GB Apps Fourth Month in Review

March 2014 was a month full of both challenges and milestones. As promised, we released our Dodgy Dingbat game, although a bit later than expected. The games we have released have not been getting as many downloads as hoped, but the rapid release of Whack a Mayor for both iPhone and Android seems to be bringing itself and our other games much-needed attention. We were also able to put more of our apps on the Amazon Appstore, and sort out some of our back end payment issues, so we are very close to being able to fully implement/fix in-app purchases on all platforms. In spite of these successes, we experienced a slow down in both the installs and revenue coming from Fundometer, our most successful app to date. Progress on StoreNav has been slower than expected. As well, I have taken on new full-time commitments, and will not be able to spend as much time on app development, design, and marketing.

This Month’s Successes

This month was a big one for game releases. In addition to updating our first game, Whack a Mail, March 2014 saw the release of Dodgy Dingbat and Whack a Mayor to both Android and iPhone. Both of these games play off of popular themes, and so have a much greater chance of taking off in popularity. Because of the particular elements used in Dodgy Dingbat (namely collisions and gravity), it took a bit longer than expected to bring Dodgy Dingbat to Android, but I was still able to have it fully ready by the beginning of April.

Dodgy Dingbat on Android

Dodgy Dingbat on Android

As well, we took another step towards establishing a distinctive look and feel for Glass Bottle Apps with the implementation of the Grey Selector button style for our Android apps. Most of our Android apps were updated this month to implement this new look, although we also wanted our games to maintain a bit of distinctiveness as well.

Grey Selector Button Example

Grey Selector Button Example

This Month’s Challenges

This month saw some real challenges for us as a business and as a team. This is the first month where we saw a month-over-month drop in revenue. The most likely cause for this is that our largest revenue driver, Fundometer, is now more than three months old, and is no longer favoured as a “new app” in the App Store  or Google Play. We hope to counter this issue by both improving Fundometer to better attract and retain users, as well as promote our new games to draw in new users to the Glass Bottle Apps selection.

Another challenge we have been working on for a while is bringing in-app purchases to our iPhone/iPad apps. Because of some issues with the setup of our iTunes account, in-app purchases don’t show up for iPhone/iPad users. We have made some progress on this towards the end of the month and hope to have this sorted out soon.

Finally, because of personal and professional commitments, I (the writer and one of the co-founders) will have significantly less time to work on Glass Bottle Apps projects. While this will probably mean fewer new apps in the near future, my co-founder and I are putting in a plan to ensure we are still updating our existing apps and games, and continuing to pursue new projects. This will involve re-balancing the workload between us, stricter prioritizing, and bringing in help from friends and family when necessary. We will still be responding to user feedback and keeping our products current.

Looking Ahead

In spite of our challenges, we continue to lay the foundations for continued growth and success. Whack a Mayor was proof that I have learned Cocos 2d and Cocos 2dx to the point where I can now make games for both iPhone and Android quite quickly.

StoreNav is still an active project, and to deal with its increasing complexity, I have decided to split it into StoreNav and MallNav.This will allow the MallNav part to be released faster (as most mall maps are available online), while our team works to get more stores involved.  

We also are looking to increase the amount of premium content available to our users. With the sorting-out of in-app purchases through iTunes, we plan to bring a range of new features to iPhone/iPad users. We also want to add in-app purchases to our Amazon users.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us get as far as we have, and I hope you are all looking forward to the next chapter of Glass Bottle Apps as much as I am.

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