How big is Christmas for mobile app developers? For one San Francisco Bay Area-based game maker, it meant 2 million downloads in a single day.
Christmas is unsurprisingly the biggest day of the year for many app makers as consumers unwrap brand-new phones and rush to the store to test out new apps.
Storm8, which is a bootstrapped casual game developer out of Redwood Shores, saw four times the number of downloads they normally experience on a Tuesday. They also saw about 2.5 million hours of gameplay that day and up to 4.5 times the level of average revenue per daily active users, as consumers spent more on in-app purchases. Holiday-themed items like virtual Christmas trees and snow globes were the most popular.
The 4x increase that Storm8 saw is consistent with what other analytics companies have picked up over the holidays. Flurry, an analytics company that tracks more than 260,000 apps, reported that device activations more than quadrupled to 17.4 million on Christmas Day. They saw a similar quadrupling effect last Christmas. On top of that, app downloads more than doubled to 328 million on Christmas, they reported.
How does Storm8’s 2 million downloads in one day compare to other developers? Well, when Instagram released its Android version, it saw 1 million downloads on the first day and 5 million downloads over the first six days for the app. Rovio also said last year that it was seeing about 1 million downloads a day for its Angry Birds franchise.
As for Storm8, it’s a casual game developer that was co-founded by a few early former Facebook employees. They’ve grown to have more than 150 employees and 400 million downloads without taking any venture funding (as a matter of choice and as the funding environment for gaming developers has changed substantially over the last year).