Submitted by MattS 1199d ago | interview

Interview: On why the Apple App store drove an Aussie indie out of business

Digitally Downloaded writes: "Aussie developer, Paul Turbutt, had a great little game on his hands with Star Hammer Tactics: a fun little strategy game that was a bit of a critical hit on the PlayStation Minis service.

Then he released the game on the Apple App Store. Now he designs mining software for a living" (iPad, iPhone, Paul Turbutt, Star Hammer Tactics)

Christopher  +   1199d ago
This isn't just the iOS app store, this is mobile gaming all together. The same number of 'new' games are released each week on Android as iOS now.

The problem is that there are way too many Indie game developers and only so many games people can play. Indie gamers are raising the competition with each other. You want success, you have to bring your A game across the board.
Jdoki  +   1199d ago
Maybe Apple's tweaking of the search results will help some developers. Their acquisition of Chomp appears to be starting to integrate with the App Store.

As for this case... I suppose my argument would be... Why should I buy the game?

Everything the dev said in the interview made the game sound quite average. Why would I buy it, and why should it figure near the top of the Apple search results?

What marketing did the developer do? (i.e. website, some SEO stuff, Facebook page, word of mouth etc)

I don't mean to criticise this dev, as I have a lot of respect for anyone capable enough to create a game - but actually making the game is only half the battle. Polishing it, keeping it fresh with updates, releasing at the right price point, running promotions, and marketing the hell out of it are equally important.

I play a lot of games (especially strategy, and board games) on iOS devices, and I'll happily wade through pages and pages of apps to find ones that appeal; but unless an average looking app is either priced right, or has a free lite version, then I'm unlikely to buy it.

Complaining that there's a lot of competition seems a bit weak to me. There's plenty of indie games selling well in the App store. I tried entering 'Space strategy game' in the App search and it showed four different great games (Hunters 1 and 2, Flight Control Rocket, Space Station Frontier) on the first page, and a lot of crap. I don't know how many of them are backed by the 'big' publishers, but many of them looked Indie to me, and surely a decent game should be able to rank higher than some of the rubbish that appears in the search results.

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