How do I get my game featured on the Apple App Store?

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Kevin Ford

July 11th, 2013

The Apple App Store is similar to Google Play in that getting your app featured provides incredible value. However, the means for getting featured in each ecosystem varies in certain ways. To increase the likelihood of your game getting featured, different tactics should be deployed in each app store. The NativeX Games Task Force recently discussed how to get featured on Google Play. Now we asked them about getting featured on the Apple App Store.

The NativeX Games Task Force provides highly specialized one-on-one consultation to NativeX partners, helping them increase the engagement, retention, and monetization of their F2P games.

 

Featured-on-the-Apple-App-Store

How do I get my game featured on the Apple App Store?

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Nate Dykstra

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
First and foremost the obvious one that still needs to be stated. You need to have a high-quality, fun, and unique game that will catch on with players and hopefully catch the eye of the App Store team in order to be brought in front of their Editorial team.
Similar to Google Play, I still believe your number one chance of getting featured on the App Store is by having a contact at Apple within the App Store team, specifically the App Store Editorial team. I previously worked at a “AAA” publisher (who shall remain nameless). We were making iOS games and we had the privilege of being on Apple’s radar due to our size and the well-known IP we owned or had rights to.

This gave us the opportunity to have bi-weekly calls with Apple representatives to go over our release roadmap, share and discuss pre-release builds of our games for their feedback, and so forth. Obviously this gave us a HUGE edge on others in hopes of getting featured and did in fact lead to a number of great features for us. Regardless of what you might hear, I think it’s still well-known that Apple gives the “big boys” a lot of love when it comes to featured placement.

Unfortunately most developers do not have this privilege, so the road to getting discovered, to even being considered for a feature becomes a lot more difficult. Again, similar to Google Play, make sure you follow the Apple Developer Guidelines as much as possible. Use as many of the devices features as possible and as many of Apple’s products and services as possible (ie. Game Center, iCloud, etc…). These will certainly improve your chances if your game does come up in front of the Editorial team for a possible feature.

Lastly, cross your fingers!

 

 

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Chris Harris

Game and Monetization Consultant, NativeX Games Task Force
I have heard many of my partners say they have been in talks with Apple for a feature… very few them have been successful at getting them. Even the ones that have been successful have only been featured in smaller markets since some of the decision makers are separated by location. It is not to say that the developer shouldn’t strive towards a feature, but don’t take the act of being talked to by a rep from Apple as a sure thing.

Make sure your game is fun to play and as always, use as many services that Apple provides as you can (like Game Center), send the rep builds and ask for their advice (stroke the ego), and cross a few fingers / think happy thoughts.

 

 

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Trevor McCalmont

Games Analyst, NativeX Games Task Force
From what I’ve experienced, getting a feature from Apple is pretty similar to getting featured on Google Play. It’s more important to support the latest devices and operating systems on Apple than Android, probably because Apple is more directly concerned with moving hardware than Google. Never incentivize a 5-star rating in the App Store, and make the game is bug- and crash-free.

A great user experience, a fun game, and/or innovative mechanics all help, and we know the users acquired from a feature are high quality.

 

Interested in learning more about how to get featured on the Apple App Store?

Submit your question to the NativeX Games Task Force on Twitter.

Kevin Ford

Marketing Manager

2013-07-11

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