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MacBytes
Jul 14, 2009, 08:19 AM
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Category: Games
Link: EA gets into the cheap, fast game market on iPhone (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20090714091941)
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Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
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GoCubsGo
Jul 14, 2009, 08:44 AM
It's nice to see them go both ways. They're right about the .99 impulse buy. It seems so inconsequential to actually spend .99 over $9.99.
And zombies? You can never go wrong with Zombies!

MagnusVonMagnum
Jul 14, 2009, 09:48 AM
One thing I've never understood about the popularity of the iPhone/iPod Touch is that the games created for it COULD easily be ported back to run on the primary OS X operating system, thus increasing potential revenue with very little work on the part of the developer. Sure, some games wouldn't be much fun on a regular Mac, but some (e.g. Pinball Dreams) would be awesome to have available with native support in OS X. And quite frankly, ANY gaming in OS X would have to help it in that area. Maybe Apple needs to make it easier for iPhone games to run directly (i.e. without ANY conversion) in OS X.

mkrishnan
Jul 14, 2009, 10:04 AM
Maybe Apple needs to make it easier for iPhone games to run directly (i.e. without ANY conversion) in OS X.

I think (a much bigger) part of it is the distribution channel. The App Store handles all the back-end aspects of distribution, generates a large amount of attention and indirect advertising (like getting apps picked up by MacRumors and TouchArcade and Gizmodo), and even does some direct advertising for some apps. It also makes them readily available in a highly standard way, and even takes away any hassle associated with how applications are installed and on top of that even distributes updates in a standardized way.

Apple charges a fair amount for all these services, but in the end, it ends up being worth it to the developer because the App Store stimulates a lot of sales this way with minimal effort.

The analog doesn't exist today on OS X (or on Windows or any other "desktop" OS really) -- or even if loose analogs exist, they lack the App Store's critical mass.

People talked about the high cost of developing for yet another hardware platform with limited sales as a major contra-indicator for developing for Macs, and yet look at how people flock to the App Store as developers even though they not only have to develop using XCode and Objective C, but even have to do it on Apple hardware. So I don't think this is the real reason there isn't development.

I think the best thing that Apple could do to stimulate small-end software development on the Mac is to try to extend the App Store analogy to the desktop.

nagromme
Jul 14, 2009, 12:55 PM
I think (a much bigger) part of it is the distribution channel. The App Store handles all the back-end aspects of distribution, generates a large amount of attention and indirect advertising (like getting apps picked up by MacRumors and TouchArcade and Gizmodo), and even does some direct advertising for some apps. It also makes them readily available in a highly standard way, and even takes away any hassle associated with how applications are installed and on top of that even distributes updates in a standardized way.

Exactly. I have an unreleased, unfinished Mac game, and not having a good way to get it out for sale was a major barrier. Now I'm finishing it up for iPhone because all those hundred little problems are solved for me by the App Store! (And a few new ones are created--but it's still well worth it.)

Later I may release some variation on it as a Web game or Mac/Windows game... or maybe not :p

mkrishnan
Jul 14, 2009, 03:03 PM
Now I'm finishing it up for iPhone because all those hundred little problems are solved for me by the App Store! (And a few new ones are created--but it's still well worth it.)

I think you're far from the only one, too. I love it, since I prefer playing games handheld anyway. :D

I totally think Apple should make a desktop App Store. I also think that if they do, and it catches on, at some point there are going to be major anti-trust / collusion / anti-competitiveness issues with this approach. But it's the wave -- Symbian may have tried it a long time ago, but Apple made it work, and now everyone is doing this. And I have to say, bickering about how much apps that get downloaded get used aside, Apple makes results. The opportunity for small developers in this approach to distributing apps is really unparalleled.

And then to go off the deep end... if iTunes, Safari, and QT run on top of Windows, one would have to wonder how hard it would be to make Apple "desktop app store" apps run in some kind of sandbox on Windows. And whether that kind of Normandy beach invasion is what Apple is up to....