With more than 2,000 games available on Nintendo Switch, it can be an insanely difficult task trying to keep up with them all, especially when any one of those games go on sale, but enter SwitchList.
Created by Firestream, this web application and app can go a long way to making the life of a Switch gamer, a little bit easier. So, having become smitten with app ourselves, we felt it was time to talk to the creator behind it and learn more about this money saving up! Here’s how we got on:
In typical interview fashion, would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your involvement with SwitchList app?
Firestream: Hey there, I’m Firestream, the creator & developer of SwitchList.app. I’ve been building websites, apps and communities for many years in the gaming industry. I got my start with a pretty large Halo leaderboard site called HaloCharts, back in 2007, and I have a number of projects running at one time, including SwitchList.
SwitchList app in a Nutshell:
Miketendo64: For those who have not heard of SwitchList, what is it and what is it for?
Firestream: SwitchList is a web application, with mobile apps for both iOS and Android that provides Nintendo Switch eShop information and a large searchable database. The main benefit to using it is for sale-tracking and for extra features not found in Nintendo’s eShop like ratings, reviews, and other game details. SwitchList also has a large and active community of Switch owners, making it easy to find great games and people to play online with.
Game Changing rewrite:
Miketendo64: When did you first launch the app and how has it been received by those who have downloaded it, since release?
Firestream: It was first released in early 2018 and was well-received. However, in September of 2018, I completely rewrote the app due to a few limitations in the original version. So far, it’s grown at a pretty steady rate and maintains many great reviews on iOS and Android, and many members hang out in the app daily.
120,000+ Downloads and Counting:
Miketendo64: Since the app first released, how has it grown and do you have any particular plans as to what you want to add to it next?
Firestream: The app has done really well in the last 6 months since the rewrite. Currently, the total installs is about 125,000 with about 27,000 monthly active users. Any given day can see 2,000-2,500 unique users and over 500,000 page views per month. The app has over 8,500 registered members also, but has a lot of content available without an account. Major planned additions include DLC price tracking, better searching in the Database, sorting added to Collections/Wishlists and more community features.
The Inspiration behind SwitchList app:
Miketendo64: What inspired you to create the SwitchList app?
Firestream: Originally, in January of 2018, I was building SwitchRPG.com to be a database of all RPG’s for the Nintendo Switch. Over time it became clear the features in the system would be better if they were available for all Switch games, instead of just RPG’s, so SwitchList was born from that. SwitchRPG.com still does really well and has a great team of creators pumping out RPG-centric content on a weekly basis.
News for SwitchList and Life at Switch RPG:
Miketendo64: Where do you find the content (News, Reviews, etc.) that you use for your app?
Firestream: News is gathered from multiple sources and is added to regularly. I didn’t want to try to tackle doing news myself as that’s more than a one-person job. Reviews and video content is provided by SwitchRPG.com and NindieSpotlight.com
Miketendo64: Given the fact you also run Switch RPG, how do you find time to juggle between the two?
Firestream: At this stage, I don’t do very much with SwitchRPG.com, but I have an amazing team of people that continually pump out content on the site. They do weekly reviews, articles, videos and a podcast and help run a very active discord at discord.switchrpg.com
Keeping SwitchList app up to Date:
Miketendo64: With well over 2,000 games on the Nintendo Switch, how do you keep up with maintaining your database and adding new entries?
Firestream: A lot of the data loaded is automatically, running frequently throughout the day checking things. Other data is actually loaded manually by a team of people that keep up with things like download sizes, trailers, etc. It’s very maintainable, but I’m still incredibly thankful for the volunteers that spend their own time helping me keep things straight.
Miketendo64: Do you have your own server for SwitchList or is it hosted on another website provider?
Firestream: It is hosted on a beefy VPS that runs a number of other projects I have as well. It has dedicated resources though and scales pretty well to peak traffic levels. On average SwitchList has about 50 concurrent users, but can spike to up to 500 people at once without really breaking a sweat.
Ads are the Enemy:
Miketendo64: Your app promotes organic ads that you personally manage yourself. What made you choose to post ads personally as opposed to using an external ad company?
Firestream: First off, I hate ads. I hate the way the Internet has gotten covered with them, especially on mobile sites. I have ads that I feel are tailored for Switch owners only, and never plan to get spammy with them. I love that they help pay my bills, but also promote great Nintendo content to a large audience of Switch owners.
The Benefits of Going Pro:
Miketendo64: Given the fact you offer SwitchList users the chance to upgrade to Pro member status, in terms of what they offer, how do the two memberships differ? What are the benefits of being a pro member?
Firestream: The big thing Pro members gain is getting emails whenever a game on your wishlist goes on sale. I am using email to be cross-platform, but I do hope to leverage push notifications for this in the future. Pro members can also set a color for their name, a custom background in the app and select from a number of avatars. The cost of going Pro is made back the very first time you save $10-$20 on a game you want.
Feedback is Most Welcome:
Miketendo64: For anyone who wants to help promote SwitchList app, or get involved with it, do you have any requirements? Is there any particular message you want to send out?
Firestream: I love getting feedback to make things better and am using a service called ImproveLoop to get feedback from my members. As far as getting involved in helping, you can always message me in the app if you think you can help and we can see if there’s a need.
I love seeing people follow the @SwitchListApp Twitter and RT the sales alerts and game additions. Twitter has been a great way so far to get the word out. Lastly, leaving reviews on iOS/Android is super important to me. I try to reply to every negative review and reach out to see if the issues can be resolved.
A Message for the Fans:
Miketendo64: Lastly, is there anything in particular that you would like to say to those who downloaded your app?
Firestream: You rock! Nintendo fans are great people, and the communities we have built in SwitchList and at SwitchRPG are full of amazing people. I’ve been privileged to meet many fine individuals through both projects. Thank you for the support!
Firestream, we wish you nothing but success with the app and hope that after reading this, some of our readers will download it today from the app store and Google Play!