So how DO you market a new video game successfully, particularly in the App Store where there is so much competition?

I have no idea... but I'm not going to let that stop me! I have years of PLAYING video games, and so I know all about leveling up, achievements, and trophies.

So, let's do the numbers.

Both gNerts! and gNerts! Lite went live on January 18th, 2011. Here are the download numbers for the first six days:

Date Lite Paid
1/18 7 0
1/19 67 3
1/20 43 2
1/21 24 0
1/22 17 6
1/23 18 5

Well, probably not going to get rich any time soon!

So what? Well, the interesting thing is that I had (up to this point) done effectively no marketing at all, so I was surprised that ANYONE had downloaded it... until a co-worker told me that there's a "New Apps" section, and he'd seen it there. So now you know the "I have no idea" above is accurate. The only marketing I did was to brag about it on Facebook.

But what about the video?

Ah, excellent point. For a number nerd like me, they provide charts AND numbers. Up until the 23rd, the video I did on how the game works had gotten... nine views. That was AFTER I posted to Facebook! Bunch of great friends I've got!

A Wild Ad-Campaign Appears!

No, not getting new friends. Just started to do that crazy "Advertising" thing, using the wonderful tools put together by wonderful folks at Project Wonderful. Today, the 24th, marks the start of my initial foray into advertising. Specifically, I made the ad you see below, based on the game art done by the fantastic Tracy Bailey who draws the Catena Manor comic. I also figured that people who like the comic (which often references video games) might like the game, and so I'd advertise on that site first.

So, the numbers for the first day of advertising with PW on Catena Manor:

Site Visitors Ad Clicks Percent who click the ad Video plays Web site visits
85,400 403 0.44% 197 702

I'd figured that fewer than 1 percent would actually click on the ad, so the numbers aren't shocking. Catena Manor updates on Mondays, so today's the day for the big spike in traffic. I'm planning on advertising tomorrow too. It'll be interesting to see how many "new" clicks happen, since I'm guessing some fraction of the people who come tomorrow like the comic enough to see it again the next day... if that guess holds, I'll probably see a lower click percentage.

The web-site visits are higher than the clicks on the advertisement because the Catena Manor folks kindly provided a link off of their daily commentary on the webcomic, highlighting that they'd done the art for a new game.

And the bottom line is...

Not something I'll know until tomorrow! Turns out Apple only updates the statistics once a day. So of course I'm on pins and needles to see what the "turnover" of those 403 clicks actually turn into downloads.

Here's the ad, in all its glory:
Play gNerts!