Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Play Store Ratings and Reviews

 Do reviews have an impact on sales?

Damn right they do.

I need to get this off my chest and hopefully educate a few people about the importance of ratings and reviews on the Google Play Store.

At the time of writing this the top 5 reviews for my trivia game are all bad except for 1. This has had a real impact on the game's downloads. Before the bad reviews 25% of people that looked at the game downloaded it compared to 15% today. That's huge. To make things worse this is during the time of the year when more people download and play games.

There is another downside to this. While my competitors are enjoying extra downloads my game is doing the opposite and this is widening the gap exponentially and driving my game out of the charts. It will now be even harder to climb back up. Instead of spending my time improving the game I'm now going to have to put all my effort into promoting it instead.

Let's take a look at these devastating reviews.


1. Did like it but now that I paid the game is frozen on the second pyramid. * * *

This sounded like she just bought the game and it instantly broke on her. I spent the whole weekend trying to reproduce the error to no avail. It wasn't until my friend who was also playing the game had the same glitch. It didn't happen until you'd played the first game in the pyramid 50 times, no wonder I couldn't find it. It was a silly coding error of giving a variable the wrong name and I fixed it in seconds.

I always reply to reviews and told the lady I'd found and fixed the error and to have a Merry Christmas, the right thing to do would be to change your review to say that you're now satisfied and the game is working great.

2. Kind of cool. * * * * *

3. Tap tap tap - nothing happens. * *

The guy is trying to blame the game for being unresponsive which is wrong. His device is a phone and he probably has too many applications running in the background, the phone is trying to get a signal, updates are downloading and installing and so on.
I actually put a lot of effort into making the game as fast and responsive as possible, a hell of a lot of effort. If this was a real issue (and it would be a big issue) then somebody would have mentioned it before, after all 6000 people have played it.

4. Grammar mistake aside, it won't let me advance. I beat the knowledge portion 3 times, it just repeats it. Uninstalling. * *

This one also had me baffled. I ran various tests to see if I could reproduce the error she was talking about, another wasted day. What I eventually realized she'd done was she was playing multiplayer which is turn based. You pass the game around and take it in turns like a board game. In the interest of fair play everyone is asked the same questions, hence the repeats she was talking about. How the hell she didn't know she was playing multiplayer is beyond me. Before you play multiplayer a big notice comes on screen telling you you're in multiplayer mode, also the names at the top of the screen a lit up and an animated finger points to each players name telling you who's turn it is. It's REALLY obvious.

5. Stuck. Won't let me sign in. *

My worst review. What makes this even worse is that the game he's got is pirated. So not only has he ripped off my game but he's also ruining my game's reputation and losing me legit customers.
It looks like my game requires you to sign in to something to play it which is giving people the wrong impression and will definitely put people off downloading it. It also makes the game look like it's fundamentally flawed in a big way. There is no signing in to play my game by the way.
When he means he's stuck and the game won't let him sign in, what he should have said is what it tells him on the screen, "Unable to contact the Play Store to check the license, please turn on your Wi-Fi and restart the game."

Conclusion


Anyone seeing my game for the first time will be greeted by reviews saying the game is broken and unresponsive. If more people would leave good reviews this wouldn't be a problem, but people just like to complain, don't they.

This could be the end of the game to tell the truth, unless it suddenly gets the reviews it deserves it's doomed.