Ten days after release: the story of Bovine Simulator launch

It’s been almost two weeks since Bovine Simulator launch. How are things going? We’re very happy to say it’s really exceeding our expectations :D Here’s the story of the release of our very first game.

Well… we should start with saying that we had very low expectations. We love Bovine Simulator, and of course we always hope that each app we launch could make us billionairs. But our realistic guess with this game was to get about 10 downloads per day.
We made zero pre-sale marketing with Bovine, because for us this was an experimental project with the main aim to gain experience in the game market and with Unreal Engine 4. That meant not “wasting” energies in pre-marketing before the game was ready to launch.

Preparing the launch

As soon as we were ready to send the game to Apple, we started preparing some promotional materials. We made a landing page here on our websites, created screenshots for the AppStore, plus (and that’s news for us) a trailer to launch on YouTube (which could be super useful to market our game on forums as well).

While preparing the app on iTunesConnect, we realized we needed more materials. iPhone 6 and 6+ had just been released, and with the new iOS 8 we also had the chance to upload a video app preview on the AppStore (and of course the trailer wasn't ok for Apple's standards). We prepared the missing screenshots (25 images for each language, if you’re localizing your app. Luckly, we only have english and italian :P) and two more videos (one with iPhone 5 dimensions, and another one for iPad), save the project and… waited. Waited for iTunesConnect status to change. And after 10 days, we were ready to launch!

The day of the release

We were so excited!!! We prepared a list of (free) forums and websites where to announce Bovine Simulator's release. We prepared three different templates for forums (one specific for toucharcade, one for the Unreal Engine forum, and a generic one for the other forums), plus an e-mail to send to websites for reviews.

We posted on these forums:

And we sent requests for a review to these portals:

Of course, we posted about the release on our social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Youtube, Google+), although at the time we didn’t really have many followers, except our friends :P

What happened next

Well, Bovine Simulator surprised us. The gamers community surprised us!

As soon as the game got released, somebody opened a new thread on the Toucharcade forum about the game (ok, they probably do that for each new game that gets released every day, but we’re still flattered!), and we also got a gameplay video like an hour later.

We started getting feedback about the game both on Toucharcade and Unreal Engine’s forums. We got mentioned on various websites (gamesinasia.com, comingtouch.com, jeu.info, pixelatedparadise among the others), plus of course all the “automated” entries that replicated our app description on the AppStore(including a page on GameSpot and Metacritic).

A couple of days after that, we started gaining a lot of new followers on Twitter: we never used Twitter that much before, but we posted something about an issue we were having with iAd, that caught the attention of some other indie dev, and that must have triggered some kind of “chain” of followers ;) We also got a totally unexpected burst of download from Russia on day 5, and still don’t know what happened! Here’s the graph of Bovine Simulator downloads trend:

What now?

We think that many people liked Bovina when they first saw it, but the issue with the control system made them gave up about the game. We’re waiting for Apple to approve the patch with the fixed controls, and we’ll try our best to gain people’s (and websites!) attention again with this new update. If we won’t, that’s still OK. We’re already super happy about this released, because it made us feel kind of famous: we got noticed, and people appreciated our work. And that’s way more than we hoped for in the first place.

And you know what? We’re ready for the next game :D

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