This is a four part piece feature story on my Windows Development journey; the good, bad and ugly. This is Part 3 of my Windows development journey with the ugly launch of my latest and final UWP game, The House launch and the reality of the Universal Windows Platform as a small business owner.
Last July, I developed and published with a European developer called Artur Kot, that has been in development between 2012 to 2013. Eventually I launched the game with the developer called The House through the Xbox Creators program on Xbox One. The source code of the House is on GitHub.
The game lacked promotional fanfare and my strategy was just launch and rely on mainly on Xbox insane store traffic that generated a few couple of downloads in days and weeks. So far it has been downloaded over 200 times and generated nearly $50 as of December 2020.
The ugly reality is that launching a game on Xbox platform, the one of the world’s largest gaming platform would not give you a decent share of the market. The market has become crowded and if your game is not on the more visible ID@Xbox as an indie developer, you will not get the same treatment as those titles under the bigger richer ID@Xbox. As a result, your game ends up being buried right under among poor unoptimized junk fest of UWP games that has mostly no multiplayer, no Xbox leader boards and achievements, for the Xbox Creators Collection Program.
The ID@Xbox program is a selective program that have quality control, so those who are starting out and have no established portfolio of games that is somewhat popular and generated buzz in the gaming media, your chances of entering is slim.
Therefore, having to make a consensus decision of shipping the game under the Creators Program or simply on PC via the Windows 10 Microsoft Store.
Since Microsoft left the mobile market in 2017, it has left a void under the Universal Windows Platform ecosystem where Windows Phone used to hold the UWP banner ecosystem together that generated healthy amount of downloads and revenue for developers.
With no heavy marketing, my game development project life cycle dwindled with no future updates in sight to make the experience better post launch. Leaving me to make a consensus decision with the developer to yank the game from the Store last December.
As an app developer, marketing is vital for the make or break of your game or app development life cycle. In order to gain more downloads and more revenue, you must set and have a budget to marketize your app or game using social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Do a digital word of mouth, by emailing Microsoft centric sites and Xbox sites to review your game and promote your game. Even, spend a little more dollars advertising your game on their site with an ad banner in order to gain exposure to convince people to download your app or game.
Furthermore, you must listen to customer demands to make app or game experience better with updates, don’t leave your app projects to rot. This is the biggest weakness and mistakes where some developers do post launch of their games or apps in the app stores.
Stay tuned for the final Part 4 of my Windows Development story. Inspired by my Windows development journey? Learn more about Windows development here. Share your experience with Windows app development in the comments below!