It’s been two years since A Dark Room iOS has been released. Michael and I want to be as open as possible with our numbers so here they are in raw format, along with a summary (approximate). If you want to crunch these numbers and possibly share any insight you find, that’d be wonderful.

A Dark Room Year 1


These numbers are from last year’s developer logs:

[ Month ] [ Paid Downloads ] [ Free Downloads ] [ Apple Check ]
Nov 2013 403   555
Dec 2013 698   943
Jan 2014 986   1,320
Feb 2014 2,288 8,612 1,760
Mar 2014 15,428 15,172 11,600
Apr 2014 305,000   214,000
May 2014 237,000   166,000
Jun 2014 101,000   70,700
Jul 2014 29,526 5,110 22,200
Aug 2014 38,304 1,021,660 28,800
Sep 2014 28,400   19,900
Oct 2014 14,900   10,100
[ Month ] [ Amount ]
Gross income (less Apple’s share) 553,000
My half of ADR (I happily give Michael his share) 276,500
33% income tax 91,245
12% self employment tax 33,120
Net 152,135

A Dark Room went viral in UK and US. It was the #1 premium, “free to play app” in the US for 18 days straight (with no feature/marketing from Apple).

A Dark Room Year 2


[ Month ] [ Paid Downloads ] [ Free Downloads ] [ Apple Check ]
Nov 2014 5,040 134,959 3,790
Dec 2014 60,600   41,500
Jan 2015 30,700   21,420
Feb 2015 47,100   32,700
Mar 2015 12,200   8,220
Apr 2015 9,180   6,290
May 2015 9,460   6,940
Jun 2015 4,820 ($1.99)   6,630
Jul 2015 3,670 ($1.99)   4,430
Aug 2015 4,070 ($0.99)   2,080
Sep 2015 10,800   6,970
Oct 2015 4,800 62,000 3,300
[ Month ] [ Amount ]
Gross income (less Apple’s share) 144,270
My half of ADR (I happily give Michael his share) 72,135
33% income tax 23,804
12% self employment tax 8,656
Net 39,675

I took up contract work because of the volatility of the App Store (which is why my income tax is still at 33%).

Interestingly (and again for reasons unknown), A Dark Room went viral in the UK Dec 2014. The experience and length of the virility was similar to last time, but didn’t have the long running side effect of going viral in the US.

Originally, I figured that ADR being #1 in the UK somehow triggered its rise to the #1 spot in the US. Turns out that’s not the case.

The Ensign Year 1


Around August of 2014, I released a prequel to A Dark Room called The Ensign. I loved traversing the dusty path, and wanted an extremely difficult, “Dark Souls like” experience. Mission accomplished, here are the numbers:

[ Month ] [ Paid Downloads ] [ Free Downloads ] [ Apple Check ]
Aug 2014 16,600   11,600
Sep 2014 9,800   6,880
Oct 2014 4,500   3,170
Nov 2014 3,650   2,610
Dec 2014 6,600   4,540
Jan 2015 4,990   3,470
Feb 2015 5,750   3,990
Mar 2015 3,310   2,290
Apr 2015 2,630   1,810
May 2015 2,620 41,000 1,820
Jun 2015 2,230 ($1.99)   3,080
Jul 2015 4,250 ($1.99)   4,410
Aug 2015 1,270 ($1.99)   1,885
Sep 2015 2,340 ($0.99) 9,700 1,580
Oct 2015 1,440 10,100 980
[ Month ] [ Amount ]
Gross income (less Apple’s share) 54,115
33% income tax 17,857
12% self employment tax 6,493
Net 29,765

The prequel is doing alright. It did extremely well the first month (it was featured by Apple… unsolicited). I expect The Ensign sales to stay at ~25% of A Dark Room sales.

A Noble Circle Year 1 (so far)


[ Month ] [ Paid Downloads ] [ Free Downloads ] [ Apple Check ]
Apr 2015   3,670  
May 2015   4,700  
Jun 2015   2,500  
Jul 2015 1,360 1,200 948
Aug 2015 675   469
Sep 2015 6,580 1,380 3,570
Oct 2015 844 209 582
[ Month ] [ Amount ]
Gross income (less Apple’s share) 5,569
33% income tax 1,837
12% self employment tax 668
Net 3,064

A Noble Circle is a new game I’m working on. I took a different approach with this game, being that I released a barely playable version for free. I wanted to get something out there, and show my next idea. It has been received really well. After e months of free downloads, I made it a for pay app, and am still working on it. The reviews are still very supportive, and are happy with the purchase (even though it’s an unfinished product).

There was a significant spike in September because Apple featured me under Best New Game Updates. It took a ton of work to build that relationship with Apple (and get this feature). Of course, the number dropped right afterwards.

It remains to be seen if A Noble Circle will be as successful as ADR or TE, but I think it’s too early to tell at this point (especially since I have many many opportunities to get this app featured). With regards to getting assigned a direct Apple contact, I’ll be doing a detailed entry about what I went through (and what I learned) soon.

Here’s a link to all my games, just in case you want to support me (or to say thank you for this data).



Subscribe to get high signal, low noise entries with regards to software development, doing what you love, and never being content with where you are.

Also, I've spent the three years fighting the uphill battle of getting noticed in the App Store. I've decided to write some words about it in book format.

powered by MailChimp

13 November 2015