20 App Reskin Examples that Crush the Charts

 

Reskinning Apps

What if I told you the secret to the perfect network.  Would you be interested?

Whether you're looking to earn some extra income or you're a million dollar company on your way to becoming a billion dollar company.  The answer to take your game to the next level is right in front of you.

It's skinning.

App reskinning can be one of the biggest passive income opportunities. But only if you do it right and put in the work.

Business 101

Step 1:  Find something that works and produces a profit. 

Step 2:  Repeat the process. To learn about our entire app business building process, click here

Developing an app takes a lot of heart and energy.  Our goal with skins isn't to duplicate apps, but to reach new audiences by changing the theme and appearance.

Examples

Below you can checkout some serious examples of skin networks that are bringing in ridiculous revenue.  Take a close look at their strategies, and how you can match their success.

Want to pump up your app reskinning muscles?  Checkout these resources:

1.  The Candy Crush Saga of Skinning

game reskinning example with candy crush

Dialed.  Are the Candy Crush Sagas the best skins of all time?  It appears so.

Candy Crush and Candy Crush Soda Saga are both killing it in the Top Grossing charts.

2.  The King of Skinning

Several dentist game examples

George is the master of skinning.  He has numerous skins in the same network with little to no alterations to the code.

Even the icons look almost identical.  <You can mimic this network and make money reskinning apps.

 3.  Deer Hunter slaughter

Deer hunting games

Glu Games Inc has skinning down to an art.  They're in a different league than most developers, but their skins of Deer Hunter kill it.  And all their apps are in the same network.

Wow.

Another strategy the guys at Glu use is sequels.

If you have a hit app bringing in solid revenue, try uploading a sequel.  Throw in some small improvements, a few new graphics and the hardest part – a “2” in the title.  Checkout some of their killers below:

  • Contract Killer -> Contract Killer 2
  • Gun Bros -> Gun Bros 2
  • Blood & Glory -> Blood & Glory 2
  • Eternity Warriors -> Eternity Warriors 2

4.  Winning big with slots

make a slots app

Gotta love Slots.  Perhaps the most skinned code of all time.  I counted over 25 slots skins in the Phantom EFX network.  Insane!  No crazy metadata or design.

They simply cornered the market on tons of casino themes.  Does this code look familiar?

5.  TeamLava's Hot Magma Network

casual games reskinned

Checkout these reviews.  There's tons of people playing these skinned puzzle games, and THEY LOVE THEM!  Great screenshots.  They've figured out how to catch their consumer's eye.

Want to skin your own kickass puzzle game?  Checkout the Gem Dots source code.  It's extremely affordable and slays it.

6.  An Avalanche of Runner Skins

Games that are endless runners

Runner codes are a great starting place to dive into the app skinning game.

Coders and designers are familiar with these codes and how they work.  In fact, this is one of the most popular source codes that you'll see Bluecloud members talking about.

 7.  Go PRO with your Apps

GoPro with your phone

What's the difference between a LITE app and a PRO version app?  Sometimes it's just an In-App-Purchase.  Or an ad popup.  A $100 investment could double your cash flow.  NoApostroph3s shows us this strategy not only murders it with games, but utility apps too.

8.  Flappy Bird – Need I Say More?

Clone Flappy Bird

86,000+ reviews and #3 in Entertainment?  Ridiculous.  You don't even need a good designer for this one.

Flappy Potato?

I'm game.

When you reskin games, the upside potential is huge. Just be sure to do your research and find out what themes work.

9.  What's cuter than a puppy?

Reskin games with animals

Sometime all you need is a cute icon right?  The guys over at Pocket Gems have a slightly more complicated game plan than that, but it's working for them.

True story: I met with Pocket Gems a while back when they were first getting started with reskinning…they said it was the single most important business move they've ever made.

Remember – big or small, this stuff is powerful.

10.  Soap Opera and Builder Skins

Tiny Games

TinyCo has some MONSTER apps.  But the flow is the same, just different themes with amazing art.

This is yet another example of app success stories that use reskinning as their business model.

11.  Bluecloud's skin-dynasty

music entertainment apps

We purchased this code for a couple hundred bucks and threw it in the Store.  After it started making a hell of a lot of money, we decided to share it with the Bluecloud community who brought the code to the next level.  We do an entire step by step case study on how we did this – see it for free by registering here. 

12.  These could be your apps

Examples of reskinned games

This could be the best code we've ever come across.  Is it going to make you millions of dollars?  Doubtful.  But the functionality is simple, the resource count is under 50, and you can get your own copy for less than $200.  Interested?

13.  Cool Fonts & Texts

Cool font apps

Alejandro found a way to turn one code into a Font Empire – the font and text machine.  You don't need to focus your skin strategy solely around changing hundreds of images.

14.  Sick of these yet?  The developers not -> $$$

Make a guessing game

Alegrium has figured out the formula for the “Guess the…” code.  A solid icon, theme, and screenshots and you're good to go. So many versions, so little time.

15.  The Happy Guys at Rovio

Angry Birds apps

Angry Birds has destroyed the skinning game since they flew out of the cage in 2009.  Granted they have the budget to spice up their different themed skins, but the functionality is the same.

If you want to create a game like Angry Birds, read this post. It will give you specifics on the results you can get when you reskin apps.

16.  Collecting checks at the arcade

Coin arcade source code

Our Unity coin pusher app was an immediate success.  So the first thing we did was skin the hell out of it.

This code is projected to make well over $100k this year and was the #1 Bluecloud app in 2014. Learn how you can build something like this too.

17.  Pimp your Revenue

Make an iOS app

The Pimp My Screen team has exploded the market with wallpaper skins.  The Scale Heights guys have picked up the code with their own revenue blasters.  Wallpaper codes are a killer investment due to their lifetime value.

 18.  Keyboard Galore + Bundles

Keyboard source code

Starting with the release of iOS 8, Apple now allows developers to mess with keyboards.  The G-Power team has taken advantage of their keyboard code and earned some extra revenue through bundle sales.

Do you have 100 keyboard ideas you could easily develop?  I do.

19.  Tips & Tricks – Intelligneti's Secret

Create a tips app with a reskin

These guys have been doing this for years.  Everytime a new iOS or device comes out, they update their code and release another one.  Same code they've been using for years.

And the strategy works (as long as you can get it past the Apple Book Police).

20.  Skin-tastic

Runtastic app templates

Beautiful.  The Runtastic gurus have cornered the health & fitness market with some simple skins.

Whether it's GPS or workout videos, they've whipped together a formula that brings in big bucks.

In Closing

The list goes on and on.

Temple Run, Fruit Ninja, Clash of Clans…

Go through the Top Grossing apps on the Store.  You'll notice a lot of the apps in this article flood the charts.  That's because roughly 2% of developers make up for over 50% of the App Store revenue.  Now you know their secret.

The most amazing thing about this model is that it WORKS. It's not just theory – you're looking at companies making millions (even billions!) of dollars using the same principles we teach on this blog.

Want to learn more? Click here and learn everything you know about the app business. You'll get a FREE 150 page ebook on apps. All you have to do is click here and register!

Rock and roll,

Carter

How to Make An App

 

COMMENTS

  • Matt January 12, 2015

    Haha great spotlight on the “art” of reskinning. Personally, I like outfit 7 ‘s work best. Their characters are hilarious and my 2 yo son loves hitting the cat and hearing it repeating with a funny voice what dad’s saying 🙂

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 12, 2015

    @Matt – Yeah, Outfit7’s apps are incredible. They do really really well with ads as well 🙂

  • Connor Caswell January 13, 2015

    Hello Carter,

    First and foremost, I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! You have a lot of useful intel man and just wanted to tell you that you are a huge inspiration in my life amongst many others (Chad Mureta, Tony Robbins, I could go on and on.)

    Anyhow, I am a student of Chad’s & I just got my first app in the store around October, 2014. (Ha guess it has been in the store a while).. Anyways, I just bought your gem dots source code and I plan to have Angela Hayes’s team re-skin it for me. I am very excited because this is my very 1st re-skin ever. But I feel like I am having trouble deciding which theme to re-skin it? I do market research EVERY day for at least an hour and notice that puzzle apps are just murdering it right now. I feel like candy themes for match-3 games are overdone and I would like to find a less popular niche to market to. I see that dragon apps have been killing it for years and Chinese/Japanese apps are also starting to really emerge in the top grossing. I would love some advice as to which theme would be good to do for re-skinning the gem dots game? I understand it is very important to have the right theme at the right time so you market to a demographic that is hot right now. I would appreciate any advice or guidance!

    Thanks!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 13, 2015

    @Connor – thanks for the note dude, glad to see you’re fired up! The best advice I can give you is that you need to stop thinking about the theme as a “make or break” part of your app’s success. In today’s market, it is infinitely more valuable to start thinking about how can you make the app BETTER over the course of it’s lifetime. Once you start thinking like that, you’ll be able to research and think of a million ways to improve the app.

    Gem Dots is a great source code, but realize that you’ll still have monitor it and update it over it’s lifetime. That’s where the success comes in. One action item you can take away from this is to look less at the themes for those other Match-3 type games and start looking at all the reviews – these will give you ideas on easy ways improve game play. The good thing about Gem Dots is that we added a lot of functionality you can work with right off the bat.

    The other thing to think about is finding keywords that you want to capitalize BEFORE you pick your theme. That’s a big mistake a lot of people make – they pick a theme they “think” is hot, then try to match keywords to it.

    Good luck dude!

  • Francisco Varachaud January 16, 2015

    hello carter, just read throught all your blog posts in 2 days, never learn so much about apps in just one place, thank you for doing this.

    Just one quick question for you,
    how are you doing nowadays, did you start to making bigger and more complex apps like you said in some of your blog post or you still doing app flipping even when the market is already starting to mature?

    Thanks

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 17, 2015

    @Francisco – Yes! Pumped you’re getting so much value out of Bluecloud’s blog posts. Thats what they’re here for!

    Business is great. We primarily work on app flipping, but throw in some big projects every now and then. I try and stick to the model I used when I got into this business and not throw tons of cash on a project that might not offer me the return I’m looking for. Big projects usually = big problems, but I enjoy the process and challenging myself and my team.

    Keep rocking!

  • Lee January 18, 2015

    Hi Carter,

    Thanks for the blog post, have been following you since day one. I bought your “app flipping” product and I’m in Bluecloud Select.

    I was wondering how you get theme + keyword ideas?

    For example if I’ve got an endless runner game, I would go to Google trends and see what’s popular, check that against keyword tools and gauge the traffic and competition of keywords of that theme, and find one that I could rank for and go with that.

    At the end I’ll end up with a popular theme with high volume/low competition keywords – hence I’ve got a list of keywords for BOTH the theme (say unicorns) and also for the type of game (endless runner or arcade etc) . Am I doing this right?

    Thanks!

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 19, 2015

    @Lee – Yeah, that sounds about right.

    In most businesses, the first thing they teach you is that you need to prove demand. That’s where the phrase “riches in the niches” comes from. Same is true for apps – you need to identify a keyword or theme first, then build an app to support that. Sounds like you’re on the right track.

    But you need to take it a step further and realize that you’re business will never make or break based on your theme. It may help with the initial ASO or keyword volume, but it PALES in comparison to awesome updates, great development, and nice design. So, do what you’re doing and get a start, but realize that you may actually find more effective use of your time by researching competitor app reviews and knowing what to build that people want.

  • Jiri January 24, 2015

    Hi Carter,
    thank you for your website, I can find lot of advices here. Around 6 months i did research about everything what I have to do with app. But now it’s time to start learning with real app 🙂 I am looking for some good source code (game) and I have some tips, But what do you think about source codes from the top chart ?? For example flappy bird ?? It looks very easy to re-skinning like you said in this article. But of course, lot of other buyers buy this source code as well, so there can be lot of competition. So what do you think ?? My goal is to learn how the market and customers behave, how use keywords properly etc. And of course earn some money.
    Thank you for your help,
    Jiri

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas January 26, 2015

    @Jiri – Thanks for your comment! Great question and here’s my advice when choosing source code – it’s less important to try to find the “Perfect” source code and more important to think about how you can make it better with updates, design and development. Flappy bird could work but realize that many people have chosen that source code as well…so you will need to add something to it in order to make it unique.

    You have the right goals in mind for sure. I would recommend picking up a source code that fits in your budget, then researching based on what sort of updates you can include in your 6 month plan. Good luck!

  • jen March 21, 2015

    What keyword tools are you using when deciding what apps to build?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas March 21, 2015

    @Jen –

    We primarily use keywords from the title of niche successful apps. We find these apps primarily by navigating through the App Store. Sensortower and Straply are other resources we’ll sometimes checkout. Writing a brand new course to walkthrough EXACTLY how I come up with killer ASO. You can also checkout our free Mobile App Development Guide for more market visibility tips: http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/mobile-app-development-guide-a-comprehensive-list/

  • Jose Castro April 13, 2015

    Hey Carter,
    Love this blog. It’s solid and you are always packing some valuable info. Much appreciated man!!! Question for you, the ASO game seems tricky and there seems to be so many different routes to go, such as how much time to invest. Could you direct us to a course or someone who can help teach us a super solid foundation for this? Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you again!!

    Jose

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas April 13, 2015

    @Jose – thanks for the feedback man, much appreciated! I’ve been hammering down on ASO and hope to release a brand new course on my findings SOON. Keep your email and facebook open and I’ll make sure you’re notified.

  • Jose Castro April 13, 2015

    @Carter, perfect man. I will be on the lookout!! Thank you.

  • Tom L June 8, 2015

    Carter,

    I am a bit baffled by what is proposed in this blog. It seems to me that you are simply advocating people rip off those successful apps by making knock-offs. If I created a million dollar app and you made up 20 close copies I would not be happy. Am I missing something here or if outright theft not the mainstream approach?

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas June 8, 2015

    @Tom – if you built a house, then a developer built 5 houses that looked similar, would you be pissed? Or, if you opened a sandwich shop and someone else opened 5 Subway franchises, would you be pissed? Maybe, both would be understandable.

    But the bigger point is that these apps didn’t start from scratch each time – they built apps using a template. That’s what I advocate. Start with a template instead of starting from scratch. Hard to argue with that, yes?

  • Tom L June 10, 2015

    Actuall, no. There is a big difference between building another Subway which is a franchise and somebody pays for the right to copy. If I were the architect who designed the house my client would have owned the plans.

    It seems to me you are promoting people to copy creative people by technically making slight modifications. Everyone knows software is hard to protect. Ripping off creative people is not a good model.

    My question is, where do you get te code to sell to others? Are the creators getting paid or do you have people simply make “close replicates”. Sorry, you seem to be involved in a dishonest business and no amount of money is worth that.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas June 10, 2015

    @Tom – Check out http://www.woothemes.com or http://www.themeforest.com – are those people awful rip off artists? Or is it a legit business? I think my point with the Subway and housing is that you’re missing the bigger picture – certain models work, others don’t. It’s 100x better for everyone if people create products or businesses that are proven to work. Users prefer them. Business owners provide more value. Typically the people that are most resistant are hard core developers and artists who think the creative process is more important than a profitable endeavor. That’s not my call to make, but I tend to gravitate towards things that are ROI positive, at least in the business world.

    I built the templates myself. From the ground up. Then I prove they work, they I offer them to other people for 90% of what I spent building them so that people can save time, money and risk. Sometimes I will partner with other developers who have built the apps. And I don’t rip off creative people – I learn from people that built awesome businesses and apply what worked. That’s like telling me that because Clash of Clans was the first to build a multiplyer builder game, it’s a travesty to build one myself. Or because Toyota was the first to build a mid sized sedan Honda should stick to SUVs. That’s ridiculous.

    What I promote is that people don’t start from scratch. I would love to hear someone who tells me that it’s better to start a business from scratch than from a template. Pride does not equal a good business model.

  • priyal October 4, 2015

    hi carter your blog is very interesting
    but i want to ask a quetion that i want to make a free game app which will have no multiplayer game or it will require no internet connection except in app purchase. so if i create a free game app with only one feature that is in app purchase is there ne risk to pay for internet server

  • Jack November 30, 2015

    Carter, as a college student on an extremely tight budget, is it possible to get started on less than $100 invested? I’ve been reading your blog along with others and have decided reskinning is a fantastic way to earn a couple hundred extra a month but with the startup costs in the $100’s+ it seems nearly impossible.

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas December 1, 2015

    @Jack – Technically, yes it is possible. But the key thing to remember is that money is just a substitute for time when you’re just starting out. You could learn to code, get a very inexpensive source code and do all the work yourself…OR you could spend more money to hire someone to do it for you.

    So I think the better question would be “How much work do I need to do to make a few hundred dollars in passive income while only investing $100?” The answer is: a lot, but yes, definitely possible.

    Good luck!

  • Jay March 13, 2016

    What’s the best match-3 template out there to use for reskinning? I’ve got a good theme idea and I know graphics and UI will be important but I need to ensure the game mechanics etc would have to be on-point as well.

  • ismail April 26, 2016

    Thanks

  • hicham September 25, 2016

    hi carter
    i need course reskin ios from start plsssss

  • Carter Thomas Carter Thomas September 26, 2016

    @Hicham – email support@bluecloudsolutions.com for early access to our reskin mini course (it will be live in a few days)

  • tolulope January 17, 2017

    @tom L what carter is simply saying is if you want to start from scratch he is not mad at you but dont hate those who want to start at the next level after yours and moreover if you do your research well you find most successful apps were actually an improved idea of some other idea even angry birds was so identical to crush the castle that was released before angry birds was released. so dont think of a new idea just find an existing idea and improve on it because the positive side of life dosen’t mean you are weak

  • john April 26, 2017

    if there is any course for beginning send it to me please ,

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