Mommy's Best Games, Inc. is an independent game developer founded in 2007. Our seventh game, currently in development, is Pig Eat Ball on which we started working in 2013. This is behind the scenes thoughts about game development and marketing.

Nathan

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Media Coverage Matters

Prepare thine eyeballs for fancy data picture overload!

(Click on any graph to see more detail! Sorry, but I scaled the previews down to fit into the tiny blog width. )

I've shuffled and jumbled the Weapon of Choice numbers from sales, free downloads, countries, dates, and put them all together in pretty picture form.

Up first is one of the most informative graphs. This shows free downloads and sales along with important dates of media coverage. It's pretty obvious that when we got media coverage, we got a bump in downloads.

(Remember--click the pictures for up close details!)
The biggest spike was of course around the Community Games launch day. The largest other spike was when Microsoft sent out their weekly email to Xbox 360 owners, and this one included a small part about Community Games and Weapon of Choice.

It was also really nice to see a spike in January 2009 related to the announcement of our speed run contest.

The following is the same data, but with the logarithmic view to better see some of the action in early 2009.
This next group is interesting as you can see trials and sales by country. Keep an eye on the number value for first giant spike, per country.

I think the USA vs UK comparison is interesting when you consider the first and second large spikes on the left.
Here we see that the second 'Xbox News' spike is not only larger absolutely, but also proportionately.

The US "Xbox News-to-CG Launch" spike ratio is about: 2,000 to 7,000. The second spike here is nearly 30% the first spike
The UK "Xbox News-to-CG Launch" spike ratio is about: 380 to 1,750. The second spike here is about 20% of the first spike.

Also, there was also apparently some UK coverage of which I have no good record (not surprising) as around Valentines day, there was a much bigger increase in downloads there, than in the US.

On to the rest of the WORLD!


I'd like to close with a delicious slice of pie. American pie. All-American Apple pie. Or "Triple A" pie for short.

But then again the UK slice is pretty tasty too. What do they eat in their pies again? Cow brains? Sheep guts? Whatever it is, it tastes pretty good here.

And let's not forget Canada! That was over half of our UK downloads, which is pretty impressive considering most Americans don't even know they're 'up' there. I like to think of their slice as covered in maple-syrup as I'm pretty sure they can't grow any sort of fruit there. Or maybe Ice? Can you have ice pie?

Update:
By request I put together another pie which yielded some interesting results.

This shows approximate percentage sales and conversion rates (ratio of people that bought the game to people that downloaded the game). What's interesting here is the noticeably lower conversion rates in France, Italy, and Spain.

This could be the result of several factors such as differing cultural interests, but it could also be because the game was only available in English which turned off more gamers. While there's not a lot of story in Weapon of Choice, there is certainly some dialog (over 200 lines!) and not being able to enjoy the story, the menus, and the controls could have contributed to less purchases.

In conclusion, I know it sounds obvious that getting media coverage should increase downloads, but occasionally you get people questioning the idea. I find it comforting, like feeling terra firma beneath my feet, to see coverage pretty clearly linked with downloads, here with the real data.

7 comments:

Deejay said...

We eat steak and kidney pies, mostly. That or pork and gelatine!

Dan said...

"I'm pretty sure they can't grow any sort of fruit [in Canada]. Or maybe Ice? Can you have ice pie?"

lol, I take that as I joke! We grow all (mostly) the fruits that grow in the US and probably the UK too... Ice pies? Good one, I should try that one of those winters...

Aside from that, nice graphics, you really have studied all the numbers!

Ryan Henson Creighton said...

Thanks so much for sharing your data! It really helps for small devs like us to pool our resources.

But beyond the numbers, can you share your learnings? i've read other articles where you seem less than pleased with XBLCG as a platform.

(Also, Dan's pulling your leg - we can grow apples and raspberries up here, but oranges and pineapples are a harder sell)

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