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Sudden drop in number of daily installs on Google Play Store

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AxPetre, Jun 23, 2018.

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  1. PZ2100

    PZ2100

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    One more suggestion (strangely, no one has mentioned it so far): publish on alternative Android stores if you haven't already.

    I know these stores are basically dead by now (except SlideMe maybe), but still. A part of the reason why those stores are unpopular is because we, the publishers, don't submit games there (and rarely, if ever, update). I would expect this disaster at Google Play (for both developers and players) cause at least a temporary resurgence of the alternative stores.

    Here are the alternative stores where I published copies of my games in the last few days (no stats so far, so I can't say which of them bring any noticeable downloads):


    I know many of them are ugly, clumsy, bugged and demand their own weird sizes for screenshots or icon etc etc - but at least it's an option.

    There are a few stores (e.g. Aptoide) which already copy your Google Play's listings (at least if your app is popular), so there is no need to manually submit your app there.

    If I've missed any important stores, please mention them in your replies. Thanks. Btw, not sure about the Chinese stores: to publish there, you need a local distributor who would handle the official approval of the game by Chinese authorities, and you need your game _fully_ translated into Simplified Chinese (even all graphics, if any English words are inside the sprites/textures) - so, I guess that's out of the question for most publishers.
     
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  2. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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    Well.. back when I first launched my game, I also published my game on slideMe... the funny thing is for at least a month or two, the number of downloads there is higher than the one on google play store :D
     
  3. pr3t3nd3r

    pr3t3nd3r

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    You are right, I forgot i was doing the same. I was using the related games to discover new ones, especially because search was mostly useless, the search was already full with their picks with a very small connection with the searched term and the only way to discover the NEW games was related suggestions.

    And now i have a new phone where I didn't install any games because search did not show me anything interesting. When you show all the successes on almost each search there nothing left to pick ... but maybe i should play talking Tom and i don't know it yet
     
  4. ekstro

    ekstro

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    Apps in categories are back. On all our accounts!
     
  5. smokoko

    smokoko

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    in browser?
     
  6. ekstro

    ekstro

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    Yes, in browser. I also noticed that in incognito we have only "Recommended for you" section (in every category)
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  7. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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    I hope this is not another bug, but I got sudden increase in installs at july 17th, but it only visible in the"install in active device", I've checked total install but it seems delayed so I can't crosscheck it... but in unity analytic, the new user shows no spike at all, still approaching the bottom line...
     
  8. ekstro

    ekstro

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    "Active installs" for our app:

    1. 18-07: ~42 000
    2. 19-07: ~52 000
    3. 20.07: 1!
     

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  9. Avietry

    Avietry

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    And now all it is one or zero. They really messed up this time.
     
  10. Avietry

    Avietry

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    I don't know what "Pre Installs" mean but sudden increase is connected to that change apparently.
     

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  11. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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    LoL... now I got this 1 install on all my games too..
    so is this the time to say...
    "Go home Google, you're drunk"
     
  12. shiggsy_dev

    shiggsy_dev

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    Well this is depressing, of the four finance based apps I am looking at, only one now appears in the main search screen, when all four used to, all the others apps they ‘surface’ are not related. I can only get to mine via the dev console now, so the Similar apps issue has now become irrelevant for me. The apps they do show all appear to have 4 stars or more, the 1 relevant app that does appear has a rating of 4.1, the others are below 4, so it looks like that is the threshold for apps being surfaced. Mine recently dropped to 3.9 due to a couple of moronic 1 star reviews ( I don’t have many reviews, mines not a biggie), which is not likely to change now its impossible to find. If the 1 remaining findable app drops below 4 people will think no apps exist to provide this particular service on Android!


    For me this was a hobby that I enjoyed, but unless someone leaves a positive review so my app gets resurfaced, then Google has now effectively ended it as there seems little point in me spending any time extending or supporting the app anymore. :(
     
  13. vito_90

    vito_90

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    Hi guys,
    I don't know if this is a good news a , but i think it's a good sign.
    the "Similar app" is not working now, on the browser and mobile




    But on the other hand we still can find the "similar app" list in the bottom (on mobile)


    what i understand from this is that google is MAYBE trying to fix the similar app issue.
     
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  14. pnyxtr

    pnyxtr

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    Yes confirmed in Sweden as well. Either they are trying to fix it or it has been removed altogether... At least this is some indication that Google realized that similar apps is not working. Which is not what they communicate ("everything is as it should be")
     
  15. yourstoryinteractive

    yourstoryinteractive

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    The "Similar apps" from the bottom, has disappeared completely, right now.
     
  16. xVergilx

    xVergilx

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    Hah, typical.

    We cannot fix our rogue AI, let's just remove the section and pretend it never existed in the first place.
     
  17. einEntwickler

    einEntwickler

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    Here are some quotes from talented Google employees who left the company:

    The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate.
    The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.


    https://medium.com/@docjamesw/why-i-left-google-c170e6165f2a

    The main reason I left Google is that they can no longer innovate. They’ve pretty much lost that ability.
    They are mired in politics, which is sort of inevitable with a large enough organization.
    You can look at Google’s entire portfolio of launches over the past decade, and trace nearly all of them to copying a competitor.


    https://medium.com/@steve.yegge/why-i-left-google-to-join-grab-86dfffc0be84

    Hopefully Google doesn't end up like Yahoo and MySpace.
     
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  18. pr3t3nd3r

    pr3t3nd3r

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    OK, it seems the dust is settling! One month later, nothing changed, except the revenue which had the time to fall also.
    For the people who just quit the job to work on their games my advice is to start looking for a job. For the companies hit ... probably the same if nobody found any secret way to fix this.

    I have a big curiosity which is a bit off topic but somehow related:

    Did anybody managed to have any degree of success in the last 3-6-12 months?


    Cause i seen some stats and my impression is that a long time ago some of us made some projects, some got some success and then we started doing more projects better quality stuff, but no more hits lately just work with no real reward.

    Even the cases where somebody managed to do a cool cross promotion / advertising to get some success would be interesting and useful to know about, cause if almost nobody managed to rise lately, then what's the point?

    And again I don't think quality is the issue ... just this days I seen this game on FB ... https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=bartmamzer.powerlust.actionrpg.roguelike . The author was proudly announcing that he even made 0.18$ from adds.
    I actually installed the game, I did not have too much time to play but it seems pretty solid for a start, not AAA quality but with some success it cold be developed to be something even more awesome. But somehow I doubt this will happen. (who knows maybe it will be featured)
    ps. I have no relation with the game developer or the game

    So, did anybody managed to make any project in the last 3-6-12 month which you consider to be a success? meaning that the revenue from the game justified at least a part of the time & effort spent? cause if not all that time and effort could be channeled to a different passion.
     
  19. bart_the_13th

    bart_the_13th

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    well.. my game
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.studio13.endlesszombieshooter
    was released a year ago... it was stagnant until a couple of month ago when it got a sudden spike and goes up until it reach 40k downloads until this thing happens... it never get featured by google it seems,but some games I know get featured and it still havent pass 50k downloads too

    the revenue is nothing spectacular.. but at least it got pass the minimum $100 mark(Im using unity ads only)
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
  20. Avietry

    Avietry

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    I published one of my games on samsung apps after reading your message. Today I received a mail saying my app suspended due to issues. I was expecting some automatic SDK related nonsense, but no, apparently They do have actual people/staff testing the game. Their report includes detailed QA report about gameplay related issues. +1 to Samsung for their quality control.
     
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  21. PZ2100

    PZ2100

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    Yeah, they even record a video showing the bug/issue they want you to fix.

    I'm currently in the process of uploading all my apps there too. The uploading interface is clumsy, so this takes a lot more manual effort that I expected.. E.g. there is a toggle Simple/Advanced which is too easy to overlook. In "Advanced" you can copy-paste 5 keywords per language, and actually have localized titles and descriptions. And one has to re-build every app to add that strange permission into the manifest file - that's more effort..

    One could say that each of us isn't interested in others also uploading to the alternative stores because this would increase competition there. But on the other hand, if you think about it, the reason why these stores weren't popular is because we collectively decided to not upload there, and users gradually got disinterested of those cemeteries of outdated apps. Now we could see a revitalization of these stores with an inflow of new apps which are now struggling on Google Play. This forced revival could potentially bring users (who may also be disgruntled by the chaotic suggestions on Google Play).
     
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  22. marcinkowsky

    marcinkowsky

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    Hey Guys
    I read this topic carefully and try to draw conclusions. I think that "similar apps" are a great solution for those who want to appear in GP. So far, there was no way for them to exist, because applications with a high voting volume were ahead of them.
    1. Are your games based on the same UNITY graphic templates?
    2. Did you bought reviews?

    thx
     
  23. red_unit

    red_unit

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    1. Nope
    2. Nope
     
  24. vito_90

    vito_90

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    "Similar app" list is back
     
  25. AxPetre

    AxPetre

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    You're right. But, unfortunately, it's just as broken as before.
     
  26. akguldeniz

    akguldeniz

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    It's just back, nothing more. It os worst then before.
     
  27. marcinkowsky

    marcinkowsky

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    Example I see related games for Turboprop Flight Simulator 3D
    Why it's broken?

    Also I didn't see stats for yestarday in G Play
     
  28. kosdevil

    kosdevil

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    Waiting for the next update...:(
     
  29. AxPetre

    AxPetre

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    Because the few truly similar flight games are the same ones shown on every other "Similar Apps" section, while other flight games (like my own) are not shown anywhere.
    Also, it's broken because it's filled mostly with irrelevant games, for example: Granny, Temple Run, Operate Now, FIFA, Idle Miner Tycoon, SimCity, various racing games, farming games, etc...
     
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  30. Nadan

    Nadan

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    So why did they put the "Similar Apps" section back as broken as it was? Maybe they were thinking that the whole "Similar Apps" can be removed for good and did that. That from now on developers need to pay Google Ads to get their app to be seen on lists with games that are similar to theirs.

    Then maybe something negative on Google's perspective started to happen on the store and they decided to put the "Similar Apps" back again, even as broken or unfinished (if the new AI is still looking for Similar Apps) it was before they removed it completely.

    If it is actually better on Googles perspective and for what they are after with these changes (more money?) to keep something that "Similar Apps" was, it could be good news, since it looks like organic growth is not possible anymore on Google Play. Or only for small chosen group of apps. Even when you pay for ads to get downloads, you still need organics on top of that or there is no point in spending money on ads, since players costs always way more than you can get back. Before this you could use ads to get momentum on your app and see if players like it, and get it in better positions on the huge organic system that Google Play is. And of course revenue that you can use for ads or you'll be in debt for life.

    Companies like Fingersoft with one billion downloads have relied for years only on organic downloads and I think Google Play made them big because they were there from the start. Good timing. But they would never gone anywhere with this current situation of no organic growth possible. Fingersoft started as a one man indie developer making everything alone just like most of the people on this thread. The founder didn't use any money on ads with his first big game Climb Hill Racing. In the past interviews they always said that they don't spend any money on ads, now that they have one billion downloads they say that still there is no significant investment in marketing.

    "While much of the mobile games industry’s multi-billion dollar success relies on multi-million dollar user acquisition campaigns, Fingersoft boasts that much of its traffic has been generated organically without “significant investment” in marketing."

    https://www.pocketgamer.biz/intervi...g-franchise-rolls-past-one-billion-downloads/

    Is it good on Googles perspective to end new "Fingersofts" from raising? I hope not.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  31. Stan22z

    Stan22z

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    any reason to be positive? It is already one month and something gone and no change at all. During this month happened just this: they removed similar section for a few days and brought it back in the same crapy style as before. Some of the devs are happy and turned back their apps as before because they pop uped again in similar section. We can see how this tab is important to us.Not sure what gg is trying to do but is deffinately annoying and dismotivating for most of indie devs. Perhaps users will get bored too after pop up most of the time same and not relevant apps via similar tab(I would say "different" and messed up section) and they will start complain too, but to be honest I don't think they will do.
     
  32. marcinkowsky

    marcinkowsky

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    I've been in SEO guys since 2006. That's something that was already in 2012. They've changed the Google search algorithm, hundreds of thousands of companies went bust. They also asked to submit their pages, as if to investigate the matter. Until today nothing has changed. Now, the top 20 websites are always the same websites. Young people do not know that the internet is bigger, now the information bubble is closed.

    Google Play is the same. Applications that once gained voices and downloads have been in the forefront for years. Users do not know that there are millions of better games.
    The advantage of the new broken Similar Apps is that people download less-known games, but it is probably a failure.

    The human and industry front must be gathered in order to promote other services. For example, in the app you can give them small ads "Here are the best games". After 6 months there will be an awareness that there are other services with applications. You can also encourage players to visit these sites in exchange for some grants (in-game items). But to make it work, the action must be big and take at least 10k of the application. with a lot of players.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  33. PZ2100

    PZ2100

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    I'm not sure but just as a speculation I'd suggest that today's median user of the Internet simply doesn't need a big Internet. Instead of huge complexity and variety of the real world, our brains want a simplistic model. So, instead of many voices and multiple sources we just need 1 news source (CNN), one game (Clash of Clans or whatever), one website to watch videos (Youtube) etc etc. Even in the content we consume, we tend to like just 1 comedian or 1 TV show or 1 genre - and consume more and more of the same.

    Lazy brains that only need uniform, stylized and packaged content favor huge monopolies which feed them with just more of the same.

    Actually, Noam Chomsky talks about this in great detail in this interview at Google:

    It's a huge interview, you may want to skip to the last 1/3 where he touches the topic of over-dependence of media on advertisers, on variety of media, Google's role etc.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  34. marcinkowsky

    marcinkowsky

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    It is not true that there is a trend for "small internet" because this trend was promoted by Google. Do you remember 10-15 years of these thousands of online forums? Everyone said that the inetrnet is cool because there are thousands of pages and you can surf the net. Now this small inetrnet has been given to people, and we simple animals have accepted it.

    Same with narrow trousers legs. A few started to promote it and now everyone is saying that they can not imagine that they should wear extended legs. Each fashion can be promoted. It is simple, but it needs people who will believe it, and do not blindly follow fashion. You have to create fashion, not give in to it. It is very easy to promote two other services with applications, you only need advertising in Unity, Unreal engine, etc. It takes just 6 months and we will have a new market, a new fashion.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
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  35. elbows

    elbows

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    I think there is quite some merit in the very recent posts on this thread, but I have to say there is still at least some slight hyperbole going on with the numbers/scale. I dont like just 1 genre of entertainment, there are still a variety of forums I can find about particular subjects, and I use at least a handful of news sources, not just one, to give some examples. Other examples are that yes, app & game discovery is quite poor and broken on a number of platforms, but thats not quite the same as there being 'millions' of great games out there that nobody knows about.

    Certainly a lot of hype about the potential of the 'long tail' of the internet 15 years ago did not come to fruition, and companies like Google have played their part in making the situation worse instead of better. And even if they did everything right, the economies of scale are still in play and we will often trend towards a crazy world where there are a small number of mega success stories and not enough slice of the pie for people on the next few levels down.
     
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  36. einEntwickler

    einEntwickler

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    I recommend everyone to also publish apps on alternative app stores like
    - Samsung Galaxy apps
    - Amazon
    - Apptoide
    - Opera (Benmobi)
    - Uptodown.

    The number of extra daily downloads is about 10-100, but still it's worth it.
     
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  37. Avietry

    Avietry

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    Yandex.Store has by far the easiest app submission interface.
     
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  38. Drunken-Monkey

    Drunken-Monkey

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    How do you handle IAP on the different stores?
     
  39. LilGames

    LilGames

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  40. marcinkowsky

    marcinkowsky

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    Haha
    Yes same situation like in 2012 for SEO. "Everything will be fine when you create pages for people, not for search engine crawlers"
    Such records allow them to avoid lawsuits to take off positions in GPlay, because they can now tell everyone that he was doing something "wrong".
    These provisions in the regulations are not for explaining something to us, but for repelling attacks.

    If they removed the applications made on templates with minor changes, it is very good - glory for them, but that does not mean that applications that do not violate the rules will be honestly proposed to users;
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2018
  41. einEntwickler

    einEntwickler

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    I tried to publish an app on appsApk, but it says:

    Unfortunately app submission is temporarily disabled due to huge number of requests.
     
  42. Bala87

    Bala87

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    When our apps have admob in it, are we allowed to publish the apps in third party stores? Because admob ad unit can be created only for apps listed in Gplay and itunes.
     
  43. Avietry

    Avietry

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    You can, as long as that platform doesn't exclude Google Play Service (like Amazon AppStore). The game I published on samsung store (Galaxy Apps) has Admob and it is working without a problem.
     
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  44. tiburon

    tiburon

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    I have 3 games in amazon with admob.
     
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  45. kosdevil

    kosdevil

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    Do you use any promotion methods powered by amazon or just publish your games there?
     
  46. GhulamJewel

    GhulamJewel

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    My app was getting 3000+ downloads per day since launch early this year. After three months suddenly a very sharp drop to 100 downloads per day now... at first I thought my keywords stopped being competitive so tried to change them and to no avail. I gave up trying to get it to where it was and now just started working on a new game.

    Shame as I thought this would be my first million downloads game based on the amazing downloads was getting initially...
     
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  47. noambe

    noambe

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    Wow. I am probably coming late to this, but my game had 3000 daily downloads in the past few years and now 300 :(
    It's a special edition of Tic Tac Toe, so I know I have lots of competitor apps, but in the past 5 years this game was among the top 10 Tic Tac Toe games out there (there are thousands). I wonder what could have change so drastically with that. I have 1+ million downloads, 4.1 rating.

    Is there a blog/forum that I can post this info to Googler's to look at? or should I simply send a regular customer ticket?

    Thanks,
    Noam
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  48. PanicEnsues

    PanicEnsues

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    I got hit by this a bit early; on June 1st, my free game's page views (which were all organic) dropped 95%:


    Ad/IAP revenue from the free game had been pretty reliable up until this change, but at this point I don't think I would ever release another free game on Google Play.

    Meanwhile my other game, a paid app, has had it's page views/downloads remain steady. Has anyone's paid app been hit by this? Or is it just impacting free apps?

    -Scott
     
  49. pnyxtr

    pnyxtr

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    A weird thing happened to my app yesterday. Google Play still reports 50 downloads / day, but Unity Analytics reports 700 new Android users yesterday and today (up from 100). Also daily play time has increased accordingly. Where do all the new user come from?
     
  50. christovstoi9

    christovstoi9

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    Did the gains from the game significantly increase?
     
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