Tap Tap Revenge Developer Makes $1M Per Month

Do you somehow still doubt that the App Store is a huge money-making enterprise, at least for a lucky few? Then consider the news that Tapulous, the development studio behind the wildly popular Tap Tap Revenge rhythm game franchise, rakes in a cool million every month. That’s not EA (s erts) or Gameloft or someone similar that came in with a reputation. That’s an iPhone-specific (s aapl) development company.

If you’re not familiar with Tap Tap Revenge (you must not own an iPhone, or read our site very carefully), then you probably don’t know that it’s essentially a clone of games like Dance Dance Revolution and Rock Band, redesigned specifically for the iPhone’s unique interface. It’s fun, and incredibly addictive, which probably has something to do with its impressive degree of success. Read More about Tap Tap Revenge Developer Makes $1M Per Month

Today in Mobile

Perhaps no segment in mobile has been transformed by Apple’s App Store the way mobile gaming has. Entrenched mobile publishers — many of whom were never really that entrenched anyway — continue to struggle as the focus shifts away from the carrier deck toward app stores, as I-play’s current round of layoffs demonstrates. Meanwhile, Tapulous has become the ultimate guy-in-the-garage success story, raking in nearly $1 million a month. Yes, the new distribution channels pose some serious challenges for publishers, but the opportunities for innovative, nimble startup game makers have never been greater.

Rock Band Comes to the App Store

Rock Band for iPhone Logo

It had to happen sooner or later. EA (s erts) Mobile’s Rock Band is now available in the iTunes App Store.

From the EA Mobile web site:

Take your band on the road with 20 legendary songs from great bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Lynyrd Skynyrd & the Beastie Boys, all delivered with the highest, MP3-quality sound.

Rock out solo on lead bass, drums, guitar & vocals, or start a band with other rockers from around the world! Jump into Quickplay for casual jam sessions, or take it on the road in Tour Mode in EA Mobile’s ROCK BAND!

The big-brother version of Rock Band (for major consoles such as the XBOX 360 and PS3) requires the use of mock instruments, which lends a certain sort of verisimilitude to the gaming experience — that is, so long as you can ignore the Thunderbirds-style avatars and the fact that you’re not actually playing an instrument, you’re just thumbing buttons on a plastic stick. Oh, and you absolutely must be prepared to ignore how foolish you and your friends look while you’re doing it. But that’s really all part of the appeal of Rock Band. It’s supremely silly and mountains of fun. Read More about Rock Band Comes to the App Store

Today’s Game Parade

ipod_touch_gamesNow that the iPod touch is a tried and true gaming platform, not an Apple (s aapl) event goes by that we don’t see a smattering of developers paraded up on stage to show off their shiny baubles. Today was no exception, with reps from Ubisoft, Tapulous, Gameloft and EA (s erts) all making a brief appearance.

Each studio showed off one of its new titles. While not particularly enthralling when you’re watching mostly for the thrilling possibility of revolutionary software/hardware announcements by Apple itself, considered after the fact, there were some impressive showings from third party guests at today’s presentation. Read More about Today’s Game Parade

Mobile Devs: Install Rates of Free Apps Higher Than Paid Apps

[qi:gigaom_icon_apple] As web-based companies struggle to monetize their content, mobile application developers face the same battle. Since so many popular web apps are free to use, people expect the same free access when it comes to mobile apps, said a panel of iPhone application developers during a breakout session at VentureBeat’s MobileBeat conference today. As a result, they said, install rates are significantly higher for free apps than they are for those that cost money.

And if an application is free, it should stay that way. Tapulous COO and co-founder Andrew Lacy said install rates for one of its free gaming apps dropped 95 percent overnight when the company started charging 99 cents for it. On the other end of the spectrum, according to Epic Tilt’s Nikao Yang, there’s a small class of mobile users who will install paid applications regardless of the price. “The install rate doesn’t change dramatically from 99 cents to $4.99,” he said.

But if more often than not, the only price a mobile consumer wants to pay is no price at all, how can developers make money off mobile apps? The panelists, which also included OpenTable’s Scott Jampol, said advertising is a key way to monetize applications (see a related post on GigaOM Pro, subscription required). Indeed, with mobile ad spending forecast to hit $5.7 billion by 2014, mobile advertising startups such as Nexage and AdMob have been among those receiving funding despite the struggling economy.

Tap Tap Revenge Goes Gaga for Universal Music

lady_gag_taptap

iPhone-owning (s aapl) fans of Lady Gaga, rejoice: Today a new version of Tap Tap Revenge, Tapulous‘ iPhone rhythm game phenomenon, hits the App Store, loaded with 14 tracks from the breakout pop star. It’s also the first version of TTR that can be played with the iPhone held sideways during “boss tracks,” which require all four fingers.

The release of Lady Gaga Revenge is actually part of a much larger partnership with Universal Music Group (s umg), one of the big four record labels, that will see more Universal artist-branded versions of TTR come out later this year, and a track-purchasing system so TTR owners can buy songs for gameplay via Apple’s new in-app commerce feature. (When that service launches with Tap Tap Revenge version 3.0, cuts will cost you 50 cents each.) Tapulous’ partnership is similar to the one between the major labels and the video game studio Harmonix, which sells singles for play on their blockbuster, Rock Band (which have consequently sold 40 million tracks). Read More about Tap Tap Revenge Goes Gaga for Universal Music