4/20/12 - Our Windows Phone Pubcenter Success (and some failures) Story:
The developers behind GeekWorks Games decided to take up Windows Phone
development on a whim over a year ago.
failures, and countless hours of coding under our belt,
we’ve decided it’s time to take a look back at what we’ve experienced thus far.
For those who may not be familiar with GeekWorks Games, we were born of a merger
between Clockwork Computing and Space Geek Software. Though a few initial titles were
released by each individual publisher, it wasn’t long before we began to drop
the independent work and collaborate on all projects.
Shuriken Ninja was our first and undoubtedly most
popular game. To this date, it has
accumulated more than 436,349 downloads.
Even now, it receives anywhere between 900 and 1,200 downloads per day. At its peak, Shuriken Ninja spent
nearly a month as the top free game on the market. It even reached number 2 in all free
applications for a period of time and to this day, it still has a place among
the best free games in the market.
Though we admittedly haven’t released a Shuriken Ninja update with new content
recently, the level editor has allowed users to design and download thousands of
user-contributed levels. This model has
allowed it to stay relevant and is something we strive to include in other games
While Shuriken Ninja is our pride and joy, it isn’t our only successful game. Our second most downloaded game,
Penguin Blast, has been downloaded 219,623 times. Thought it didn’t attain the grand
success of Shuriken Ninja, it did spend a period of time in the top 10 free
Mix-Up has managed to claw its way to our third most
popular game as it closes in on 100,000 downloads. This game, while always a favorite,
has experienced quite the resurgence recently.
While managing daily downloads in the mid 50’s for a period of time,
those have swelled to over 250 per day in the past few months. A recent, but optional, theme update
brings it a crisp new look.
Outside of these three games, we have released a number of other
that have achieved rather modest success.
Only a few weeks ago, we eclipsed a total of 1 million downloads.
We are honest when we say that the enjoyment from developing these games is what
primarily drives us.. Many a review
has stated that our games have caused their legs to fall asleep while on the
toilet. That is - as creepy as it
may be - what we strive for. Having
said that, the return we get from utilizing pubCenter cannot be discounted. It is what allows us to devote a
significant amount of our time to planning, designing, and coding. So, with no further ado, we’ve
provided a little breakdown of what we’ve seen over the past year, as well as
what the first quarter of 2012 has brought us.
Since GeekWorks was originally a combined effort, we initially split our ads
between two accounts. Half the time
Space Geek’s ads would show, while the other half Clockwork’s ads would show. This is why you will see two sets of
numbers over a period of time.
In 2011, Clockwork Computing pulled a total of 79,203,267 impressions at an
average eCPM of 1.83. Almost 40
million of those were from Shuriken Ninja, while Penguin Blast and Mix-Up
accounted for a fair portion of the rest.
Over the same timeframe (2011) Space Geek totaled 65,669,473 total impressions
at an average eCPM of 1.52. Almost
38 million of those were from Shuriken Ninja.
Penguin Blast as well as Ultra Fill accounted for the majority of the
At the end of 2011, what had become GeekWorks combined for a total of just under
145 million impressions with an eCPM of approximately 1.69.
While 2012 has brought even more impressions, our eCPM has taken what can only
be called…one hell of a dive.
NOTE: Only recently has GeekWorks officially begun to merge pubCenter accounts,
because of this we will continue to present the numbers as achieved by Clockwork
and Space Geek.
From the first of the year until the writing of this article, Clockwork
Computing has reported a total of more than 185 million impressions at
approximately 1.5 to 2 million per day.
That is more impressions than all of last year. More than a little
sobering, however, is the rather abysmal average eCPM of 0.16.
Similarly, Space Geek’s account is reporting approximately 184 million
impressions for 2012.. Its eCPM is an
even more horrid 0.13.
It has recently come to our attention, that this rather drastic shift may be due
in part to us shooting ourselves in the foot, or more accurately, blowing our
whole friggin’ leg off..
Over the past we carried eight primary ad units that we shared across all of our
applications, rotating them randomly.
While this allowed us to prevent one terrible ad unit from dragging us
down, it may not have been presenting the best possible case for advertisers. With that thought in mind, at the
beginning of April, we have undertaken a dramatic shift in our pubCenter
Starting now, each application will carry its own unique ad units. These units will be distinct per
screen: game play, end of level, pause menu, etc.
While we wouldn’t be surprised in the least to see a drop off in
impressions, it is our hope that a resurgence of eCPM will more than offset it. We are waiting with cautious optimism
to see what these changes bring over the coming weeks.
As we stated previously, it is our enjoyment of developing these games that
drives us. With each title released,
we learn and grow as developers. In
this process, our ideas for new releases and updates expand. It is with high hopes that we proceed
into 2012. Here are a few things
that we hope to bring you over the coming months.
Updates and enhancements to our existing and
sometimes neglected titles. We
understand the importance of providing new content to keep you, the user,
involved and entertained.
An expanded library of more polished and well
thought-out games. 3D games, deviating from our traditional 2D model. Expect to see a few of those coming
Expanding our platform base to other devices and
operating systems. Shuriken Ninja,
Ultra Fill have already been ported to iOS. If you have an iPhone or iPad,
definitely check them out. We have
also begun investigating porting a few titles to the Xbox. And, if time permits, there may be
some Android ports coming as well.
And, for your reading pleasure, a few of our internal company goals.s.
To hit and exceed the 2 million download mark.
To FINALLY figure out what the hell is going on
with our eCPM and fix it.
To write a similar, but far more boastful article
twelve months from now after another year of unexpected success.
To score a walk-on role with Nathan Fillion,
Bruce Campbell, or in a SyFy Original movie.
Ok…so that’s just a personal one from the guy writing this article. Fingers crossed though!