GDC 2010: How Tiki Totems went from $40/day to $3,000 in a day

Going free and charging for IAP

GDC 2010: How Tiki Totems went from $40/day to $3,000 in a day
Following on from yesterday's breakdown of in-app purchase figures for Fingerzilla - one of the games to boost its presence on the App Store via the FreeAppADay website - more details have been revealed about another FAAD success story, Tiki Totems.

When it went live, it got the usual boost in downloads; doing around 500,000 in a week.

Then developer Spokko released an update to the app, which remained free, introducing in-app purchases for additional levels.

Programmer Michał Szymerski says that while this created a backlash among some players, others were happy to pay for the extra content.

Rates of conversion

"In one day Tiki Totems brought us significantly more money than during the 3 or 4 months it had been a paid app," he explains.

"Basically from a game that was earning 20-40 dollars a day, we have a game that brought in over $3,000 in a single day."

Of course, this was a peak for revenue, with Szymerski saying around 3 percent of people purchased the additional levels.

Still, it does demonstrates one of the way developers can generate revenue even when they are giving away content.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.