App development and marketing tips from Occamy

Moto X Mayhem

Moto X MayhemIf you’re a regular browser of the App Store sales charts, then the chances are you’ll have seen the familiar dirt bike icon of Moto X Mayhem from Occamy Games Inc.

But what’s the story behind the company and what advice can they share on how to be successful on the App Store and beyond? I caught up with Tyler Wilson their Creative Director to find out…

What’s the story behind Occamy Games – how did you get started and how have you grown?

Occamy Games was founded by two industry vets. We used to work for really large development teams making games for Xbox and PS3. Over the years as we moved from studio to studio we played with the idea of splitting off to develop on our own. Nothing came together quite right until iPhone came out and we saw our opportunity. We spent the first few months of 2009 effectively working two jobs, our full time gig and Occamy Games our evening relationship ruiner.

We released Moto X Mayhem on July 26, 2009 and it exceeded our expectations by far. Not too long after that we quit our day jobs and have been working on Moto X Mayhem ever since. Hopefully we can make something new soon 🙂

What advice would you give to aspiring developers looking to get started in app development?

Just do it! Don’t spend a lot of time talking about it and worrying about the competition. Figure out what you like and what’s going to sell, they might not be the same thing. So do your research and decide what you want to achieve. If you can create an app that’s missing from the store, you’re gold. It might take a few tries but be persistent and shamelessly self promote.

While fremium is clearly working on Moto X, what do you see your business model changing over the next year or two as the subscription and ad markets become better established?

Moto X Mayhem sells for 99c for six islands with seven levels each. Then we have two in-app purchases available which each have two more islands. So if you go buy everything you’ll have ten islands and have spent $3. Enough to keep you busy for a while! Beyond that we have a free version, Moto X Mayhem Lite, which gives you one free island.

I don’t see this formula changing too much for us in the Apple store. We’ll probably do something more creative with the other markets to better suit the different users. Moto X Mayhem is also available on Android and Ovi which have slightly different demographics, regional and monetary.

Which have you found to be the most effective way of marketing your apps, outside of the holy grail of being featured by Apple?

Fortunately for us we haven’t had to try too many different marketing tactics. We’ve held on to the racing category top 10 fairly well. Aside from that I’d say tapping into the viral machine is ideal. Changing your price gets tweets and blogs. We did a free week which saw a lot of chatter and added a lot of users to the full version. With appealing in-app purchases this is a pretty good way to go.

We haven’t been featured by Apple in a very long time, but they did put our game on the iPhone 4 store demo phones. That was cool.

Outside of the big two – iOS and Android – which platforms are you considering developing on?

We’ve just come out on Nokia Symbian^3 devices in their Ovi Store. We’ve been on Facebook with a free version for a while. We’ll probably show up on Windows 7 Phones and Bada before the year ends too.

And the personal question I always like to ask – what has been your mobile phone history (e.g. devices you’ve owned over the years)?

I’m not much of a technophile so my phone history is pretty straight forward. I had a Motorola POS, Samsung V200, Motorola Razr, iPhone 3G, and my second iPhone 4. The last broke while trying to update with a full disc :p

4 Comments

  1. I wish our apps would hold position in the top 10! Requires a lot of time pushing them and playing with the price to get the visibility we need, let alone the holy grail of getting featured by the big Apple!

  2. Ovi seems a brave move in the current climate, Bada equally risky, but I guess if it’s a lean operation then why not?

  3. I wonder how many apps you have to sell for two people to quit the day job? That’s a lot of apps at 69p gross before Apple take their cut. They must have sold a truck load!

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