Bubble Ball Hits #1 Free App on App Store. Just passed the 5 millionth download !!

Congrats to NayGames (Robert) for a great job !

And he is 14 yo. Wow.

Bubble Ball App Store Snapshot

Link to Bubble Ball on the app store : http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bubble-ball/id412089940?mt=8

He was on Good Morning America this morning and mentions us,

Good Morning America Video

I just got updated numbers, it just passed the 5 millionth download !


Thanks, carlos! It was number 20 this morning, then it kept climbing...
I don't think I'll be passing up angry birds anytime soon :)

Really cool. Congratulations!

Check again! Bubble Ball is number 1 free app in U.S!!!

WOOT It is now #1


That's amazing!! Go, Robert, go!

That is awesome. Congrats. Did apple highlight it or a review site? To get 300,000+ downloads in the first week you had to have some type of coverage.

Wow thats great!! Congrats!..having had a #1 app I know how it feels..:)
Hmm if it's just from using Corona I think I might be porting all my apps to Corona ;)
I know it's making angry birds angrier but I would be crying knowing I'm not making any
money on ads :(( lol

That is awesome Robert, Congrats! Keep up the good work!

Hehe Mike, you are right.

But if Robert decides to go and make some money once he has had a chance to add iAds, he just needs to update the game with a few new levels and send out an update.

With that install base, he will do great.

And even if he decides not to monetize this game, it will remain a great platform to launch his following endeavors.


I want you to be my psychiatrist if I ever need one! lol
If it was me you would have made me feel very good..even though everyday I know I'm losing all that money!! hehe...so I'd probably just start crying again until the update with ads is out :)
This is why I always thought that having iAds or official admob support should have been #1 on the list of things to add because if you release a free version there's no reason not to put in ads unless you're already wealthy but even if you were just donate it to charity. So it's just potentially too costly to the developer not having that feature ready to go. This is the perfect example.

Why not put in the Admob web popup work around? That's what we plan on doing with our upcoming game.

It's probably ok but imagine if you had the #1 app and got all this attention and admob decides to suspend your account for that..then I think you would lose all that money..it seems too risky..

Mike, I respectfully disagree. I fail to see the risk. If his adMob account gets suspended the ads won't show up in the game anymore. No harm done. A few people are using this technique with no problems. It seems the people that have had problems did other things wrong such as putting buttons too close to ads.

What is worse, failing to seize an opportunity or taking a risk and being disappointed with the outcome? He has the momentum right now. Waiting for Ansca to implement iAds may take months, at which point there is a good chance he will have fallen off the chart.

Here is another idea: If its too risky to try the AdMob idea. Implement the web popup into the game and charge people in the ansca world to pay monthy/weekly to advertise their games. Or hit up Ansca to put Corona ads in the game...They would probably pay something to be viewed by millions of players. Win Win for everyone......Also, Ansca or any developer that wants to advertise in our new game coming out contact me at heyyou@crawlspacegames.com

I think Bubble Ball is the perfect example of what works on the AppStore. Angry Birds is a simple game that's easy to pick up for anyone and so is Bubble Ball.

Robert Nay gave it a shot at a simple concept and got results. We should think more like a 14 years old sometimes.

Hurray for Bubble Ball, for Robert Nay and for the whole Corona Community that will only benefit from this. ^_^

No I was saying it seems too risky for you. Right now he's losing a ton of money per day so there's no risk now for him to try it. But I was saying if you implement the unofficial work around and your game becomes number one there is a risk now that you could lose all that money ..that's the risk I was talking about.

I love how your risk is the danger of becoming number 1.

Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, we are going to be taking a risk. But, the mere act of spending time creating games in a crowded market may be a larger risk. We're hoping that Admob will be okay with it, since other developers are using it. From my reading of their Terms of Service it doesn't violate any points. However, they were acquired by Google and their adsense terms of service states that those ads can't be embedded within software, so hopefully Google doesn't change the Admob TOS.

We can't wait on Ansca to release an official ad supported api at the moment. To limit risk we are doing a few things. First, we are making the page with ads external so if something does happen we can change the code immediately and not have to worry about pushing an update. Also, Admob lets you request money transfers for anything over $10, so we are going to request lots of transfers even if it costs us some of the earnings. Hopefully that will keep us from being like the guy that had $4,000 in his Admob account when it was frozen.

Those are my thoughts right now. If anyone in the community has better ideas on how to do ads until Ansca ads them, please share so the community can benefit.

*Ansca if you read this, ads are on the top of our wishlist now that in app purchases have been addressed. On a side note, iAd implementation would be nice, but we have another game with iAds in it and the fulfillment rate is currently terribly low, so I would love for Ansca to pursue AdMob, Mobclix or some cross platform ad solution with a higher fulfillment rate.

@crawlspacegames : Admob - once they got acquired by google - impossible to get through and most of the folks we knew, jumped ship.. so we are staring a relationship we had invested a ton on anew , only to be met with so much red tape...

Therefore, we are looking for alternatives.


Thats too bad. They're missing out on a good opportunity.

you didn't complete the sentence
the risk is the danger of becoming number 1 and losing out on a lot of money to be made
of course there is one positive ...he won't have to pay a lot of taxes lol

If your free app goes #1 and you don't have a way to monetize that, you're not losing any money. You're just not making any, and there's a big difference between the two.

While there are ways he could make money from Bubble Ball, Robert hasn't done anything wrong.


Hehe Mike, thanks. And I agree with you about required features, I posted about them in my other thread.

Jay has also a good point, and his point is exactly why I did not want to continue the discussion about monetization in this thread. The point here is that Robert did a great job, and we must remember that not everybody is in it just for the money, but also to have fun. And again, all the free advertising he is getting out of this WILL help him getting some results more easily.

Finally, I have seen players complaining about free games because they included ads. Yes, this irritates me a bit (like people using ad blockers on their favorite websites) - but you can never, never know exactly what ingredients make people download a game 2 million times. All it takes to generate a cascade effect is often one post in the right forum, or a review in the right website. And who knows, that one poster or reviewer might have not felt the urge to repost about the game if he noticed it was running ads.

Ah great! I'll try to find the post. I was so excited about using ansca since development is so easy and fast but after thinking about how I need to use ad supported free versions I couldn't take the chance of using the unofficial admob solution. Then I see what happened with Bubble Ball and that's exactly what I was afraid of. If he's just having fun and doesn't really care that he's not making really good money from ads and just wants to have fun that's great!
Ok I see what you guys are saying that there's a big difference between losing money and not making money. Lets say he starts with $10000 and then loses the money gambling or something. Ok then you can say he lost the money and is now at $0. Now lets say he starts out at $0 and could have made $10000 but didn't. He didn't lose any money but he's still now at $0 so is there really a difference?

Good lord dude... Your inspiring me! Way to go... My son and I have been playing it all day. Great game!

Quite frankly its not important at all whether or not Robert monetizes this particular app or not. Of course it would be good. Which 14 year old doesn't have a long list of needs and wants but lets face it. The experience he has gained and the inevitable boost to his self-confidence is priceless. This just might be the launch of his long & very very successful career in software. Kudos once again. Well done!

Or he could be so pissed off that he can't be capitalizing on this very rare feat because he couldn't put ads in and just giving up entirely lol..
Like playing the lottery and finally hitting the big one for milliions and losing the ticket..

@mike950 and all, lets all remember we are speculating about the future of a 14 year old with a beautiful life ahead. Lets all think happy thoughts and provide constructive speculation. All is good and Robert will have massive success if he keeps it up. Many of his peers are sadly doing things that will end up getting themselves in trouble. He on the other hand is busy developing #1 ranking games. Money is not everything. Go Robert go.!

No that's true you're right! I'm actually hoping you are right and it's not affecting him. Although I'm not so sure that's true for his parents lol..
But hopefully it's something ansca can see how important it now is to put in this functionality ..that's really the main reason I'm keeping this going..I always thought this was the most important feature to have and doesn't everyone now see that this is the case?
Also ..why does there have to be some agreement with admob anyway? Can't anyone just include admob into their apps? It would be an agreement with each individual app developer wouldn't it?

that's really the main reason I'm keeping this going

That's fine and I tend to agree with your point, but go do it in a thread for discussing admob. This thread is to celebrate how awesome Bubble Ball is, and your negativity is just a downer.

Sorry I just can't help thinking how much money he's losing (ok not making) ..it's just awful

What are you? 15 & bitter? Just move on please.

I would like to encourage everyone in the Corona community to take the time to rate the game and leave some words of encouragement on the app store. I know when we launched our last game it was like pulling teeth to get ratings and reviews. The community around Corona is starting to thrive let's continue to help it grow by supporting fellow members.

but i was insulted and told i have to leave..that's not nice

Apologies for making you feel like that. I hope you extend the same courtesy to Robert. Peace!

PS. I said lets move on with the debate. I didn't ask you to leave. Who am I? I'm not the boss around here...

ah ok great i'll stay thanks!
well how about the idea that not putting in ads is actually a good move because then more people would download it then after it becomes #1 then you put in ads?
Also another point to discuss is why can't Ansca just give the ability for developers to put in admob?
Why does there have to be Red Tape involved?

I have a better idea. Let's read the game's comments and post awesome ones, like this one from "your bestest friend":

"The person who made this must be crazy smart!!! I wish I could be friends with this guy!!"

Why would that help? It's already #1 lol..
but that is a great comment! :)

Hey Robert...
Great Job!!! Congratulations on the HUGE success.

Don't listen to most of this gibberish :). Your app is just fine.

I recommend that you begin work on a sequel called Bubble Ball Deluxe. Build about 60 levels in it ranging from super easy to hard. Add maybe 2 more unique controls to the puzzle and then release that for $0.99. In the meantime...add about 5 levels a month to your free version.

Then when your deluxe version is ready...implement an advertisement page and link to the deluxe version in your free app that invites some of your 2M users to "check it out".

If all goes well...you will have your future college tuition earned by summer break.

With 2M+ users...this could easily equate to at least $100K in a pay version that offered lots of puzzles. Find a buddy at school to do some cool art (like backgrounds and buttons) for you and you're set!

Good luck with the game. Hope it stays cool for you on the appstore!

Now that's what I'm talking about!!! Great post & suggestions!

Ok let me give some advice..get Ansca to build you a special version just for you that will allow you to insert admob ads...Now that will help the kid out immensly and he doesn't even have to do that much work

Wow! Good morning America coverage ought to push the counter even higher.!!! Thats amazing Robert. Well done.

Such a great interview! So happy for you and your success! Here's hoping you get to 10 million!!!

I just saw an interview with the developer of Bubble Ball!
Thankfully he seems very intelligent and stable and I do believe this unfortunate bad luck with not being
able to profit directly from ads doesn't appear to be affecting him in an adverse way. I know I would
have felt horrible for a long long time..
But they said if he charged 0.99 he would have made 2 million dollars!
That is really stupid because if he charged 0.99 it probably would not have been downloaded that many times. But what I was saying that if he was able to place ads in it he would have made a lot of money is much more accurate because the game would still have been free.

Awesome interview.

Wish I had Corona when I was 14. So much fun!

Apple is getting really close to having the 10 billionth app downloaded -- with the number of people who are downloading Bubble Ball right now, there's probably a pretty good chance that app could be the one.

If so it would give it another big boost because I think (based on what I remember from the last time Apple did this) they will announce the name of the person who hit the 10 billion mark and which app they downloaded.

Wait for iiiiiiiiittt...


Let's just hope it's not some "Adult themed app" or even worse Angry Birds! lol

I'm a bit late adding to this thread, but congratulations Robert, and congratulations Ansca and the entire team... I'm sure you're thrilled to see Corona "in the news" as a result.

This is great for all of us... not so much because Bubble Ball has millions of downloads and growing, but because this clearly elevates Corona to a professional-class mobile development platform (yes yes, I know it already was in our eyes, as faithful Corona developers, but I'm sure that alot of "elites" out there scoffed at the idea of Corona... most likely the developers who hand-code in XCode with large teams and large budgets. While the success of Bubble Ball will likely not change their minds, it certainly proves what Corona can do.

Anyway, we should all be thrilled that this brings more attention to Corona... which means more users, more money (to Ansca) and thus more features, faster releases, etc. etc.

This being said, I think we can all admit that Bubble Ball is pretty "simple", both technically and graphically. This is not meant to be a criticism, just a basic observation. Personally (note to Ansca) I hope the future of Corona includes some more robust inner core functions to help us develop games that are more graphically and physically intensive than Bubble Ball... "everyday" kind of functions such as finding angles between objects, distances, etc., coded at the core level so we don't need to write our own functions for this stuff. Also, ideally, optimizations to the Box2D and collision core, as many as can be made. And overall speed enhancements across the board. While Corona is not slow by any means, the closer it can come to matching XCode in raw efficiency, the better. :)

Just my 2 cents... I apologize if this is off-topic for the thread. Again, congrats to Robert and his success. Personally I'm a bit tired of Angry Birds at this point; great as it is/was, breaking down structures and killing pigs gets old after awhile. :P


Hi Brent
Nice post!
The one big feature above all the others that you mentioned is being able to include iads because even though Naygames isn't interested in ads (he's basically saying nay to ads whichj is ironic because it seems everyone is doing their best exploiting him for advertising purposes lol) I have a feeling most people want to make money on free apps that way. So it also proves what Corona can't do.
One thing I don't understand about Angry Balls is how can it stay #1 for this long? That would mean that it's getting so many new downloads everyday and you would think by this time everyone with an iphone would have gotten it already. It boggles the mind doesn't it?

Just heard them talking about Robert on Italian radio last night. Amazing. Proud of you Robert and Ansca.

the funniest quote I've seen is in the UK Daily Mail

"Robert Nav's game even outsold the adventure game Angry Birds"

obviously several things wrong with that sentence!

# You are in a field. To the east is a structure containing some pigs. 
# What would you like to do now? 
# sorry i dont undertand "Fire"
views:2275 update:2011/9/19 13:40:57
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