Apple KILLS ORGANIC DISCOVERY for INDIE GAME DEVS

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by Storm Factory, May 17, 2015.

  1. Storm Factory

    Storm Factory Active Member

    Apr 8, 2015
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    #1 Storm Factory, May 17, 2015
    Last edited: May 17, 2015
    Did Apple just KILL ORGANIC DISCOVERY FOR INDIE GAME DEVELOPERS? My new game "Crazy Bounce!" just got released today and it's starting to get some downloads so I go to the iTunes App Store Games section to see if I made it into the New Releases section and to my surprise, the New Releases section is gone! It's been replaced by Best New Games. And other sections have been replaced by All-Time Greats. New Releases, New & Noteworthy, What's Hot, All iPhone Free/Paid are all gone! Now it seems like the only titles showing on the category sections for games are the ones from big publishers curated by Apple with huge ad budgets.

    EDIT: There are multiple results when you search "Crazy Bounce!" so if you wanted to check out what game I released here's my App Store link http://bit.ly/CrazyBounce

    [​IMG]
     
  2. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver

    Sorry, but the change is long overdue. And no, it's not only "big publishers" who are getting featured. Quite frankly, if Crazy Bounce is any indication, I'm glad that your kind of games are fading to the background.
     
  3. Storm Factory

    Storm Factory Active Member

    Apr 8, 2015
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    There is more than one game that comes up in a "crazy bounce" search, so I'm not sure you saw my game or not, but either way what you think makes a good game is irrelevant to the point. What I think makes a good game is irrelevant to the point. There is no game that will ever be made that everybody will like and want to play.

    It's all subjective. That's why having one part of the iTunes App Store Games Category Section that is not based on one person's opinion and is not curated is good for indie developers.

    The "All iPhone Free/Paid" section was the one filled with every new crappy release that came out. I have no issues with removing that part. However, "New Releases" seemed to have been based on downloads. So if you were able to get a lot of downloads on your new game, there would be a good reason for Apple to put your game in that position. If you spent time and money marketing your game and people liked it and downloaded your game, you would get rewarded and placed in the New Releases based on the merits of the interest you created and the people's engagement.

    Now making it on that page is going to just be based on who you know at Apple or how big of a check you can write. Looks like merit has been taken out of consideration.
     
  4. 1stSPIN

    1stSPIN Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    I agree there should be a section for new games that allow new or undiscovered developers a chance to have a higher position to allow more people to download and judge for themselves. I truly believe if you put all developers on an equal footing then the carts would not look like they do today.
     
  5. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver

    Putting everyone in the same footing is the problem. What the store needs is curation -- crud should not have the same weight as gold.

    Apologies to Storm Factory -- the Crazy Bounce that came up in my first search was a bad Tiny Wings clone. The game in question is a legitimate effort.

    Ultmately, a store that features everything ends up featuring nothing. Personally, I prefer a race to the top than one to the bottom, even if it means missing out on some decent games.
     
  6. rob1221

    rob1221 Member

    Apr 25, 2015
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    Well that sucks. Guess it makes the best new games list more important than it already was.
     
  7. 1stSPIN

    1stSPIN Well-Known Member

    Nov 15, 2014
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    I am one to commend anyone that goes through the effort of making a game and continues to do so even after their face is put in the mud. Unfortunately a number of good developers don't have the personal strength to stay in the game and get depressed by rejection by a few rather than by the masses. This process of which games should be decided by the masses and I hang my hat on this, there are games by unknowns that rise to the top without internal pushes and would have sunk to the bottom had it not been for some fortunate downloads. Whatever process makes this possible should be encouraged. Now to the real world.....
     
  8. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    The idea of equal footing is lol. Of course apple is going to want to put the products which showcase their hardware the best and will be downloaded the most at the top.

    I did like the little boost apple gave everyone when new and a little surprised they removed it but I guess there was so much crap there they realised it was a waste of store space. It does mean you have to have a marketing plan now and can't just release on hope.

    Most of the games indie devs make either aren't high enough in quality or don't have wide appeal (I know mine don't on the later). Overall I expect if you really have a good game (not just a generic one tap, slight tweak on gameplay cause that market is super saturated) that opportunities are out there.
     
  9. PikPok

    PikPok Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2009
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    On the plus side, this means a whole new tier of featuring titles can potentially appear in, at a level where there is lightly less competition.
     
  10. Storm Factory

    Storm Factory Active Member

    Apr 8, 2015
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    No worries, mate. I edited the original post and added a link to solve the confusion. It's my fault for not checking if a game with the same name already existed. It's going to make my marketing campaigns that much harder and the other guy might end up benefiting a little from my marketing campaign.
     
  11. Storm Factory

    Storm Factory Active Member

    Apr 8, 2015
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    I just thought about something that doesn't track. If Apple had so much of a problem with games they felt were SPAM to the point where they would eliminate organic growth and discovery for all games, then why were they approving the SPAM games in the first place?

    It's not like it was like submitting to Google Play where you would submit your game and the game would be up in a few hours with no human review. It usually takes anywhere from 7 to 21 days for your app to get through the Apple approval process. Why the long wait time if there is no quality control?

    Ultimately I think there is something more to this major change. Hopefully there's more information to come from Apple on this topic at WWDC.
     
  12. PikPok

    PikPok Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2009
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    Because they don't want to run afoul of monopoly and antitrust laws.


    Quite possible even more dramatic changes emerge for the App Store at WWDC.

    The trick here is to be nimble and responsive. When ever Apple makes a change there are winners and losers. Make sure you are on the winning team by jumping through whatever hoops they want and grasping any opportunity. For example, you should make an App Preview for Crazy Bounce!
     
  13. @PikPok - any idea what these changes to the App Store might be?
     
  14. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver

    There's been a steady move towards a more curated experience. The addition of the "Pay Once" section suggests that they're growing uncomfortable with the free-to-play ecosystem. My guess is that they are trying to make the store behave more rationally, which means, unfortunately, having the more capitalized efforts rise to the top. To their credit, they seem to be also pushing indies, giving them their own highlighted section. That said, Apple has always been focused on customer experience, sometimes at the expense of developers (or even pro users).

    One of my favorite things about iOS gaming is discovering amazing, crazy games made by extraordinarily committed people. I remember this one Metroidvania with a surfer for a hero that took over my life for a while, about 4 years ago -- the game just popped in the store one day and I just happen to take a chance on it. Unfortunately, we now live in an age of scam apps, half-finished nonsense, and outright rip-offs. We are all weary about spending money (even if it's only $.99) that completely fails to live up to expectations. I think that the era of just finding a great game in the App Store is pretty much over (with some exceptions). As a customer, it makes sense for Apple to point me towards efforts that are worth my time and effort.

    As developer, that means that marketing is now all important. You need to find more and more creative ways to get noticed. On my end, I'll keep working to get the word out on games that deserve it
     
  15. PikPok

    PikPok Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2009
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    Not really. Have heard the odd rumour they are doing away with the Top Grossing charts as that arguably doesn't provide consumers with a valuable view on games. But that doesn't seem to have borne out, and I've heard these rumours for a long time.

    Our Apple account managers are remarkably tight lipped and don't give anything away (was on the phone today pushing my luck), so we don't have any insight at all what might happen. Their big "App Store" announcement from WWDC for last year was the analytics which have just been rolled out. So could be they'll talk about where that might go, and whether the functionality will be expanded or improved.

    We are personally hopeful they'll announce an Apple TV with an App Store at WWDC which will open up a whole new market. And a whole bunch of new rules and headaches ;)
     
  16. copaeci

    copaeci Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2012
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    There's a thread about this already here. May be mod can merge the thread. We are not denying about this fact, but for me this change is bad especially for indie devs. If Apple don't want to get spammed by all of those clone/ scam apps, just reject all of them. Don't make such a change like this, it might looks common, but it gives a big impact for little dev who doesn't know yet the ios world. Apple should reconsider this change again, at least bring back that previous section (all releases) too.
     
  17. nemerleb

    nemerleb Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2013
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    It's like when you go to the grocery store: you directly see the products whose companies have bribed the supermarket to push onto consumers' faces.
    Same thing in digital stores: it's the bug fish that gets all the advertising. Even in the "related" and "what others also bought" you'll notice they are the same games over and over again no matter what game you're looking at.
     
  18. squarezero

    squarezero Moderator
    Staff Member Patreon Silver

    On my phone, "Related" shows other apps from the same publishers. Unless there are none, then it just gives you the top apps in the category.
     
  19. PikPok

    PikPok Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2009
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    Apple can't really reject things wholesale lest they run afoul of anti-monopoly and antitrust laws. There is no legal grounds to reject a clone if it isn't infringing with respect to copyright, trademarks or patents (and you can't protect "look and feel".

    Besides, where do they draw the line? It's the same when people suggest Apple clean up the store by removing or refusing "crappy" apps. I guarantee that if Apple was more stringent with granting developer accounts or approvals on new submissions and updates there would be a thread in here complaining about it within minutes.


    That isn't true at all. Apple features games from first time teams, small teams, and teams with no marketing budget all the time.

    What featured apps do all have in common is that they are "quality" experiences.


    That also isn't true.
     
  20. Xammond

    Xammond Well-Known Member

    Mar 22, 2014
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    If New & Noteworthy are gone (?) then there's more chance of getting Greenlit on Steam than generating the developer fee before it's due again... My apps take a good year each to make but it's not worth the risk releasing on iOS without a budget to stand next to #200 in the chart
     

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