Dev Diary #13: Cally’s Caves 2 Postmortem

Well, it has now been about 75 days since we released Cally’s Caves 2, and we figured it was about time to write an article about our experience since the game came out.  If you missed it, we got an awesome PlayPressers Trailer, and some attention from some media.  It was all wonderful, but this article is about the stats so let’s just get right into it.

Downloads

Screenshot 2014-09-18 15.01.02

We currently have 131,000 free downloads after two and a half months.  It was way more than we expected to get, and our team feels incredibly lucky to have reached that many people.  To many game developers, 131,000 is nothing, especially considering that Cally’s Caves 2 is free game.  To us, however, it has far exceeded our highest hopes.  When we first started working on Cally 2, we set a lofty goal of getting a hundred thousand downloads to try and grow our name and build an audience.  It was the kind of goal you set because you know it’s so high you’ll never hit it, but the act of aiming for it will make your product better in the end.  The fact that we actually reached and exceeded it is a dream come true.

As far as regions go, here are the download numbers:

USA and Canada: 64,000

Asia Pacific: 40,200

Europe: 25,000

Latin America: 1,140

Africa, the Middle East and India: 324

It should be noted that we were lucky enough to be featured by Apple for about 7 weeks.  It wasn’t the big, banner feature on the front page of the Appstore, but they listed Cally’s Caves 2 first in the Action and Adventure subsections of the Games category.  So anyone that would go to one of those sections would see our App icon without having to scroll anywhere.  This feature was in place in Canada and the U.S. for 6 weeks, and in Russia, Great Britain, and Germany off and on for a few weeks each.  While the app was being featured, we were getting at least 2,000 downloads a day for the entire 7 weeks.  If you look at the graph above, it doesn’t have huge peaks and valleys.  Who knows how many of the downloads could be attributed to this featuring from Apple?  They were even nice enough to feature us in some categories a few taps deeper into the AppStore when they took our original featuring down.

Charts

Screenshot 2014-09-18 15.13.29

We never charted very high in any countries.  The highest we ever got to hitting the overall top 300 apps in any country was in Canada when we hit #740 overall right after launch.  We managed to hit the top 50 games in the Adventure sections in the U.S., Canada, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, but never for very long.  Our best chart performance by country was in Canada, where we managed to steadily stay on the Adventure and Action charts for about 6 weeks.  We were a bit disappointed that we couldn’t reach that critical mass that could get our app higher in the charts, and start getting more downloads as a result of the higher visibility, but we were already so lucky it was hard to feel negatively about it.  It’s all part of trying to build a game franchise and grow a name.

AppStore Reviews and Ratings

Screenshot 2014-09-18 15.19.52

We’ve gotten user reviews from many different countries, many of them in languages foreign to us.  It’s been a nice treat to put them into Google Translate and see what they say, nice or not.  Out of 238 total user reviews, we have a 4.4 star average.   We have some low reviews from some users that have experienced a save file glitch, and other glitches in general, but the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and it’s been energizing to see.  We have about 800 ratings (the site we use for stats breaks them up individually into countries only, so there’s no easy screenshot to post to show it)  without reviews, and the average is the same 4.4 out of 5.  Add to that the amazing reviews we got from Toucharcade, Pocketgamer, and 148apps, and we are pretty happy campers!

What’s Next

Right now, Cally’s Caves and Cally’s Caves 2 have glitches that cause crashes on the newly released iOS 8.  This is a software-related bug and we are working hard day and night to get updates out in the next week for both games.  The upside is that it has motivated us to finish the updates we already were working on (alongside a new project), so there will be lots of bug fixes and some new stuff in both games.  Dave, the full-time artist from Cally’s Caves and part-time designer and tester on Cally’s Caves 2 has rejoined the team, now that he has moved and settled into the new city he’s living in.  And Pablo and I (Jordan) are still plugging away.  We are now a 3 man team, and we are working on something new that we will be announcing and talking about very soon!  In the meantime, we’d like to say a big thanks to anyone that downloaded Cally’s Caves 2, retweeted links, told a friend, gave us an Appstore Rating and Review, or checked out this blog.  Stay tuned for news about what we are cooking up soon…

Note: The stats in this dev diary are all from iTunes Connect, and AppAnnie.com.  Check out AppAnnie if you want to check out the full stats for Cally’s Caves 2, or any other iOS app!

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10 thoughts on “Dev Diary #13: Cally’s Caves 2 Postmortem

  1. What a great games! Both of them.
    *donating in callys caves original*
    The night is young, and I’m ready to play.
    P.S. Soundtrack is also awesome. Pure deliciousness(c)

    App downloader from Russia, who saw a game icon banner in appstore.

    1. Hmmmm I’m really sorry to hear that… We had problems with some in-app-purchases when its on 3G… But we will do whatever we can to improve it in the next update! Thanks for wanting to support us and we will make sure the iAP system is better in CC3!

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