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Game Trail drives sales of iPhone games via mobile video

May 11, 2010

The Game Trail app features video and click-to-download links

The Game Trail app features video and click-to-download links

There have been 10,000-plus purchases made from the App Store via the Game Trail, an application for Apple’s iPhone that claims a 10 percent browser-to-buyer conversion rate.

The mobile game discovery application has surpassed 100,000 active users and 500,000 videos served. It was recently updated to improve its network performance, stability and search features.

Mobile Commerce Daily’s Dan Butcher interviewed Tommy Palm, president of Fabrication Games, Stockholm, developer of the Game Trail. Here is what he had to say:

What is Game Trail’s strategy behind the mobile video campaign for Apple’s iPhone?
While the App Store provides a solid shopping experience, it’s difficult to know much about a game from a handful of screenshots.

The Game Trail aims to fill this void on the App Store by providing video previews and reviews for a selection of the best games on the iPhone, ranging from Top 10 mainstays to lesser-known indie gems.

Independent research shows that shoppers are three-to-five times more likely to buy an application when shown a video of the game, making The Game Trail a powerful sales lead generator in the application marketplace.
Are the videos clickable? What is the payment mechanism?
Every video is viewable within the Game Trail application, so you do not have to open the YouTube application.

On the Web site, every video is embedded, so it can be viewed on or

The Game Trail is a free download on the App Store—you can check it out here or view the Web site at

When players click the “Available on the App Store” link on either The Game Trail’s Web site or iPhone application and make a purchase from iTunes, Fabrication Games gets a small referral fee.

For the consumer, this process adds neither time nor cost to the process of buying the game.

Can you share download totals for specific games the Game Trail has promoted?
Out of nearly 100,000 users to date, about 10 percent go on to buy an application that they viewed in The Game Trail.

This accounts for nearly 10,000 application sales directly generated by The Game Trail.

The most popular genre is Strategy, but at this point Fabrication Games are not releasing data on specific download numbers for each game title.
What is the Game Trail’s target demographic?
The Game Trail users are a specific subset of the iPhone shopper demographic—they play a lot of games and care about finding high-quality titles.

They are likely to have at least one game console at home, and are aware of the mainstream iPhone games, like those from PopCap and ngmoco.

The average user spends five minutes in the application and browses an average of 4.5 game titles.

We also believe we appeal to convenience shoppers, people who want to buy a game now and don’t necessarily care what it is, but do want a trusted recommendation to avoid buyer’s regret.
What is the range of price points for iPhone games bought via the Game Trail?
About half of the titles are $0.99, with another 30 percent costing $2 or $3. Only about 20 percent of the games are more expensive, in the $4-$10 range.

This is consistent with what’s available on the App Store.
How does the Game Trail get the word out about its apps discovery platform (i.e. marketing tactics?)
The Game Trail has used a variety of marketing tactics to gain new users. We have advertised on mobile gaming Web sites and engaged with a PR firm that has experience in the applications space.

We are currently considering marketing The Game Trail through in-application ad networks.

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Dan Butcher is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach him at

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