Any opinions on the state/health of the iPhone game market?

Discussion in 'iOS Programming' started by mauszozo, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. mauszozo macrumors newbie

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    Sep 25, 2008
    #1
    Anyone have any thoughts on the state of the iPhone game market? I'm a newbie hobby game programmer who thinks the iPhone looks like fun, but I'm worried about the profitability. All I'm really hoping for is to break even on the money I spend on a new Mac, but I have no idea if that's realistic or not.

    My two concerns are one, more and more big companies entering the iPhone game market, and two, if Apple aproves Adobe's Flash for iPhone, then the low end market will be flooded with millions of free flash games.

    Am I going looking for problems here, did I miss the iPhone game bandwagon, or should I just shut up and worry about making something worth playing?

    Thanks in advance..
     
  2. forcesteeler macrumors 6502

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    Oct 1, 2007
    #2
    Right now its a gold mine. I know one developer that had 500,000 downloads. So at .99 cents a piece. Do the math!!.

    As for flash don't worry about it. The games will not be available on the Itunes store. Adobe is making a flash player so you will still need it to run through a browser
     
  3. SqueegyX macrumors regular

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    Mar 24, 2008
    #3
    What he said. But app store is filling up fast. I think the golden age of iPhone will wear off soon. But hopefuly not before I release my game :)
     
  4. moopf macrumors member

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    #4
    I think that's pretty misleading. It's not a gold mine at all apart from for the bigger development houses, those who were in at the start or those who have managed to get a good deal of pre-release hype. Certainly from talking to other game developers, along with my own experiences, the process of (a) develop, (b) release, (c) profit (and lots of it) doesn't hold true, and nor should it.

    The success of early releases is kind of getting some developer's hopes up. There will be some very big successes, from individual developers as well, but that will be a very small minority. For the majority getting the visibility to actually make a price of $0.99 work will be nigh on impossible.
     
  5. mccannmarc macrumors 6502

    mccannmarc

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    #5
    I think the issue is that most of the games out at the moment are 2D. People have seen previews of games such as Kroll at the appstore launch event and thats the sort of games they are after.

    Unfortunately the majority of people have been brainwashed to think that 3D games are superior to 2D games and so unless your game is 3D, or 2D with outstanding graphics/gameplay/reviews etc its a hard market to penetrate.

    Obviously Puzzle/Logic games don't fit into this as they are a complete different entity

    Just to back up my statements look at the amount of sales Super Monkey Ball & Star Wars has had, they are both crap games but people buy them basically because they are 3D!

    It doesn't help us either when the bigger companies are getting priority over us developers. Any new app made by the bigger companies is instantly put on the front page of the app store and that in itself is enough to generate massive sales!

    As far as I see it the iPhone is just another platform that is going to be dominated by the bigger companies, especially where games are concerned.

    But hey I'm not complaining, get a few good apps up and its still a good extra income!
     
  6. moopf macrumors member

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    #6
    I'd say that this was probably more likely because they're from bigger development houses, already established brands and have the marketing clout that both can bring.

    Look at Pangea Software. An already established development house on the Mac - anything they release instantly sells well and they're just porting already established game brands to the iPhone.

    All of these also get preferential treatment on the app store with banners, design elements on their product pages and general Apple "pushing to the consumer".

    I'm not sure it has anything to do with 2D/3D at all. Look at Line Rider, for instance (and again, that's an already established brand that had Apple pushing on the app store.)
     
  7. mccannmarc macrumors 6502

    mccannmarc

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    #7
    I agree, maybe I should have added the bit about brands playing a big part, but from personal experience; and I'm sure you've encountered it yourself a lot of people are very fickle when it comes to video games. If its not 3D it's crap in their opinion and I'm sure it must have some effect on sales
     
  8. moopf macrumors member

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    #8
    I'm really not sure it's as cut and dried as that. 3D works for some games, doesn't for others. Look at Dizzy Bee, which has been popular (and I believe was in the store at the start, or very close to it), that's not 3D. Rolando, which has been getting an amazing amount of pre-release publicity (mind you, I'm starting to wonder if it's vaporware!) will no doubt do really well, and that isn't 3D.

    Sure 3D is popular but I don't believe it's anything more than the brands, the companies, the marketing and Apple that's making these 3D games come up top. And the reason they're 3D is that that's what these companies have been developing previously.

    More than anything else it's about visibility.
     
  9. mccannmarc macrumors 6502

    mccannmarc

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    #9
    Yeah you're right, its unfair really. And DAMN YOU for making Hiqup so damn difficult :p
     
  10. moopf macrumors member

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    #10
    hahaha, normal peg solitaire is difficult at the best of times, with the additional stuff in Hiqup the later levels are tough :) Still, good for reply-value!

    Back on topic though, I'm not sure it's unfair. They have been giving exposure to some independant develoeprs and small development houses but, seeing it from Apple's point of view, they're really pushing gaming on the iPhone / iPod Touch so they do need to court the established development houses so they're no doubt promising exposure to get them on board. That makes absolute sense and, in the long run, could be good for all developers as it helps to establish the platform seriously.
     
  11. mccannmarc macrumors 6502

    mccannmarc

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    #11
    To be honest I think the major issue I have is that we are not allowed to design fancy product pages for our apps on the App Store (such as the ones you see for Super Monkey Ball and Crash Bandicoot etc). This is where I see it as unfair as we aren't on an even playing field where AppStore marketing is concerned. It would be nice if we could request them by sending off a HTML document along with the app when it goes in for review. Hopefully Apple will allow this at a later date because as it stands I am extremely jeallous :rolleyes:
     
  12. jstanier macrumors regular

    jstanier

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    Brighton, England.
    #12
    Games are certainly where the interest and money is on the App Store. Assuming you make something that's fun to play, I'm sure you'll be guaranteed sales. Even really simple games can be hideously addictive, and if you just make one game that sells reasonably well, I'm fairly sure you'll make the money back on a Mac purchase over the course of a year, and this is in the worst case (see Trism) :)
     
  13. moopf macrumors member

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    #13
    There's no guarantee of sales at all. The app store that exists now is very different, and provides far less visibility, than the app store at release which is part of the reason why Trism became a big hit. There are a heap of games in the store that are excellent but that nobody knows about, or get very little attention. Trism could equally have been one of those were it released now.

    Unfortunately the belief that there's easy money to be made is why there is so much rubbish in the app store and that, I'm afraid, makes it even more difficult for the stars to shine. Unless you're a big brand, as we've already covered in this thread :) And as more big brands come in, the smaller developers will find themselves increasingly pushed from sight.

    So I have to disagree, there's no guarantee at all. And it's only likely to get harder.
     
  14. bob_hearn macrumors regular

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    Vancouver, BC
    #14
    Damn right. My app Subway Shuffle is the highest-rated game in the whole store (with more than a handful of ratings), according to medialytics (app-store ratings aggregator). But you sure wouldn't know it by its popularity.
     
  15. erikko macrumors newbie

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    Jul 16, 2008
    #15
    For those of you who have small companies and are worried about visibility, I have to ask: what kinds of advertising and marketing have you done? I feel that as a startup, the only way anyone will notice my app in the mess of junk up on the store now is if I put a lot of effort into making it visible. Every day I look there are a ton of new apps, and I don't look every day. Newer apps have only a handful of reviews, which tells me they have a handful of downloads as well.

    I guess there are two ways to get big: do something radical and unique and hope word of mouth (and viral marketing) makes the difference, or if not, try to make it visible through web-banners, magazine ads, Youtube clips, sigs on posts at a forum like this one :D. I've already enlisted a friend with an advertising degree to help me out, when I'm ready to upload my apps. I also think an app is likely to look more interesting if there are more than a couple screenshots - maybe gameplay videos would look more appealing (hence the Youtube). On that note, has anyone here tried to get a magazine like Mac|Life to review their apps? Even if the review isn't glowing, at least it's exposure.
     

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