There are several ways to get iPhone app sales numbers for another company’s game:
- Wait for them to disclose sales numbers via a blog, twitter post, or press release
- Get them to personally tell you over e-mail or in person
- Guesstimate using all the data out there
This post is about #3. You definitely won’t get solid numbers using this strategy, but you can get a rough estimate.
- Pull up this website with the sales data for Trenches (and whenever you see the devs give them a high-5 for sharing the info)
- Open another tab and navigate to an iOS stat tracking website. AppAnnie.com is pretty solid
- Search for Trenches and go to the Rank History for the game (or click here)
- Open a new tab and search AppAnnie for the game you’d like to guesstimate sales for
- Flip back and forth between Trenches’s sales data, its ranking history, and game X’s rank history. You’ll want to look at the Gross Ranking tab a lot since games have different prices and some have IAP which will get them to rank differently
It’s pretty easy to guess how much a game made on a given day if it’s ranked similarly to Trenches, but it can be way off if game X is ranked way higher or lower. If it’s ranked lower, especially if it’s not ranked in overall, and ESCPECIALLY if it’s not ranked in top games it’s safe to assume it’s not making bucket-loads of money.
You’ll also need to take into account whether or not a game hits a top 10 chart since download numbers tend to skyrocket when that happens.
And note that Trenches is an iPhone game, not iPad, so the sales data will be quite a bit different for an iPad game.
It’s also good to look at other sources just to make sure someone’s not making up sales info. 2D Boy gave some really interesting numbers recently in this post. Granted it’s for their iPad sales, but they say “Recently World of Goo HD’s rank on the iPad’s top grossing chart has been floating between #225 and #250 and it still nets us around $2,000 a day”. Those are some delicious numbers!
A lot of people are trying to find ways to figure out sales numbers for the app store but no one’s found the Holy Grail yet. Does it really matter knowing how much $$ someone else made? It does if you’re planning to sink a lot of time or money into an app and want to see how a particular genre or style of game is performing. It’ll at least help inform you for when you make those important decisions.