It’s been a very busy year for David Zilberfayn , CEO of the prolific publishing studio Appsolute Games. In this candid interview with Leadbolt, he shares his strategy for achieving over 5 million game downloads since their first release in May 2015. He also offers advice on what it takes to get your games to the top of the charts.
First, is it true that you have zero coding experience?
Yes, it’s true. I started the company with no coding knowledge, but I had a vision for the kinds of apps I wanted to publish and ideas for several games. Since we are a publishing company, I then looked for the most talented designers and developers to assemble my team.
From where do you hail?
We are based in the San Francisco Bay Area with partners all over the world.
What was your first app and what app are you most proud of?
The first game that we published was on May 21, 2015 called Flite. Flite lets you tap your way up through spinning shapes and obstacles in the atmosphere, and collect as many stars as you can while trying to fly high. It has simple one-touch game controls that make it easy to play, but difficult to master!
Our most successful game to date is called Skill Wave. It’s also a one-touch game that lets you explore an abstract world with dynamic landscapes, minimalist art and sharp obstacles while trying to collect power ups that boost your ability to progress in the game.
We’re very proud of our recent release, Sick Sam – it has an amazing soundtrack and it’s pretty addictive. The goal is to keep poor Sam alive as long as possible by hopping from dot to dot on the crazy EKG to prevent him from flat-lining. Talk about needing to beat your score. He deserves your constant attention.
Who uses your app?
Our games appeal to Casual gamers on iOS, worldwide
What is different or unique about your app?
We focus on high quality, endless play arcade-style games. Simplicity is truly a beautiful thing, and can keep players entertained for a long time. We focus on 3 main aspects during our development:
- Create a fun factor – clever concepts that feel fun and sparks an emotion that makes the game compelling
- Using simple controls – do not over-complicate gameplay, but do make it challenging enough to hold the player’s interest and keep them coming back for a higher score.
- A clean UI – elegance and style in all things.
What was your first major challenge and how did you go about overcoming it?
The first major challenge was launching the company and attracting talented developers. We’re extremely grateful to be working with a great team now. There were also a lot of business development aspects to the app business, which were unrelated to actual game development.
How did you go about getting your app discovered by new users?
Positive reviews early on had a great deal to do with growing awareness. We were fortunate enough to have our first 10 games featured by Apple in Best New Games. This is why I believe that focusing on quality first is the best way to ensure your apps get noticed. Eventually, having a quality app trumps any kind of promotion you can do, because the game must stand on its own and earn its place long-term on the player’s device after a player downloads it.
How does your app generate revenue?
Our games are free on the Apple store, so our apps generate revenue mostly from in-app advertising and some in-app purchases.
What trend do you see happening in the mobile app economy that you think will impact mobile app developers?
We see more and more companies are going after the hard-core game market.
If you could offer one piece of advice or life-lesson to developers starting out, what would you tell them?
As I mentioned earlier, focus on creating the best possible product, and the money will follow — Not in reverse.
Give us an inside peek into what’s next for Appsolute Games?
More high quality games 🙂