Goodbye AppGratis and Unlock by Batch!

AppGratis

Let’s spend a moment to say goodbye to our beloved AppGratis and Batch.com unlocking campaigns!
Yes, sadly, these two services, which during the past years have been very helpful to us Android indie devs, are now shut down for good.

On February 15th, 2017, AppGratis, after 7 years of hard work shut down their service.
You can check their goodbye message here: http://bye.appgratis.com/
With their popular “Free App of the day” service (one of the two main apps of this kind on the store) they reached more than 50 millions downloads, becoming a key tool for many (mainly indie) developers to reach a lot of players without spending too much money in tedious and unbearable ad campaigns.

They gave a lot of games the possibility to spread and get known, the chance to get good visibility and feedbacks, to not be invisible within the app store ocean.

Well, so, many thanks AppGratis! 🙂

 

Batch.com Unlock feature

But, my news are not over yet. Now comes the critical part.

To provide a good tool for handling the “24h Unlock promo campaigns” the AppGratis team worked together with the Batch.com.
So, the Batch SDK Unlock service became the easiest and best tool for remotely setup and run a “24h promo Unlock campaign”, at least for a lot of indie developers, searching for a fast and efficient way to handle all their campaigns with just a single SDK and using a reliable user interface for all the setups.

Well, they are shutting down the Batch.com Unlock feature, too!
So please, be careful, if you are planning to use it for your next campaign, change your plans!

Here is how they are winding down the unlock feature:

  • March 6th onwards: you will not be able to create new Unlock campaigns on the Batch dashboard ;
  • April 15th: Unlock web services will be shut down and SDK-side Unlock methods will be removed with the next release We expect you to have migrated by then but if you didn’t, the SDK will keep working without any crash or errors.

Yes, you read well.
We are saying goodbye to the Batch.com Unlock feature, too.
Batch.com company is growing up and so their SDK is moving towards other kind of features and services.
All the other Batch SDK features will obviously stay and continue to improve.
For more infomation about the Batch.com SDK and features, check their website: https://batch.com/

Well, so, what can I say?
Many thanks to the Batch.com team for keeping up the unlock services for so long and for free!

 

Batch.com SDK Simple Feature – Game Maker Extension

What about “Batch SDK simple feature” extension for Game Maker?

As you may know, I’ve created a free Batch.com unlocking extension for Game Maker Studio, which brought the possibility of running 24h promo campaigns, very easily, to any Game Maker Studio game. Together with the possibility to be featured by large promotional apps like AppGratis.

My extension has become quite popular in the Game Maker Marketplace, reaching hundreds of users and practically being the only extension for handling 24h promo campaigns.
A lot of GM users over the past 2 years used it, enjoyed it and often contacted me just to say thanks!

Can I say that this extension has been a little succes? 🙂
Thanks guys for using my”Game Maker Batch SDK extension” and creating a little community around it with all your comments and feedbacks!

Obviously, with the shut down of Batch.com Unlock feature, my Game Maker Batch simple feature will shut down, too.

Well, the initial login into Batch will always work, but the Unlock feature obviously won’t 🙂
So you can still use it to get some simple analystics , like starts and similar, if you want, but nothing more.

Game Maker Extension tutorial

However, even if the extension won’t work anynore, the tutorial page
https://www.mattiafortunati.com/tutorial-creating-a-simple-game-maker-studio-native-android-extension-for-implementing-batch-unlocking-system/
and the source code will always work as a cool tutorial for creating your own Game Maker extension!

This has also been one of the reasons of this extension’s success: many developers used its source code to learn how to create their own GM extension, since it points out many details and things not covered so well withing the official guide.

So, yeah, you are still free to use the tutorial and the source code as a reference or even as a template for your own extensions!

Unlock alternatives

Alright, so now the question is: what do I do now? Which are the best alternatives to implement an unlocking feature on your game, now?
Fear not.
Batch.com and AppGratis left us with an open-source alternative of their own: the “AppGratis Unlock Library“.
https://appgratis.github.io/#/

This library should have everything needed to implement a new great unlocking system.
It even features an UI to setup a promo campaign like on the old Batch.com dashboard!
https://appgratis.github.io/#/generator

So this can be a good start I think.
But please consider that I cannot guarantee for it though, I’m just bringing it to you as the Batch.com team did to me!
I’ve not tested it yet, or deeply investigated its code.

Also, please keep in mind that I’m not going to create a Game Maker Extension for it, at the moment.
If you need a Game Maker extension to run a promo campaign, you can think about creating your own extension using my tutorial as a starting template and this appgratis alternative as library!

 

So, what’s happening?

  • AppGratis shut down.
  • Batch.com unlock service shut down (but their other services still continue).
  • Batch SDK simple feature won’t work anymore (still the extension tutorial is valid and cool).

Reliable services we used these past years shut down, also leaving a gap in the Game Maker Marketplace.
Let’s say goodbye, but also thank you!

Thanks go to the AppGratis team for their services and their nice PR.
Thanks go to the Batch.com for keeping their unlock service up and free for years.
And many thanks go to all the Game Maker devs which have used my Batch SDK extension and have participated with comments and feedbacks!

Thanks for reading this long article! 😀
Cheers!

 

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