Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade App Store Spotlight

September 24, 2019

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Warhammer 40,000 is a popular miniatures wargame with an expansive lore. Games Workshop and Pixel Toys have brought that story to mobile games with “Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade,” a mobile game that recently updated for iOS 13. Do the game’s App Store and Play Store pages draw in users, or is it overlooked amongst the mobile games in the stores? Does the app capitalize on being featured for its iOS 13 capabilities? We explore that in this week’s App Store Spotlight.

iOS

On the Apple App Store, Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade ranks #67 in the Role Playing category. It’s the first app in searches for “war hammer 40000,” and ranks in the top five for “shooting robot” and “supermechs.” As the game involves piloting a mech and shooting foes in a futuristic war zone, these are all appropriate keywords. It’s also in the top ten for “robot fighting games” and “robot wars.” Its rankings fall quickly after that, at #20 for “robot fight,” #30 for “war gaming” and #90 for “shooting games.”

Creatives: The app begins with a promotional video that shows the ap’s cinematics and gameplay. It jumps between multiple stages and battles, pausing briefly to show the mech customization. The main focus of the video is in the graphics and intense action, so the video rarely takes a second to breathe, but it showcases the game’s top features well.

Following that, it includes a second video that focuses on the augmented reality features. The AR aspects of the game have been updated for iOS 13, so the video shows how it can place the mechs and battles in real world environments. After that is a third video with more of a focus on the customization, but still shows a good amount of action and combat with a “wage war now” call to action.

While the app has three videos, it only uses five of the ten screenshots it’s allowed. The screenshots are framed well and show off the visuals and action well, including a screenshot focused on the augmented reality functions around the middle. However, the callout text is small and placed in the bottom-right corner of each image, so it does not stand out. Including more screenshots and emphasizing the callout text to highlight what the screenshots are demonstrating could help provide more information about the app, such as its story mode or multiplayer battles.

Title & Subtitle: The app’s full name, “Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade” takes up 27 of the 30 characters the App Store allows. While this doesn’t leave it with any more space for keywords, the title and name of the franchise it’s based on are important terms for indexation.

The subtitle, “Wage epic future war,” uses 20 of the 30 characters, so it has space for ten more. The subtitle can also be revised to focus more on valuable keywords. While “war” has helped it index for several terms, the keyword “wage” brings results for job and bookkeeping apps and it does not currently rank for “Wage war.” Using a subtitle that fills all 30 characters with relevant and important keywords could help the app’s rankings.

Description: Warhammer’s description begins with promotional text introducing the new “Questoris Magaera” update, followed by calling out its “Best of 2015” award. Following that, it introduces the game in all capital letters, before describing the plot of the game. The introduction uses lengthy paragraphs which could be broken into shorter lines for ease of reading while scrolling through the store.

The description also uses feature lists, although each feature is presented in a block of text after the header. These could be broken into shorter bullet points, which would convey the same information more quickly. Users scrolling through the store would be able to grasp the information quickly.

It does call out its unique features, such as the 3D Touch gameplay. While it has a video and screenshot discussing the augmented reality features, it does not mention those in the description. Calling that out could help it stand out from competing games by emphasizing a key feature, as well as how iOS 13 improves its AR functionality to make it different from other AR games.

The app is currently featured on the App Store under “Unlock the Power of iOS 13” for its augmented reality functionality. As such, now would be a good time to update the description to focus on its AR functionality.

Google Play

On the Google Play Store, “Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade” ranks #1 for “free blade” and “Warhammer 40k.” It ranks #3 in searches for “warhammer” and #5 for “Dawn of War.” After that, its rankings quickly drop to #27 for “mech games,” #48 for “Mech warrior” and #86 for “army builder.”

Creatives: While iOS uses three videos, each of which are 30 seconds, the Google Play page uses one video that’s a minute and a half long.  This one takes a more cinematic approach, building up to the action with text describing the story and functionality, before cutting to the action scenes. It uses some of the same shots as the iOS version, but is overall a very different video.

The app’s page then uses six different screenshots; four of them are nearly identical to the iOS version, while the first focuses on its “Best of 2016 Games” award.

Like with the iOS version, the screenshots show different aspects of the game, but the callout text is small and in the corner. While the iOS version has a screenshot focusing on the 3D Touch functionality on iPhone 6, the Google Play equivalent presents the screenshot without any callout text, since it lacks that functionality.

The Google Play version also does not include anything on the augmented reality features, as that appears to be for iOS only.

Description & Metadata: The Google Play description is very similar to the one on iOS. It uses nearly identical introductions and feature paragraphs, although its description opens with two positive review quotes.

The description is in large part why Freeblade ranks for so few keywords. A description on Google Play should utilize the keywords near the front of each line for indexation. This description begins with phrases like “Feel the power of an unstoppable war machine” and “Rip apart the enemies of the Imperium with a mighty Chainsword.” These are not important keywords, whereas terms it should target are either buried deep within a line or don’t appear in the description.

While branding and creative writing are important for conversions, the algorithm and keyword indexation should be taken into account as well. Descriptions need to find a balance between compelling writing and keyword focus.

Using bullet points for the feature list could assist with this. Each bullet can begin with an important feature and keyword, which would help the app index for those terms while calling them out for the readers.

Overall

“Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade” features impressive graphics and gameplay, which it frequently demonstrates in its videos and screenshots. However, those are not enough to optimize an app alone.

The app has room for more screenshots to showcase aspects of the game outside of the action and mech customization. On iOS, it can also emphasize the augmented reality gameplay and how it’s been updated for iOS 13.

Additionally, the description can be adjusted for both stores. On iOS, it can focus on using shorter lines to improve ease of readability, as well as emphasize its AR functionality. On Google Play, it can emphasize its keywords to improve indexation.

With a few changes, “Warhammer 40,000: Freeblade” could boost its App Store Optimization with the same dedication that its players use to boost their mechs.

Want more information regarding App Store Optimization? Contact Gummicube and we’ll help get your strategy started.

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