…

  6. Cristian Gradisteanu says:

    Also, if I may suggest a topic about iPhone programming…I think many of us will like to see a tutorial about cocos2d programming. It is the framework that many people are using it for iPhone game development and I can’t find many (good) tutorials about it.
    Regards,
    Cristian

  7. SandGlow says:

    Interesting stats about the in-game purchases vs paid app to begin with… I never considered the flip side of it like that! I agree totally about the zero work point, and as an artist, I would also like a larger group of people seeing my work (and perhaps visiting the website if they look at the credits!) PLUS the larger amount of in-game purchases! Great info and thanks for sharing it!! *off to DL Werewolf!*

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