iOS App Store上有超过5.2万个游戏，其中有数千款也适用于Android，开发智能手机游戏并通过App Store审核后便足以取得成功的日子已不复存在。现在手机游戏开发商需要关注如何增加手机游戏曝光度的做法，方能获得成功。遵循以下5个步骤，可能会大幅提高你开发出重磅游戏的概率。
减少制作出低质量游戏风险的方法之一是采用已证实有效的游戏机制，但需要更新环境。比如，Riptide Games的Brian Robbins于2010年7月首次发布应用iLookGood。以iLookGood应用的成功为基础，他们在接下来的五个月内发布了iLookFunny、iAmZombie、iLookGangsta、iArrPirate、iPrincess和iLookChristmas。
减少风险的另一个方法是成为首个将其他平台的游戏理念移植到手机上的人。比如，Veiled Games决定发布新免费模式游戏《Daybreak Heroes》。该游戏的部分灵感来自于网页游戏《Kingdom of Loathing》，但在开发过程中有所调整。
PocketGamer.biz上曾发表过一篇博客，题为“Mark Rein称《无尽之剑》游戏内容加量不加价”。这篇文章中提到Epic Games副总裁、《无尽之剑》开发者Mark Rein曾发过一条Tweet，内容如下：我们不会在发布仅数周后便降低价格，因为这会让那些花5.99美元购买《无尽之剑》的人大感受挫。
正如我在博客中指出的那样，在节日期间大幅降价（游戏邦注：如EA将游戏价格降至99美分）让公司成功操控App Store应用排行榜，并将以此带来的有效流量和收益。而Mark Rein自己也在GDC大会期间将《无尽之剑》的价格降至2.99美元。
Oceanhouse Media的Michel Kripalani推荐通过减价来获得足够的用户关注度。这种方式成功地提升了手机应用《Dr. Seuss》的流量。
与这些公司的服务联网和建立关系会使你的盈利有所增长。Concrete Software的Keith Pichelman建议如下：
“因为我们已经和RIM建立起紧密合作关系，因而我们可以获得他们首批OpenGL设备的早期版本，随后就可以发布黑莓手机上的首款OpenGL游戏，也就是《PBA Bowling 2》。因为它利用了黑莓新功能，RIM现在已在App World上多次推荐这款游戏，帮助其成为我们最畅销的黑莓游戏之一。”
推荐极具不可预测性，但带来的效果很可观。Appy Entertainment的Paul O’Connor表示《Trucks and Skulls》突出重围得益于苹果在发布首周于iTune上推荐这款游戏。Paul建议在关键的行业大会（游戏邦注：如GDC Austin）期间发布应用，选定合适的发布时间，这样应用便可获得媒体关注，它就有可能幸运地得到App Store推荐，就像《Trucks and Skulls》。
FIVE STEPS TO INCREASE DISCOVERY OF YOUR MOBILE GAME
With over 52,000 games available in the iOS App Store, and thousands of games also available for Android, gone are the days of smartphone gaming when simply building a game and getting App Store approval was enough to drive success. Now mobile game developers need to focus on identifying ways to increase the discovery of their mobile games to be successful. Follow these five steps, and you’ll increase your likelihood of developing a blockbuster game:
1) Create a Quality Game
Although every game developer starts out with the mission of creating a game that doesn’t suck, the reality is that most mobile games have minimal play value. How do you increase the probability of developing a quality game that consumers want to play?
One way you can lower your risk of creating a low quality game is to focus on proven game mechanics, but with a new environment. For example, Brian Robbins of Riptide Games first launched the iLookGood app in July, 2010. Based on the success of the iLookGood app, they released iLookFunny, iAmZombie, iLookGangsta, iArrPirate, iPrincess and iLookChristmas in the next five months.
Another way you lessen your risk is to be the first to bring a proven game concept from another platform to mobile. For example Veiled Games decided to launch the new freemium game Daybreak Heroes, which was partially inspired by the web game Kingdom of Loathing although metamorphosed during development.
Want to take a larger risk? Try inventing an entirely new type of game like the start-up QONQR. Designed over a single Startup Weekend in the Twin Cities, QONQR is launching a unique, location-based app described as a “cross between Foursquare and the classic board game Risk” where players capture the geographic areas that they are actually in by sending nanobots to defeat enemy armies there or purchasing virtual missiles to attack other areas. QONQR was selected to present at the recent SXSW Accelerator.
2) Find profitable distribution channels, especially pay per install networks, to improve your chart ranking
Plan to have burst advertising campaigns so that your traffic peaks in a short timeframe, which will jumpstart your App Store rankings and result in maximizing organic traffic to your app.
Promotional campaigns of four consecutive days are more likely to have the biggest payoff.
Weekends have higher traffic than weekdays in the App Store, so start your campaigns on Thursday so you get your top ranking at the start of the weekend for a natural 20 percent lift.
One insider secret is that nearly every top ranking app in the App Store is using cost-per-install ad networks. Cost-per-install ad networks are the most cost-effective way to drive burst promotions for your app. Understand the ROI on your media buys and continue to buy profitable traffic.
3) For paid games, leverage discounting strategies
There are several discounting strategies to test.
PocketGamer.biz posted a blog “Mark Rein slams App Store sale culture: We’ll add value, not drop prices” where Mark Rein, VP of Epic Games, developer of Infinity Blade had posted a Tweet: “Folks we are NOT going to screw the folks who bought Infinity Blade at $5.99 by dropping the [price] only a few weeks after we ship!”
As I pointed out in my blog, deep discounts during the holidays – like EA aggressively reducing their games to 99 cents – allowed them to successfully control chart rankings through the holidays capitalizing on the organic traffic driven by top ranking. Low and behold, Mark Rein reduces the price of Infinity Blade to $2.99 at GDC ($5.99 regular price). Read more about holiday promotions in my blog posted here.
Michel Kripalani of Oceanhouse Media recommends discounting but making the discount noteworthy enough to get PR. This was very successful in driving traffic for the Dr. Seuss apps.
Launching a paid app and then making the price free can drive distribution as price trackers like AppShopper identify when the price of an app drops. Users monitor and download apps from these price trackers, and they can give you a lift, especially in international markets.
4. Carrier/device manufacturer deals
Networking and building relationships can grow your business. Keith Pichelman of Concrete Software advises:
“Because we have created a close relationship with RIM we were able to get early versions of their first OpenGL devices and consequently were able to release the first OpenGL game for BlackBerry – PBA Bowling 2. Since it took advantage of the new BlackBerry capabilities, RIM has now featured the game over a dozen times on App World helping it become one of our top selling BlackBerry games.”
5) Get Featured by Apple
Features are very unpredictable but the benefits are worth some marketing effort. Paul O’Connor of Appy Entertainment advises that Trucks and Skulls “roared out of the gate” due to Apple featuring the game in the very first week in iTunes. Paul advises to launch your app at key mobile events – like GDC Austin, timing the launch so that the app is available when the press hits. By getting media attention at the conference, your app could get the luck it needs to be featured in the App Store like Trucks and Skulls.
In the current mobile app environment you cannot just launch your app and hope for success. You need to become a marketer and try various distribution options like those mentioned above. If you have any additional distribution tactics, sound-off below. (Source: Games Brief )