After reading many references related to publishing an app to Google Play Store and App Store, I decide it to focus first on publishing my app to Google Play Store. Some people feel that publishing an app to App Store is relatively harder, although I haven’t had any direct experiences related to it. My main reason to focus on publishing my game to Android platform first, is mainly related to the game engine. Building and testing an .apk file in my game engine is relatively easier compare to building and testing an .ipa file. Since my game engine can only be installed on PC, building an .ipa file require a Mac and Xcode application where I have to somehow ‘connect’ my PC and the Mac to ‘bake’ the file. I even read some user of the game engine that complain about testing an .ipa file, stating that they always failed to get it run on any Apple mobile devices. Long time ago, I actually try once to test whether my app can be run on an ipod touch and failed. I did not make any more efforts after that and I have always test my app on Android devices.
I will get to that complicated tasks later (to get my game publish on Apple platform), after I finish my first journey in publishing my game to Google Play Store. I have uploaded my .apk file to the beta section of my Google Developer Console set up. Up until today, I have managed to get Leaderboards feature and Admob Ads to work on my apps. I am now in a process to finish my code to add an in-apps product for ‘removing (all) ads’ in my game. After thorough testings with all intended features, all I need is to prepare the promotional assets before launching my game. I need to make some graphics assets required by Google Play Store (promotional background, screenshots, icons, etc.). Although a short video promotion is optional, I intend to make it to strengthen the app’s promotion materials.
I also have set my distribution plan for the app. I only sell (in-app product) to countries where Google is responsible for determining, charging, and remitting VAT to the appropriate authority plus Indonesia and United States. Since I am an Indonesian, I can hire a tax specialist (or do it myself) to process my tax obligation. I do not have detail information but you only have to pay taxes in United States after achieving a certain sales threshold. Since United States is an important market and I did not have high revenue target, I decide it to add the region to my distribution plan. It is actually quite a large list since European Union forced Google to take responsibility in dealing with the tax administration. Other countries are Albania, Morocco, Norway and South Korea.
I also want to find information related to ads revenue’s taxation. If it is more flexible where I can distribute my app to a wider audience I might only use ads in my future mini games without the option to ‘remove’ it. Along with this work, I still find some bugs here and there. I will play the game again and again and again until I’m quite sure that it is ‘safely playable’. It took quite a long time to learn many new things in this publishing process which I hope will be useful for my future games. Wait for it, I will get ‘there’ somehow!