Vladimir Romanov, ZiMad’s founder, discusses the importance of shipping mobile games to the Amazon App Store or Microsoft Store.
Free-to-play games for 2022 are generally referred to as games on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. This market is made up of people who aren’t interested in the bigger videogame economy but love simple, colorful games to pass the time.
Although Google and Apple’s first-party shops are clearly huge revenue drivers for free-to-play, they’re not the only stores. Samsung Android devices have access to the Samsung App Store. Amazon also has an app store for its Android-adjacent Fire tablets.
Free-to-play players can still download games from the Windows Store to their PCs and laptops. Vladimir Romanov is the head of App Store Optimization at mobile gaming publisher ZiMad. ZiMad publishes Magic Jigsaw Puzzles and Puzzle Villa as well as Domino Online.
Romanov shared his reasons for shipping games to alternative stores during a chat with SwastikGames. Romanov shared some valuable data that may help you see these stores differently, especially if your target market is already shopping at them.
Feel free to try new platforms by using your most-performing game
Any mobile game publisher that opens new stores hopes to make a profit. ZiMad is not surprised to target alternative app stores as it strives to grow its app portfolio.
Romanov says that the process of adding new stores to the publishing team is not as easy as simply adding them to the existing list. To assess the performance of any store, Romanov suggests that Magic Jigsaw puzzles be published first to get quantitative metrics. Romanov stated that the application is a well-known and trusted one. It has been downloaded more than 110 million times since 2011. The volume of in-game purchases and installs remain high. “We want to increase our success and revenue through engaging additional audiences that are not available on the [App Store] or Google Play Store because of various reasons.”
Romanov shared interesting statistics that influenced ZiMad’s strategy for the Amazon App Store. He stated that Amazon’s Fire tablets account for 10 percent of the global market. Each month, anywhere from one million to 1.5 million devices are sold. Amazon blocks other stores from operating on its platform (Tim Sweeney Are you reading this? ZiMad’s games don’t have a negative impact on its revenue.
Alternative app stores are believed to bring in a substantial portion of ZiMad’s revenue. The Amazon AppStore accounts for 30% of Magic Jigsaw Puzzles’revenue. Romanov claims that this value is comparable to that of the Google Play Store.
It is interesting to note that different monetization methods generate different revenue streams for different stores. Revenue is mainly generated by in-game ads for Magic Jigsaw puzzles on the Amazon App Store. Romanov said that this performance was due to the fact that “80%” of Amazon App Store users are American. Players based in the United States have the highest pay, and this high concentration leads to “substantial revenue” and high conversion.
The Microsoft Store has more money earned from in-game purchases. Romanov stated that the shopping metrics on the Microsoft Store are similar to those found in the iOS App Store. This is likely because Windows Store users are more willing and able to spend this money.
Romanov cautions that Magic Jigsaw puzzles‘s ability to earn 30% in revenue from alternative stores is “more than an exception”, that’s due to the game’s popularity. These metrics are lower across ZiMad’s entire portfolio. According to him, the revenue generated by alternative apps stores is only 10-15% for other games.
“Our goal: To scale our success, revenue and engagement with additional audiences not available on the [App Store] or Google Play Store for different reasons.
ZiMad’s experience in alternate app stores led it to prioritise shipping new titles to the Amazon App Store over the Microsoft Store. Any app that is shipped on the Amazon App Store can be modified to sell on the Google Play Store. However, a Microsoft Store app must be created from scratch.
Microsoft seems to be well aware of these advantages. Windows 11 has a feature that allows users to activate Android apps through the Amazon App Store. Amazon’s desire to encourage developers to publish on its platform means that developers often offer Amazon Coins to players to be used for in-game currency. Romanov stated that Amazon’s strategy encourages players to buy and that he has observed an increase in the conversion rate of in-app purchases among Coin users.
If you are a free-to-play developer still struggling to find your feet in the mobile market, ZiMad might be a good place to start. Romanov advised developers who are interested in the Amazon App Store to prepare for App Store Optimization analysis.
He stated that the store was not supported by ASO services. The good news is that the search results in Amazon App Store are identical in both the web and mobile versions.
Translation: To perform ASO analysis, you don’t have to use an Amazon device. Your browser will suffice. Romanov explained that Amazon charges a traditional store commission fee at 30 percent. However, this number drops to 20% if your annual revenue is below $1 million. Amazon offers discounts on development services for those who are active in its App Store.
Romanov advised developers to not ignore other storefronts, saying “high-quality product” is likely to be noticed on alternative platforms. These storefronts might offer a way for you to connect with larger developers if they aren’t yet active.