Can Reskinning Become A Bad Thing?


Firstly, welcome to 2014 – Yes I am pretty slow at updating this blog, I am determined to post at least 2-3 new posts per week from now on, and here is the 1st post for 2014.

The $64 Million dollar question, can reskinning become a bad thing.

As someone who is reskinning around 60 reskins per month (and growing), with most of these for clients, I am going to go out on a limb and say YES, it can be a bad thing.

Am I shooting myself in the foot by saying this?

Let me explain…

If you have a business model (or propose a business model) where you buy one source code package and aim to reskin it a large number of times, I’d say that could be a bad thing.

But, not necessarily.

My first answer to anyone asking me about the merits of going “large scale” with reskins of the same source code, is…

Which demographic are you targeting?

If you have not even considered demographics/your target audience, then I would say its likely that what you are doing is a bad thing.


Well, think about it.  If you put out a reskin of a popular game with a brand new theme, thats great, but if its more or less aimed at the same audience, thats not really a good thing, right ?

I mean, there might be a novelty factor in playing a reskin of the same game, but you are unlikely to attract players coming back to your reskin, because.. Well its a copy of the original, with new skin.

Yes, there are times when the original game had terrible graphics, and then a reskin can really stand you out as “THE” version of the game to play.

Wouldn’t it be smarter to instead aim for a new demographic of player, and an entirely new segment of the App store?


Lets assume you have bought the source code to a popular game that is not really aimed at a specific demographic – This is the case with many source code packages you buy, the developer just made the game to his/her particular gaming tastes, and didn’t put much thought into the audience.

But this opens up a huge opportunity for YOUR reskin if you do that.  And I mean doing it before you start the reskin process.

Essentially deciding in advance, who the audience is going to be, and then going ahead and building a reskin that is aimed specifically at them.

Whats that going to go?   Its going to give the people in that particular demographic, a game that they want to play!    Do you think you might get some happy players doing that?  You better believe it!

Whats more, its going to be far less likely they ever played the original game, so it will truly be a new experience for them.  This equates to a player who is more likely to stay with the game, to buy your in app purchases, to click your ads, etc.

Why?  Because you are giving them what they want!

Please be specific Tim…

What about a source code package that was a space invaders style game, they you instead re-themed with barbie dolls shooting kisses to Ken at the bottom of the screen who in turn is trying to capture the “hearts” of each of the fair maidens lined up in a row.

And when he manages to “capture” on of their hearts, they “explode” into happiness.

Ok, so its not the best example, but what I do think is that this type of game, appropriately “themed” with the right choice of keywords, and other app store optimisation stands a good change of being found by the gamers in this segment.

Tim, aren’t I going to lose tons of downloads from people who don’t like this style of game?

It’s likely that yes, players who are not into Barbie and Ken are not going to have much interest in your game.

But if you are trying to make a game that appeals to everyone in the app store, I can pretty much guarantee you are going to fail.

That old chestnut  “Jack of all trades, master of none” comes to mind.

A game you create to try and cater for everyone, cannot by its very definition have things in it that attract people in specific demographics, can it?

Oh maybe you could build in the ability to buy 100 themes, each that is targeted at a particular audience, but with one app, how to you do proper App store optimisation so that everyone you have identified, can find the game? I mean you only have one title, 100 characters for your keywords including comma’s, and one icon to cover everyone.

See where I am going with this….

But, if your reskin plan all along was to cater for a particular market segment, particular interests, etc – You can keep releasing reskins aimed specifically at those people, and customise the entire App store optimisation process (from the title of the game, the keywords, and especially the icon) for them.

Thats when reskinning the same game over and over can be a good thing!

Questions?  Comments?  Drop them here and I’ll be happy to address them.

Until next time…



About the Author Tim Buchalka

Tim and his team completed over 500 reskins for himself or clients, and is an expert in the field.He has written 3 complete games, and has two complete video courses on Udemy that are about reskinning (as well as an Android development course with over 16,000 students!). You can find out more about Tim’s video courses here. He has also written a 110 page ebook about reskins that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed with reskins which is available on this website. You can get a complimentary copy of this ebook as well as discounts to his video courses by visiting this link. To contact Tim, visit this sites contact page.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply

Popular posts