What OMGPOP Learned From One Million Downloads of Puppy Love

It is true. Everyone loves puppies. Online gaming site OMGPOP wisely chose Puppy World to be its first iPhone game. In the mobile game, you take care of puppies, give them to children and increase the happiness in the world. In the two weeks since launch, the game has been downloaded almost one million times already, and is among both the top 100 free Games and top 100 grossing Games (players can by bones and other virtual items for 99 cents and up).

Beyond these vanity metrics, OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter offers the following stats. A quarter of the people who have downloaded the app, or 250,000, are daily active users. Two thirds of those are actually playing the game versus signing up. (A very high 94 percent of people who download the app actually open it up at least once). And so far the company is seeing active users spend an average of about 8 cents a day on virtual goods (amortized across all users, with some power users spending more than $50 on currency packs which can be traded in for better puppies, room decorations, and dog beds. The game is already making about $20,000 per day.

In terms of where all of these downloads are coming from, it is a combination of cross promotion on omgpop.com and its Facebook apps (20 percent), paid advertising (20 percent), and free exposure via iTunes charts and viral sharing (60 percent). “For every user we pay to acquire we are seeing 6 more users for free,” says Porter.

What was his biggest mistake? “If we had to do it all over again, we would have only supported iPhone 4,” he says. The game plays best on the iPhone 4 because it takes advantage of all the hardware to render those cute puppies, but as it became more popular people with older phones started downloading it also. Initially, it got hundreds of 5-star reviews, but then started accumulating lots of 1-star reviews as the game crashed older iPhones. Once you launch your app, you have to keep supporting the same devices you started out with, and iPhone 4 users make the most money for OMGPOP anyway.