Tiny Invaders' downloads jumped tenfold since going free, reveals Hogrocket's Peter Collier

69p or less the only option for iOS newcomers

Tiny Invaders' downloads jumped tenfold since going free, reveals Hogrocket's Peter Collier
Given Hogrocket's opening soundbite when it entered the mobile market was how smartphone development would enable the studio to take risks, it's interesting that co-founder Peter Collier is now keen to highlight the sector's limitations.

The firm's first release – Tiny Invaders – launched at $2.99/£2.49 in September but eventually went free four months later.

Collier claims when it makes its eventual leap from iOS to Android, it'll launch free there too.

The reason behind the studio's change of approach doesn't appear to be down to any kind of epiphany, however, but rather a result of Hogrocket abiding by the rules the market dictates.

Hogrocket hindsight

"I think if we’d known what we know now, we'd have been freemium from the start and perhaps designed the game so it supported that business model more," Collier said in an interview with Inside Mobile Apps.

"Premium has certainly been tougher than what we expected in terms of what we get back monetisation-wise."

As you might expect, Collier claims downloads have jumped since Tiny Invaders went free.

"We are actually seeing about 10 times more downloads for the free version, which is good, but it doesn't necessarily translate into people converting through in-app purchases," he confirmed.

"We've seen about three percent conversion, which is generally the accepted stat that you’ll hear from other developers."

Fork in the road

In general, however, pricing Tiny Invaders appears to have been something of experiment ever since launch.

In Hogrocket's experience, newcomers can deploy one of just two strategies: launch at 99c/69p, or go free.

"We still debate about this internally but I think you have to be at 69p," Collier concluded.

"It's an interesting issue because I think it comes down to a trust issue with gamers in the marketplace. If you're a known quality and a known brand, then you can afford to be premium because gamers know what they're getting.

"If you’re an unknown quantity like Hogrocket and it's a new IP that people don't recognise, its quite a big leap for people to hand over any money at all, even 69p. I think free is certainly the answer going forward."

[source: Inside Mobile Apps]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.