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Making Money In The WP7 Marketplace: Part 1 With Elbert Perez

March 17, 2011 2 Comments

We here at Wp7connect have remained with the same thought process as when we started this site. Keep Windows Phone 7 consumers informed about the latest WP7 news, show them what they might like to download and what they might want to stay clear of. Our other important goal is to help promote WP7 developers (especially indie) and help them grow as much as we can. Today we start off a series of articles that help indie devs help eachother.

We have here Elbert Perez who is an indie developer on Windows Phone 7 (Full Time soon). He is the creater of popular games like Impossible Shoota, Traffic Cop, Nom Nom Worm and Steam Castle. He has already seen great success on the Windows Phone marketplace and hopefully we can have more indie devs just as successful with a little of his insight


With 9 Games in the marketplace, all free except one that offers no ads. What benifets have you experienced going this route?

The great thing about going ad supported is that you essentially turn your game into a recurring revenue type of game. You don’t have to rely on that single sale to make all your money upfront. Your game essentially turns into a service instead of a product because in order for you to keep making money you have to be actively updating and listening to your users to make the game better, and ultimately make them play longer. There is the downside that you have to update all your games to keep them relevant longer, but I love working on my games so that is not much of a problem at all.


How much revenue have you seen in this year so far? How much are you averaging daily this month?

I’ve earned around ~$15k already since January just from ad revenue alone. I think I earned $168 from the paid games. I’m averaging around $300 dollars a day this month.

We can definetly see the jump in revenue lately. What do you think has contributed to this change?

I’m not sure about the jump in revenue lately. It could be my players are playing more or deciding to click on the ads. My impressions are holding steady at around 60-80k a day. But I have heard from other devs that their ecpm has jumped up around the same time as mine so it might be a global jump in ecpm


What advertising platform/ service do you use?

I use Microsoft Ad Center


What is your most profitable game so far?

This month my most profitable game so far is Nom Nom Worm, it makes double of what my second highest game is. Overall Impossible Shoota made the most money, but it also is one of the my first games to go ad supported.


One big difference i see in comparison to some out there is that all your games are rated pretty well on the marketplace. 2 of them even received great reviews here. A good app is a must. Agree?

I think you guys should review the other 7 too ;)   But definitely you should have a very polished and enjoyable product. I think all games should be like that regardless of the monetization model they are using.


I am sure your fellow developers Would like some hints on how to follow in your footsteps. What’s your secret?

My best tip is don’t think about the money at first, think about how you can make your game into something people would want to play over and over again. The more gimmicky it is the less likely it will be repeatably played by constumers. Also make sure to solicit suggestions and reactions from as many people as you can before you launch. I use facebook and twitter to achieve this. The secret like with any masterpiece is the dozens of failures that came before the golden turd :)

Elbert even listed a quick list of tips on his blog
  • Build a quality product first and foremost. You won’t be making any kind of money from a quick and dirty game. I spent countless hours polishing and developing my games to become what they are now. Your hardwork will definitely payoff.
  • Tell the world about your game, if nobody knows about your game nobody will play it. Guess what if nobody plays it? You don’t get paid.
  • Keep your running costs low. I do almost all the work in the game. Design, Art and Programming. The only thing I don’t make are sounds, which I get from the incredibly talented Soundrangers.
  • Have a reason for the players to come back and play your game on a daily basis. If you are depending on ad revenue, your game better be darn addicting.
  • Don’t be afraid to take risks, especially if you have nothing to lose. I took a big leap of faith when I went ad based revenue, and see where I am at now
  • Ad Revenue is based on many factors, so don’t be worried if numbers suddenly plummet on a day to day basis as long as you are trending upwards over the long run
  • Listen to community feedback, the more you engage your customers the more likely they will stick around and play your game, especially when an update comes out that had a feature they really wanted.
  • Lastly, you have to be patient. Ad revenue will start really slow but slowly pick up the pace especially if your product is gaining popularity. If you are adding to a existing application remember that people have to update to get the ads, so until most of your user base updates, it will be a slow start as well.

    Well thats it! We will try to have another one of these really soon. Thanks to Elbert for his help and dedication to helping other devs. check out his info below and a  complete list of his games to download for free.

    Bio: Elbert is a Independent Game Developer living in the greater Seattle area. He finished his B.S in Game Design and Development from Full Sail University in Florida. Elbert has been making Indie Games on the side the past 3 years and will fulfill his dream of becoming a full time Independent Game Developer this April.

    You can check out our past reviews to some of his games:

    Nom Nom Worm
    Steam Castle
    You can download all of his games for free on the Marketplace:
    Impossible Shoota
    Scribble Defense
    Fishing Girl
    Traffic Cop
    Nom Nom Worm
    Blackboard Gems
    Steam Castle


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    • Cheese Zombie Games

      Just to add to his list (which I highly recommend) is to make sure your ad is always visible and hone in on the “addicting” part. It’s all about replay value when you have ads, level based games might be tough because once the content is consumed then they are done (no more impressions).

      Do that and you will get double the impressions noted here just from one game (Word Tangle for example). ;-)

    • Hyde13

      Thanks for the extra info!!!

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