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In a short couple of weeks the App Store turns two. There will undoubtedly be big celebrations in Cupertino and elsewhere as Apple trumpets the latest milestone of its success. Here at Mundue headquarters it’s time to look back and reflect on the first two years of the App Store. Let’s start with the big news first.


A Cool 7 Million

Sometime on June 17th we passed 7,000,000 downloads for all our apps. The majority are from our reMovem games, and most of those are free downloads. Nevertheless some of our lesser known games like iKeno and inFact World are selling a decent amount each month as well.  A little while back when I realized the upcoming milestone I calculated it would occur around July 7th. Celebrating 7 million on 7/7 sounded like a great idea, and it’s close to the App Store’s actual birthday of 7/11/08. In the meantime we decided to put reMovem up on the FreeAppADay promotion site on May 4th. This resulted in an extra 96,000 downloads which sort of accelerated things a bit.

iPad Heats Things Up

Earlier this year the reMovem lineup received a major addition with the introduction of reMovem 2 for iPad. While the gameplay is familiar, the larger board and extra features have helped to pave the way for more changes in the iPhone versions. Little things like unlimited undo, theme support, and better graphics are making their way into reMovem and reMovem free with the most recent updates. The iPad is a fantastic device to use and develop for, and I can honestly say it made our extended roadtrip in May much more memorable.

Ad Revenue Spins Up

Along with the upcoming iOS4 comes iAd. Everyone is talking about iAd now. In early 2009 we put a few banner ads in reMovem free. With millions of users and dozens of updates it seemed reasonable to try to earn a little bit along the way. Because I was still working at a medical software company, I hadn’t quite reached the point where I could take the plunge as a full-time indie developer. At the time I calculated that ad revenue could eventually exceed paid app sales. There were many bumps along the road, including some bad blood between AdWhirl/AdMob and others, but eventually we ended up with ads in all our free apps and the revenue started to add up. Late last year Google began testing AdSense for iPhone and that has been a major win for us, exceeeding all other ad networks in every way. Still, with iAd on the horizon… it’s certainly worth a look.

Look Beyond Our Borders

Translation has been such a big win for reMovem, I can’t stress that fact enough. Nearly 3 million downloads of all versions of reMovem have come from outside of the U.S. It took a few months to finish the process, but we ended up with 13 languages and some months more than 50% of the downloads come from overseas. It’s a bit of a pain to manage the updates and merging changes, but well worth the effort. For those who read the earlier post about number of games played, Pinch metrics showed 1.78 billion new games, before they shut their reporting service off. [Pinch was acquired and rolled into Flurry's service.]

What’s Next?

We’ve got some short-term updates for iOS 4 and iPhone 4 compatibility, then a round of sweeping changes for the reMovem products. Having just returned from Apple’s WWDC, it’s apparent there is a long list of good things on the horizon that we need to prepare for. Of course there are a couple of top-secret projects that we’re also working on. Looks like we’re in for a long hot summer, time to head for the mountains to cool off.