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Seven days is a long time in politics, an eternity in the App Store

So here we are one week later. So much has happened since the last post that I am struggling to know where to start, and how to make this interesting or at least informative. Hmm.

I guess the most significant event was at the start of the week. Exhausted as I was from a busy weekend and all the frenetic activity preceding it, I was looking forward to an early night. Somehow that didn’t happen. Instead I was still poking around at midnight when I happened to open the games section of the App Store to look for inspiration on a product description update -and there was the Fare City icon. No. Yes. No, it can’t be. Yes, it is!

That is how I discovered that Fare City was in New and Noteworthy.

Now, many people have commented on the boost that comes from this distinction but I had not appreciated quite how significant this effect can be. Sales jumped ten-fold on the day after appearing – and this is only the games section, not the all apps. The strange thing, though, is that in the days since Fare City sales have remained fairly constant at the new level, even though its position in the action and strategy subcategories has steadily improved. I assume that Apple has some cunning algorithm, or there is just a lot of lag built into the system.

I’ve also started to try out AppViz, a nice Mac application that monitors your sales figures, rankings and reviews. So far I like what I see so I guess I’ll be spending $30 when the trial expires.

Oh, and we just submitted version 1.0.1 to Apple.

What? One week in the App Store and there’s an update?

Yes, that is right. Mainly I wanted to clear up a few bugs in the routing algorithm that had been annoying me but couldn’t be fixed for 1.0 in case it destabilized things. But then I discovered a very annoying glitch in the leaderboard that meant only the top 200 scores showed up in the game. And then there was the size issue…

Yes, we were well and truly bitten by the 10MB limit on over-the-air purchases. When I submitted 1.0 to Apple it was 9.8MB. It worried me to be so close but I decided to not risk making any changes. What a mistake! On the App Store Fare City is 10.1MB – no easy purchasing. 🙁

But what did we cut from the game to get it under? With some reluctance I have made the menu music mono. Not so good with the headphones now but sounds the same through the speaker (of course) and I think it’s better than cutting the bit-rate. Of course, we don’t know for certain that lack of over-the-air buying has hurt the sales at all, but I figure it has to be worth a try.

Well, there we are. I knew I would end up rambling in this post. Time to come to some sort of a conclusion.

Week one has been far more successful than we dreamed possible with a first game from an unknown team and no marketing preparation. At the same time Fare City still stands outside the doors of success. To break through to the big time it still needs more publicity, much more publicity.

So if you are reading this, and you have the game, and you like it, can you tell people about it? I’d really appreciate it.

And if you’re still reading, thanks. And have a great weekend.

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