Gamasutra: Francois Guibert’s Blog-Mobile Puzzle Game, Starlight X-2 Revenues, Expenses, Statistics

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Starlight X-2 is a puzzle game released on Google Play and iOS in June 2020. Six months after its release, it’s a good time to assess the success or failure of this project.

For those interested in the big picture, here’s a brief visual summary of the cost and revenue of the game.


At Frozax Games, I specialize in puzzle mobile games (I just released a hyper-casual game last month, which is 3 seconds). Starlight X-2 is my 8th mobile game and 7th puzzle game. It is based on lighting, space and planets.


Game development lasted about 6-8 months from November 2019 to June 2020. I immediately got a working prototype at the end of December. After some testing with friends and family, I found the game interesting and promising, but very difficult to understand. After spending a lot of time repeating the tutorial, I found an artist and worked with him during the first blockade in France (since March 2020). The game was released on Google Play and iOS in mid-June 2020. There are only 9970 downloads on Google Play and 920 downloads on iTunes.

  • Art: 1200 euros. It was a low price because of the relationship with the artist.
  • Translation / proofreading: € 1600. The game has been translated into 16 languages. It also has a lot more text than a regular game, as it has the ability to tell players fun facts about the universe, such as “Did You Know.”
  • Advertising (Facebook): € 2100. That’s quite a lot. And once again (see my previous experience with UA), it wasn’t really worth it. It seems difficult to get players by advertising using puzzle games. At least I don’t know how to do it (see below for details).
  • ASO: 630 euros ($ 750) Hired a company in August to improve ASO. Not surprisingly, there were no changes or improvements …

Total: 5530 €. Of course, I didn’t count the time spent developing, designing, and releasing the game here.

The business model of the game is very classic.

  • Free download
  • Interstitial video ads may appear at the end of the level.
  • With rewarded video ads, you can unlock new levels and get more tips.
  • You can buy packs ($ 1), hints ($ 1 or $ 2) and remove interstitial ($ 1).
  • You can subscribe to get everything for free (Weekly: $ 2, Monthly: $ 5 or Semi-Annual: $ 20)

Screenshot _20201213_100643_com.frozax.starsandasteroids

As you can see in the first image of this post, most of the revenue comes from advertising: € 1852, in-app purchases € 423 and subscriptions € 279. You can also see splits by in-app type and subscription period.

Split by platform


Divided by country


As always, I found the hardest part to get the download. Finally, due to the low number of downloads, the revenue is not too bad (0.23 euros per download).

The charts / tables below give an overview of my ad campaign (“de”, “fr”, “en” are the target languages ​​for each ad).


As you can see, we weren’t able to get profitable users. The CPI was very high and the user engagement gained was terrible compared to organic.We gathered a lot of useful information and experience, but the acquisition was also a failure. [if you know how I can get better, contact me!]..

ASO was basically wasted money. Once again, except for experience. Come to think of it, the company hasn’t contacted me for a long time … is there a really efficient and serious ASO company?If you know anything or work in this area, please Contact me Similarly!

So far, the game is still unprofitable and the number of downloads is still too low these days.

I think we should have reduced the functionality and released the game sooner. In particular, consider the function “Do you know?”. The game displays various facts about planets, stars, and the end of levels. This is a great feature in my opinion, but you might want to remove it in the first release. It takes a lot of time to design and generate a lot of text for localization (and increases the overall cost of localization), it’s not core gameplay. You can add this feature later if you are interested in the game.


The game itself is also very complicated. To be honest, I think this is one of my most interesting puzzle games. But it’s hard if you don’t think too much about yourself. But I’m sure there is an audience in this kind of game.

I think you liked to see these numbers. Contact me on social networks (twitterIf you have any questions about this article or anything else (also for Discord now), please comment here.

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