iPad Dedicated appstore developers vs Branded Developers

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by ianlow32, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    161
    0
    0
    After reading the thread on "What is Sega doing ...", I thought i might want to start another thread on something related ...

    Having bought over 100 games so far myself, I am beginning to wonder ... are branded developers like Namco, Taito and Sega doing a better job than appstore houses dedicated to the iphone? By these, i mean the likes of ngmoco, chillingo and numerous indie publishers.

    Looking at the last few months, the best/most debated games are the likes of Payback, Vector Tanks, iDracula, Rolando etc ....

    Namco's Katamri and Time Crisis virtually disappeared without a trace, and Sega has just one major talked about game that seems to have sold well but not as appreciated as well. Is this a sign of the appstore having its own niche of development houses that EA and other major software gaming houses are unable to take advantage of? Or they are simply left behind by the rapid development and proliferation of indie titles?

    The only one major house that is doing well both commercially and critically is Gameloft. BIA, Sparta, Real Football etc all are worthy games and among the most commercially successful here too it seems. And they seem to get the formula right .. porting those that makes sense of the iphone.

    EA? Simcity is their best game so far, but whilst monopoly is doing well, its not really a game to show off your iphone on ... and NFS? It looks like Real Racing has stolen its thunder even before its launched ...

    Having said all this, what do you guys think? Has the appstore cultivated a new set of game houses that can stand on its own? And if this platform continues to grow, perhaps one day, these developers can make the leap to the larger console/PC market as well?
     
  2. Wegmans

    Wegmans Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    1,561
    3
    0
    Finance
    MD, USA
    Hands down the dedicated devs that come to the forums create better games, you can see the game evolve as your feedback gets absorbed... Everyone has a chance to influence a game's development! Keep it up!
     
  3. WOW_GEE

    WOW_GEE Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    229
    0
    0
    I think that the homegrown developers, the indies, (like the one behind blue attack, the group behind Rolando, or Zombieville, or scoops, textropolis, and others) they put more dedication into their work because they ARENT like those bigger corporations like EA, Sega, and Gameloft.

    They have other projects going on, which makes it harder for them to make a game, then actually listen to feedback and improve; it just won't happen as thoroughly or often as with indie developers, many of whom are regular on forums such as these to get input to make their products better. (Just look at the devs of pocketgod; there is rarely a time when there is no pocket god thread in the column of active threads)

    Also, while for an indie developer, it may be profitable by their definition to create a stunning game and have it sell dozens a day, the same profit may not be considered much of a profit by EA or bigger corporations, who are used to making bigger games with bigger sales than what can be done on a mobile device; to them it might just not be worth the effort and resources to put solid time into a game for an ipod or phone.
     
  4. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    161
    0
    0
    Does this mean that EA/Sega etc will not have original games here? I have not seen one big brand develop an iphone game original yet .... which until they do so, my feeling is that these guys will be treating the appstore as just a distraction, and not a major platform
     
  5. Wegmans

    Wegmans Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2008
    1,561
    3
    0
    Finance
    MD, USA
    They're just too bloated to dedicate a group of people to this platform.. they'd rather force some horrible port down our throats than develop from the beginning! With the devs you see on here, at least they have passion about their creations and aren't in it purely for the money like the big names are!

    If they come out with a great $0.99 game that people love, it will be much easier for them to sell their $5.99 premium game... I'd rather support a local dev than throw my money at a big name..

    BIA may be an exception, as that game was a great port
     
  6. WOW_GEE

    WOW_GEE Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    229
    0
    0
    Maybe this will be the case; who knows? All of their games have been ports so far. And from what i've seen from indie developers and the awesome stuff they can come up with, it would take a lot out of EA or Sega to come up with something original that will be more or even as successful as some of the indie dev stuff.
     
  7. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    161
    0
    0
    Still, i hope the PR guys at the big companies are checking out these forums to understand what the iphone gaming community is all about. Its never too late, and while I champion indie apps, i do want to see a more fertile development effort from the big boys. I am sure if they only spend a tiny amount on a specialised iphone dept, they will get some good stuff out here in no time.
     
  8. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    2,562
    0
    0
    The indy developers dedicated solely to this platform, or focused primarily on this platform, are able to have more output because:

    Their games are smaller, teams are smaller, companies are smaller, and so there is far less red tape they have to go through to have quick development decisions, and thus they have all around quicker development cycles (comparative to "big brand" devs).

    With the "big" devs...they have a wider focus range, as previously stated by another poster. The teams are generally much larger and so, of course, are the companies, which slows down decision making which helps slow down development. Plus, generally, they're making much "larger" games (in terms of dev costs) due to consumer expectation. A smaller indy team could put out an Bounce On or a Papi game. And those are good and are well regarded. But if Sega, EA or Gameloft went and made such games there would inevitably be complaints of those "big brand" companies not putting their all into development. So they've got to go "bigger" and that means costlier and that means more dev time.

    However, that type of development may be out of step with the wants and needs of the consumer market for mobile games. This isn't the home console market, or even the portable game system market although too many people on here seem to think it is. It's a mobile game platform serving consumers in the mobile gaming market, and there come with that different consumer expectations. Consumers in this market tend to favor "quick play" style games, games that don't necessarily have to have comparatively large budgets. But, again, the advantage that the "big brand" devs have is that they're able to inject their games with larger budgets, but, again, that's also a curse because of consumer expectation both for games on these platforms erring more toward "small" games as well as being overly critical when the "big brand" devs attempt to make those "small" games with smaller budgets than they're used to seeing from said developers. It's a catch-22. "Small" games do better, but if the larger devs attempt such games to full force there'd be consumer backlash against them for "going cheap".

    So they have to balance even the "small" type games by giving them larger budgets, and thus longer dev cycles, than their indy competitors are able, and they also have to come out with games that serve segments of the market that really can't be served by the indy competitors which also have larger budgets and longer dev cycles. And there's more risk all around for them either way compared to the indies. Also, in this segment of the game market (mobile gaming), "big budget" games (compared to other games in this market) fill a niche, and in other markets it's usually the other way around.

    With Gameloft it may be a bit different, because Gameloft is more of a dedicated mobile gaming label anyway. Yes, they've made some WiiWare games and some DS games (and PSP games, iirc), but those offerings are the company diverging from their primary focus, which has always been the mobile market. So they're at an advantage compared to devs like EA, Sega, and the like which may have dedicated mobile teams, but aren't primarily dedicated to the mobile game market overall as companies.
     
  9. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
    2,562
    0
    0
    But, see, they can't really do that. If they sold a game at $0.99, it'd mean a smaller budget that what consumers are used to from devs like Gameloft, Sega, EA, etc. Yeah, it would be comparable to the indy devs...but that's the problem. Consumers expect the indy games to have lower budgets. They're indy devs, after all. If the "major" devs tried to do that, they'd be labeled cheap asses. It's, again, catch-22.
     
  10. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    161
    0
    0
    I tend to think somewhat different on this cheap labelling biz. EA recognises that mobile/iphone biz is huge, so as a gaming company they would want to maximize their market potential in gaming, irregardless of which platform.

    As a consumer, i certainly wont mind a 'budget' series of games from EA if they are dedicated to mobile/iphone. they just need to make new and original games instead of watered down ports. I am sure the easiest way is to hire some of these brilliant indie developers out here now.

    in fact, i think its a win-win situation for them. Back in the 80s, Atari hired a bunch of college students coz they made a good hack out of missile command, and they promptly made ms pac man (albeit for midway). clearly there is good talent out there for iphone gaming.
     
  11. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    894
    0
    0
    So far, the most creative apps and games on iPhone have come from indie devs. It's just so rewarding to see games that are developed with a passion, and then evolved as an earlier poster said. The give and take feels so good and everyone benefits: Devs get experience and monetary income, users get a better gaming experience.
    I have been rather disappointed with the likes of Star Wars, Spore and Gameloft's Brain Challenge. At first I loved those games, but they now pale to insignificance against indie games. I gave feedback to Gameloft aupport about how Brain Challenge was unfair to those colourblind like me. Support just replied "thanks we'll let the devs know" and that was it. No updates no feedback. That really killed the spirit of things for me on Big companies.
    While I hope that NFS gets released, I am not holding my breath for it to be a great game. I bow have a feeling corps will just offload their main brands to feel for what's going on with the App Store but not do that much due to the cost of a whole development team's budget costs. Indie's have so much more creative freedom to act quicker.
     
  12. Hobbes

    Hobbes Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    731
    0
    0
    I am not a huge fan of big name companies making apps like sega... I like a small group of dedicated devs like those of Pocket God. The other ones just throw crap in the app store and slap a high price tag on them. For the most part.
     
  13. Mhans13

    Mhans13 Well-Known Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    65
    0
    0
    I deffinitly like the indie devs better than the major developers. It really is great feeling like you actually play a part in the updating of the game. Plus all the major developers are in this for the money while the smaller developers obviously like money but also want to make their game as fun and enjoyable to their audience as they can. So thank you small devs for listening to us and thank you to touch arcade for giving us the opportunity to talk to the devs with such ease.
     
  14. Spartan12103

    Spartan12103 Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    568
    0
    0
    USA
    Indie devs > major devs in terms of iDevice games. Especially since it's always the not well known devs that always reach out to the community.
     
  15. ibelongintheforums

    ibelongintheforums Well-Known Member

    Jan 4, 2009
    2,717
    4
    0
    I think u forgot Pangea.
    :(
     
  16. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
    879
    1
    0
    The larger companies will be better off just buying one of the indies out. Not only do we understand this market better, we are WAY more efficient.
     
  17. hkiphone

    hkiphone Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2008
    894
    0
    0
    I wish dearly for that to be true, but I fear that corporate structure and management means an inevitable slowdown of development, as marketing insists this and that etc.
    Something like chillango allowing devs full freedom and assistance would be the best way to go, I think
     
  18. arta

    arta Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2009
    6,900
    0
    0
    Gameloft always made excellent cell phone games, good iPhone games are expected of them. And even if they had gotten stumped on original games, everybody loves Block Breaker Deluxe 2, Uno or Bejeweled.

    And while EA used to have a terrible reputation for making multiplats in for ANY game console back in the day, lately they are doing a much better job, including the iPhone. Now Activision, that's the new scourge now.

    All the other big studio devs, not really that impressed. Dedicated devs are gonna show them up. Still wish everyone would start making real puzzle games and stop with the match 3 ripoffs though. :)
     
  19. ianlow32

    ianlow32 Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2008
    161
    0
    0
    I agree and see ngmoco and chillingo as the 2 leading indie companies that knows how to take care of the good developers out there. By giving them additional resources, these developers are able to have a better polish and production values to their games.
     

Share This Page