The Business Side of Windows 10 Apps. Prologue. App gold rush is over.

Windows Store doesn’t make headlines with flashy numbers of millions of dollars developers make per day or even a month. Yet, there are quite a few examples of independent developers and companies making a living off of Windows apps and games. We’ve heard about several indie developers making more than a $1,000,000 each. We’ve heard about bigger publishers like Game Insight earning “millions of dollars” on Windows. So it’s definitely doable.

Help needed: Do you have links to recent numbers from specific developers? Please, send them to me or post in the comments below. Want to post your own numbers as an aside to this post? Get in touch!

But we have to take a sober look at the whole mobile app world and realize that it’s not 2009 anymore. It’s no longer feasible to expect to make an app over the weekend, put it into one of the app stores and switch to hitting F5 in your internet bank. Accidents like Flappy Bird happen, but you can hardly bet on this happening to you.

When I was a student (in the early Windows Phone 7 days) I earned a few hundred dollars a month with a stopwatch and a fart app. That felt like a gold rush. Not that I was really proud of it, though.
Tom Verhoeff
professional Windows Developer.

The app gold rush is over. Even the best app and game developers have to invest resources into ensuring success for their top quality products. Whether you want it or not, if you care about commercial success of your creation, you will have to spend as much time (if not more) on the business side of it as you do on design and development.

Even though Windows [Phone] store is in its fourth or fifth incarnation over the last 5 years, it is still not as mature as Apple’s App Store or Google Play. And I don’t mean technical implementation of the features, discovery options and so on. In this regard every store has its strengths and weaknesses. What I mean is, that by being a pretty distant third app ecosystem Windows Store doesn’t attract enough attention from the biggest app developers and the brightest minds in app marketing and monetization.

This is a curse but could be a blessing at the same time. On one hand the supporting ecosystem of services and know-how on app business is underdeveloped on Windows. But on the other hand, as app and game developers, we gain a lot of opportunities to take advantage of it by filling the infamous “app gap”, and applying know-how and useful tricks from app marketers on other platforms that have not been overused and exhausted on Windows yet.

Making apps and games for a living and being your own boss is a lifetime dream for many of us. While you may have missed the gold rush by a couple of years, it is still a feasible goal. You just have to apply yourself or find a partner to handle areas that go beyond development. This series will try to combine the best app business practices from other mobile platforms with collective know-how of the Windows developer ecosystem. Join the ride by subscribing to the RSS feed, following AdDuplex on twitter and contributing in the comments and beyond.

Let’s go…

This post is part of the series and an upcoming ebook on the business side of Windows 10 apps. If you are a successful Windows app or game developer, or you’ve learned a valuable lesson from your app business misgivings, the whole community would appreciate your input! Please, get in touch and contribute a chapter or an aside. Thank you!

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  • whatsa2

    With the bridges and devs who do the paid model WP may be a better option as on the other platforms most who have bought their app have it now. So how do they get a revenue stream? A wp port may offer a comparable or better revenue stream now?