Not topic specific but:
Agreed, though, in the way that they were marketing it and the type of content they had, made it fail. The sections included " Bad Boy, Billionaire , etc and all the stories they had on the app were Romance genre and had a description that made it sound like animated porn stories. I didn’t get to beta the app itself but from SS and other conversations with people who have, Episode did a TERRIBLE job with the promotion and description that probably turned away a few thousand people who aren’t into sex stories.
Had they had more variety in the offered stories, given a better description (I mean really, "grab a glass of wine and have some fun * is in itself awful-- but to add it to your app description… fail.) they wouldn’t have under-performed.
Out of all of us adults here that had been asking about a mature app wanted to allow cussing, gore/violence and real-life situations that we old people can relate to. We did not however ask for 50 Shades of Animated Porn.
O.P. While I agree that the content guidelines do force you to think outside the box for certain situations in stories, it is possible to write something unique that doesn’t involve Riccardo the Bad Boy Billionaire Vampire Hybrid Boss. You do have to work around them a bit but: cursing is allowed in small doses- the occasional damn isn’t likely to get you banned or taken down. And, sure, you can’t show or describe sex scenes-- but why would you really want to? Isn’t it better to allow the reader to imagine what happened after the scene fades? We really don’t need to read about how he grabbed her thigh on a app geared towards young teens.
So, as much as it makes it harder to write on certain topics, you don’t have to write generically to publish. My first story ended up featured on a shelf and it’s a comedy/drama that has 0 “sexy” moments, maybe 2 kiss animations in the whole story and the MC and “LI” hate each other. so yeah, definitely not the “bad boy boss” thing and it ended up doing MILES better than I ever thought that it would.
And I really wish more people would take this to heart : STOP TRYING TO TREND AND WRITE SOMETHING NEW! Maybe its age, maybe its a extreme hatred for toxic af LI and Main Characters being shoved on kids my son’s ages but PLEASE stop copy/pasting the trending section.
Write that story about the girl with the eating disorder learning to love herself by befriending an outcast plus girl that doesn’t give af about other people’s opinions. Write that story about the detective that gets disgraced and goes undercover to prove they weren’t wrong. Write something you can be proud of. And stop worrying about how many reads or how much status and acceptance you get from carbon copying “The Gangster’s Mate” and think for yourselves-- I can almost guarantee that if more people stopped worrying about getting 5 million reads and all that, we’d have less toxic romance stories and more unique stories on this app.
(This is not to say that every gang story or romance story is junk, it’s really not that. It’s that the ones that are are generally the ones that trend consistently and they feature abusive/toxic people and lauding them for acting like a decent human being to one person not to mention they generally portray women as gullible, immature, jealous, vicious, rude, poor and uneducated or any combo of these traits. Women are more than that and should be shown as such.) <rant but I’m not wrong
So, hon, write your story and if you want help working out how to write a scene so that it doesn’t violate the guidelines, I’d be happy to help you out.