Why our first game app doesn´t recoup its development costs, however, was a success for us

Last year we launched our first game app SoundARound for iOS and android. It doesn´t earn 5 Euros a month but nevertheless was a success. How can that be?

We can´t figure the development costs of this app exactly, but it is certain, that not all costs are covered with 5 Euro earnings per month.

Luckily this wasn´t our aim for the game. Obviously we wished at the beginning, that the costs can be covered again and were a little dissapointed, when we noted: „Well, that´s not much good!“


It was about gaining experience from the first idea about this app until today:

– What should be considered all – namely before get going with the programming?

– What are the possibilities to implement the project?

– Where occur which problem? How does it feel and how can you solve it?

– Which effect has it on the time scheduling?

– How long take processes on which we rely but aren´t capable to influence them.

– How is the app spreaded by diverse channels, devices and geographically?

– What responses do you get and what can you do to improve the app according to this information?

To be honest we´ve taken it easy, as it would have been a mistake to issue the very first game app as the worldwide no. 1 as serious objectiv:


Without any real concept at the start

We started, without any clue how it should look like at the end. Thus some important design ideas reached its decision at a very advanced stage and took much work with.

As we started without any entire concept, we besides haven´t had some possibilites, which we wished to implement later. The system with which we bring the pixel characters onto screeen, is completely dumb. It rather remembers how we brought Basic Sprites onto screen with the C64. Pretty old school – thereby we were limited to 8×8 pixel fields.

Inside the game the biggest problem is the motivation: A thing, we haven´t thought about with the necessary priority at the beginning:


A game should start easy and the difficulty level should then increase steadily to keep the player entertained.

Story und player motivation

Initially we wanted to tell a story with our pixel characters: starting from pong, to 8bit games, cassettes, records up to the modern stuff. This would have meant, that the first characters would have been pretty hard to play and it would have been easier to collect points then. So we decided a random principle, which also has its problems: Some figures are hard to play, take long and bring few points. As every game is different, you are fortunate or unfortunate. That´s not good for highscore players. Sometimes you reach 400 points, another time 800 points.

The release

Not least releases and updates in the store can turn out to be annoying or an obstacle. However, we also learnt from that: We wanted to release SoundARound someday, because some issues as e.g. app rating, placement of advertising, linkings and so on, can only be tested perfectly with a real app. There have been some little mistakes and specially Apple made our desicion hard with all its rejection of our updates, which were enhancements.

Also thereafter we gained many experiences: We thought to be more successful on android with a wider user base and better possibilites for updates. But it turned out to be completely different. We still register regularly more downloads in the Apple store. This is due to the radical quality policy of Apple, that there are fewer apps and nevertheless is more clearer.

Our wage – many positive experiences

We were happy about the positive ratings at the end, but haven´t liked those dozen, in our eyes unserious, offers, which came from – bought – reports.

Well, we learnt to plan the comming own app better in advance, to proceed the realisation more strategically, to much more emphasize a motivating game design and not to stop working on the app and its marketing after release.


And these experiences are yet much more worth, as the complete developemnt of the app did cost. That´s why – chapeau! We have done all right!


In the meantime we did a lot of other stuff and are also creating an app, which is similar to a game – but I´m really looking forward to the release of our next game app, with which we take these and also some other points much more into consideration.

Perhaps it won´t be a worldwide no. 1 app yet – but the games, which really inspired me, weren´t any no. 1 hits.

Only one thing to say: after a lot of thinking, we are wondering if it is interesting for you to get continiously reports and insights of one of our app developments. If so, please contact us by email and we will journalistically accompany one app from the idea to world fame (if there are enough interests).

If you want to download the game, please click here or scan the QR code above: SoundARound

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