WKGS released our first title “Turtle Boarden” on April 28th, 2016. It was a monumental pivoting point in our lives, as most of our development team only has one if any other titles published for mobile devices. Unfortunately we were only able to publish a build for Android OS’s only because of our development pipeline and the resources that we have to work with. “Turtle Boarden” will be available for download on Apple products as soon as we’re done debugging it, we’re hoping to release it in the next two weeks. Some have argued that we should have waited to release our game until the IOS compatible version was ready, but we didn’t feel like waiting and we have a master plan in effect for our marketing campaign.
So why all the pressure after release? Simply put, after releasing a game your users find bugs that you and your testers were unable find. This makes certain people write negative reviews about your app which could be detrimental to your overall brand and your product. So as soon as we see negative reviews we reach out to those people, to try to understand why they hated on our app, and try to fix the problem they were having assuming it was a bug and that they’re not actually being a total douche. So the pressure is on, a bug is announced and now it’s a race against time to fix those bugs, notify our users, and hope that we still have their trust. This also supports why waiting to release for IOS was a good idea. We know that our target audience will most likely be using IOS devices, assuming that we will have similar bugs on both builds it makes sense to release the version that won’t impact our sales the most and see how people react. Then we can respond accordingly by making changes in our IOS build to maximize player satisfaction and increase user retention once we release for IOS devices.
From a marketing standpoint there are some grey areas with this strategy. For example we created some promotions and built the “hype” up for our release day. Some users were disappointed that they couldn’t play our game yet because it wasn’t available for Apple products. So maybe we have lost a handful of potential users because they were disappointed and don’t feel like waiting, and perhaps our game just fades into a distant memory for those IOS users. Which is why we have to have two “hype” phases. Essentially we need to get our users excited twice, before we release for both operating systems. Which is difficult to do, but possible none the less. When our IOS build is ready for launch we’re hoping that all of our bugs will be fixed, something to get our previous Android users excited about and to ensure our new IOS users that they are downloading a quality application. Plus once this happens our IOS users will be able to play multiplayer matches against Android users, cross platform integration!!
Of course our development team is in crunch mode and has been for the past few weeks, which can be very stressful. Once we can see our drudgery and labor put into a tiny 180X180 icon on the Google Play Store, it makes all of our hard work and dedication worth it and then some. Our days our limited before we have to release on IOS without losing any of our audience, so the pressure has been increased, and even though we were in crunch mode, now we’re crunch mode x2! Now we just have to keep churning, let the negative reviews fuel our passion, and hope that our marketing strategy prevails in the long run.