Launching Flappy Herbie: Comparing BlackBerry v. iOS

BlackBerry World

Guest post by Harry Kalogirou.

flappy herbie

Flappy Herbie: Trolls of the Forest is a game I created in eighteen hours inspired by the success of Flappy Bird. Flappy Herbie really stood out and made a mark in BlackBerry World. The game initially launched for BlackBerry 10 devices, then for PlayBook and finally for iOS. In this blog post, I will provide some insight on download data from the week of the launch in BlackBerry World and the iOS AppStore. (I will not be including PlayBook downloads here as Flurry is not available on the platform and therefore no solid data are available.) If you want to know more about the game and how I developed it, I encourage you to read my recent blog post on the topic.

The numbers for BlackBerry World

The game launched in BlackBerry World on February 10, 2014. Below are the download numbers for the period between February 10 and February 17. The game had 7,500 new users the day it launched, and it peaked on Valentine’s Day, adding 9,000 new users! By the end of the week, the game had accumulated 54,186 users. After that, the rate of new users per day started to have a slow decline to around 2,800 new users each day.

Flappy Herbie_New Users_1

What I found interesting is the number of active users for each of those days. Let’s take a closer look.

Flappy Herbie_Active Users_2

The “stickiness” of the game can be witnessed by studying the number of active users each day. As you can see in the chart above, the number of active users was climbing each day to the peak point of 20,000 active users per day. The game was achieving very high retention rates, which was also apparent based on user reviews (more than 1,300 by the end of the week).  Below you can see the distribution of rating for that period.

Flappy Herbie_Reviews_3

By the end of the month, the game accumulated more than 100,000 users, received 2,000 reviews averaging 4.5 stars, and players have played more than 10,300,000 games accumulating a total playtime of five full years.

The numbers for iOS

So now let’s check the numbers for the first week on iOS.

Flappy Herbie_iOS Users_1

I think that the graph speaks for itself. Let’s also check out the active users.

Flappy Herbie_iOS Active Users_2

So what we see is that the game’s characteristics for retention are preserved as expected, since we are talking about the same game. However, the downloads are considerably low. I suspect the game is lost among thousands of other games, failing to get visibility in front of users.

Conclusions

Publishing for BlackBerry proved to be a very wise move. The game is doing amazingly well, as at the time of writing it’s still the number one Built for BlackBerry free game, and the number two free game overall. Finally, after I added an update that adds the unlockable character Mollie, Flappy Herbie is now generating more revenue per day than my other games, Pop Corny and FlyCraft.

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