28 days in - Windows Store Analytics for my Balloons game
Recently, I posted a game to the Windows Store based on a course I authored for Lynda.com. The game was primarily meant as a learning tool for the course but in letting my young kids play I found it to be entertaining enough that some other parents might want to use it. It’s not a complex game by any means but if I hit my target audience right (parents of young children) it should provide enough entertainment for a while. I also tried to add additional value by making it totally free and with no ads (which I don’t believe should be in kids games and usually get blocked via parental controls regardless) .
The Windows Store gives a lot of free metrics on your apps and with it being almost a month since I published the game I thought I would share some of the numbers I’m seeing.
Some things to keep in mind:
- The game is not global. I only published it to the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, Belgium, France, Ireland and Italy Stores for this release.
- The game is free and has no Ads
- The game is listed in the Family subcategory of the Games category
Overall, as of today after being in the Windows Store for 28 days the game has had 2,179 downloads with an average rating of 4 stars.
If we look at the details we see the usual spike that occurs when an app is new. Everyone gets this and its why it is important to make a big splash in the beginning. It’s much harder to generate awareness and excitement for your app after it has been in market for a while. These numbers were higher than I expected since my game was not featured, is from an unknown publisher, had no marketing, community or awareness around it, is in the most populated category (games) and in the fairly niche a family subcategory. The family subcategory had hundreds of games already in it and doing a search for Balloons there were several Balloons orientated games similar to my own. Yet, a couple thousand folks checked it out and as you’ll see below actually used it as well. There were also 9 people who chose to leave a review but more on that in a bit.
There are a couple of interesting things that are going on here.
- A third of the people who saw my game listed in the Store downloaded it.
- We aren’t told exactly how they saw it so I am assuming it was in a search result or through the main category listing. This number was very surprising for me I did not expect for it to be that high and I can only assume it was one of two things. I hit my market correctly and the game con looked interesting. And/or it was free meaning little to know risk for the download.
- Almost half of the traffic for the app comes from the Windows Store itself.
- People are clicking that Windows Store icon on the start screen and looking for apps! If you’re a developer this should be a very exciting number for you.
- Almost a third of the traffic came from the web via my own blog and app listing sites
We also get stats for age and gender. As you can see from the chart I hit my target audience (parents with young kids). The highest downloaded age group is 22-40 years old and then you also see higher downloads in the 41+ group (older parents and grandparents). What I got a chuckle about too is where the gender difference are highest is in the 22-40 age range with men being about a third more than women. That bar is exactly where I fit, a dad with young children and makes me feel that if I make a game for myself that appeals to me then my peer group would also follow. Another great stat to point out is that over a third of the download come from outside the United States. For the next release of the game I am going to publish to more countries and will be curious to see how these numbers change.
So we now know a little bit more about who is downloading our apps and from where. What about the longevity of our app? All apps get used less and less over time and this is one of the reasons to add new updates, features, as well as interesting gameplay. The chart below reflects the downloads chart so we can assume the people playing the game on any given day are largely made up of new users.
What is very interesting to me though is the breakdown between people using a mouse (desktop or older laptop) and people using touch (tablet or newer win8 laptop). In watching my kids play the game (like my oldest here on a Surface) I noticed it was a lot easier to get points than with a mouse. In fact, before publishing the game I upped the speed of the balloons to ensure it wasn’t to easy on tablets which trying to maintain a reasonable level of difficulty with the mouse. While I can’t be certain I believe these charts are showing me that people with tablets lose interest faster because they progress through the levels and scores much faster. In fact, one of the reviewers as we will see below gives a suggestion to this very problem.
Out of the 9 ratings 7 people left a high score while 2 left a low score. What I appreciate here is the people who left the low score gave me feedback! Feedback that I can incorporate and fix in the next version of the game. The Windows Store also lets people revise their ratings if they decide to change it at a later date.
As I mentioned above about the usage statistics between mouse and touch the one reviewer gives a great suggestion. The game is simply too hard with a mouse and if I added a difficulty setting he/she would gladly change the rating. Since I’ve coded the game to have a global settings already for max and min balloon speeds this can easily be tweaked with a slide control in the settings. The other reviewer (while in German) points out that the music gets very annoying. Since the game started out as a learning example it only has one track. This will definitely be a feature I add in the future, whether it is to add more custom music tracks or allow the user to pick their own from their music library.
The last statistic I want to share has to do with my About page in the Settings Panel. In my recent post on Settings Panels I discussed how you could include content locally or call out to external website content via an iframe.
I hope you got something out of these numbers and if you’re working on your own Windows Store app you can expect the same kind of analytics for free. Happy Coding!