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  #11  
Old 12-19-2012, 05:13 AM
MidianGTX MidianGTX is offline
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Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post
I still love iOS gaming a lot BUT i'm getting fed up of the clones. Last year everything was Angry Birds, this year seems to be constant runner games for everything. I see a new game, get excited, click on the thread and its a runner game.
I'm starting to see a lot of games with the same mechanic as Extreme Road Trip appearing too, and a few based on Triple Town.

I'm not sure we can really blame the kids for the problems we're seeing. There's probably some greed involved, but Apple laid down the rules that enable the greed to thrive. It's hard for most people to look at the bigger picture and decide to play the long game whereby spending more money now equals higher quality games later on. That's probably what I like most about Kickstarter. People spend.
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2012, 11:13 AM
HTWGames HTWGames is offline
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Hey just wanted to chime in... I have been looking at this paradigm for a while now and I'm going to possibly enlighten the subject with some information that could be argued are the reasons for all these free and freemium type apps to hit the stores in abundance.

When smart phones exploded, companies such as Apple or Google were able to draw attention to their success based on the idea that they had 100s of millions of customers to sell to.

They invited and offered a cheap platform for independent developers to work with and to offer their software to the 100s of millions of users in their network. They set up a toll booth type storefront where they scrape 30% off of each title for the privilege of being listed to their customers. So a number of indies chased that storefront, and a number of them had some serious success from it because it was early adoption.

This is where the problem happened... once the major publishers got involved with the storefronts they started to port over major titles, such as EA, Gameloft, Chilingo, etc. bringing over titles like Tiger Woods, Tetris, etc.

Sure some indie's like Rovio struck it big, but they were backed by angel investors who poured tons of money into the beast to get where they were.

Now these huge publishers not only crush the stores with putting their prolific and historically backed software on sale at any given moment, but they also have got in bed with the major storefronts. I can't say whether it's monetary(probably), but I do know for a fact that the larger producers of software sales get assigned people from say Apple, to work with them, keep in communication with them, and ensure that they release their apps at the appropriate moment with a guaranteed feature on the storefront.

As this continues, the rest of the developers get told to never contact these storefronts with their requests because they could care less(probably citing that it would be too much communication to handle). So the storefront becomes this gigantic wall of silence. The 80% or so of devs that can't make a living get stuck behind this huge corporate stage and get 0 exposure. They make us pay them 30% off the top for this privilege...?

So what happens? Well in order to bypass this horrible toll booth like setup the indie devs without the whacks of cash have to revert to methods to get noticed. Those who aren't savvy go free for a day to get exposed to a number of users. The problem is it's so common now that apps have been made to monitor this and there will be NO word of mouth because the only word of mouth is the applications guiding people to free software. Apple loves this because it sells their hardware. 1.3 million apps that will go free at some point? Absolutely I will buy that phone because it will cost me nearly nothing to have entertainment...which subsequently gets treated like shovelled crap.

Those who ARE savvy design with pinch points and take that toll booth paradigm and build it into their games with a storefront selling IAPs. They claim this is the new frontier for design but it's actually an age old way to bypass anything that is blocking unit movement. Basically when you put something out free, you're bypassing Apple's storefront, and moving units out the only Exit you have...FREEMIUM. With the storefront built into the game, you now have more exposure and the consumer has the choice to continue using your app and paying into it(which Apple still makes 30%) which will make money for the devs out there without the capital or fanbase to be a storefront major player.

So welcome my son, welcome to the machine. More so think of it this way: If Apple and the major pubs control the store front they make cash that way, but Apple wants to sell hardware, that's what they do first and foremost. So how about this: Attract all of these devs, have them pour their software into the library, glut the library into an offer that can't be refused, force the smaller shops to go free causing more attraction for the hardware/platform, and then still make money off the top. Meanwhile you have a good 80% of the devs throwing their software out for FREE every once in a while, which causes even MORE interest.

Apple has us small devs by the short curlies. And they will continue this movement, gradually snatching up any indies that cause any waves, make them into major storefront players, and continue onward because people will blindly chase success as customers will gladly rip off everyone as the software goes free.

It's killing a lot of the smaller devs... yes...my shop included. I've already started to look for another job because I can't continue like this, and my company has made 2 titles that people actually enjoy.

To give you an idea of numbers, Amazon put Polara out for free for a day... 64,000 free downloads, over the next few days only 100 were sold, and now is at about 5-6 units a day. Kunundrum 110,000 were downloaded for free, next few days saw about 150 sales and since then has dwindled in a slow decline of about 20 per day.

If you consider the trade off there... we shot out nearly $200,000 dollars worth of software for about $670. 20 days worth of sales(Polara is basically dead on that store) and we've only JUST made minimum wage for one person for one week.

How exactly can a company survive with that type of return? That's over a year and a half of work and costs to make the software. It's just not worth it...

However, if you take into consideration the crap that is peddled on the feature lists, those games are making thousands a day.

When we are exposed on Google(who's actually given Kunundrum 2 features this year, which is AWESOME of them) we've seen unit movement up to 600 a day and then drops off to almost nothing again. So the power of exposure is intense...but the free model is basically like watching fish flop out of water trying not to die.

Sorry for the length but it has to be explained.

Last edited by HTWGames; 12-19-2012 at 11:23 AM..
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  #13  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:05 PM
defred34 defred34 is offline
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Originally Posted by HTWGames View Post
Sorry for the length but it has to be explained.
I read the whole thing, and I must say it was an interesting read. Thanks for taking the time to carve out such a lengthy reply backed with examples and facts.

What you say is the sad but true reality. Lots of crap is peddalled on the featured section of both Apple and Google, mostly freemium moneysinks.

Anyway, considering you are looking for a full time job, won't it be better if you sell your idea of Polara (I know, this can be really, really hard to take) to a bigger publisher and get them to back a sequel?
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:09 PM
Pman Pman is offline
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Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post
I still love iOS gaming a lot BUT i'm getting fed up of the clones. Last year everything was Angry Birds, this year seems to be constant runner games for everything. I see a new game, get excited, click on the thread and its a runner game.
I agree with you 100% with this!!! I was just thinking this, ever since Temple Run getting so big, EVEYONE makes a runner game now, and it's plain annoying. It's like all these runner games are okay I guess, but we don't need that many!
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  #15  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:37 PM
mikeg123 mikeg123 is offline
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Originally Posted by HTWGames View Post
However, if you take into consideration the crap that is peddled on the feature lists, those games are making thousands a day.
I know this isn't the topic of this thread, but I agree with you 100%! Maybe I'm a bit biased now that I have a game in the App Store, but the feature list(s) have been one thing that has bothered me.

The one example that gets me is Bad Piggies. I don't even think the game had been released by the time I went to bed (PST), and was already #1 overall by the time I woke up at 9am (PST). That was on a Thursday before Apple even released their updated featured lists. Of course, when the update happened, Bad Piggies was the featured app all over the place.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Apple needs to feature this app or that app, and Bad Piggies isn't a bad game -- I just feel like Apple could feature some lesser known games that have garnered some critical acclaim. Games from Rovio don't need that -- they will automatically go to #1 and make a lot of money no matter what. But you'd be hard pressed to find any Apple list that doesn't list Angry Birds or Bad Piggies.

For Mikey Shorts, we were fortunate to get a N&N mention in iPad -> Games, but that was it. No idea why we never got any exposure on the iPhone side, even though we had a very positive reception at release time.

Again, not complaining about our lack of feature, and not saying Apple needs to do this or that. Just seems odd how some really good games get dropped by the wayside with no feature at all, whereas high profile games (that a lot of people already know about) get plastered all over the App Store.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2012, 12:42 PM
DannyTheElite DannyTheElite is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HTWGames View Post
Hey just wanted to chime in... I have been looking at this paradigm for a while now and I'm going to possibly enlighten the subject with some information that could be argued are the reasons for all these free and freemium type apps to hit the stores in abundance.

When smart phones exploded, companies such as Apple or Google were able to draw attention to their success based on the idea that they had 100s of millions of customers to sell to.

They invited and offered a cheap platform for independent developers to work with and to offer their software to the 100s of millions of users in their network. They set up a toll booth type storefront where they scrape 30% off of each title for the privilege of being listed to their customers. So a number of indies chased that storefront, and a number of them had some serious success from it because it was early adoption.

This is where the problem happened... once the major publishers got involved with the storefronts they started to port over major titles, such as EA, Gameloft, Chilingo, etc. bringing over titles like Tiger Woods, Tetris, etc.

Sure some indie's like Rovio struck it big, but they were backed by angel investors who poured tons of money into the beast to get where they were.

Now these huge publishers not only crush the stores with putting their prolific and historically backed software on sale at any given moment, but they also have got in bed with the major storefronts. I can't say whether it's monetary(probably), but I do know for a fact that the larger producers of software sales get assigned people from say Apple, to work with them, keep in communication with them, and ensure that they release their apps at the appropriate moment with a guaranteed feature on the storefront.

As this continues, the rest of the developers get told to never contact these storefronts with their requests because they could care less(probably citing that it would be too much communication to handle). So the storefront becomes this gigantic wall of silence. The 80% or so of devs that can't make a living get stuck behind this huge corporate stage and get 0 exposure. They make us pay them 30% off the top for this privilege...?

So what happens? Well in order to bypass this horrible toll booth like setup the indie devs without the whacks of cash have to revert to methods to get noticed. Those who aren't savvy go free for a day to get exposed to a number of users. The problem is it's so common now that apps have been made to monitor this and there will be NO word of mouth because the only word of mouth is the applications guiding people to free software. Apple loves this because it sells their hardware. 1.3 million apps that will go free at some point? Absolutely I will buy that phone because it will cost me nearly nothing to have entertainment...which subsequently gets treated like shovelled crap.

Those who ARE savvy design with pinch points and take that toll booth paradigm and build it into their games with a storefront selling IAPs. They claim this is the new frontier for design but it's actually an age old way to bypass anything that is blocking unit movement. Basically when you put something out free, you're bypassing Apple's storefront, and moving units out the only Exit you have...FREEMIUM. With the storefront built into the game, you now have more exposure and the consumer has the choice to continue using your app and paying into it(which Apple still makes 30%) which will make money for the devs out there without the capital or fanbase to be a storefront major player.

So welcome my son, welcome to the machine. More so think of it this way: If Apple and the major pubs control the store front they make cash that way, but Apple wants to sell hardware, that's what they do first and foremost. So how about this: Attract all of these devs, have them pour their software into the library, glut the library into an offer that can't be refused, force the smaller shops to go free causing more attraction for the hardware/platform, and then still make money off the top. Meanwhile you have a good 80% of the devs throwing their software out for FREE every once in a while, which causes even MORE interest.

Apple has us small devs by the short curlies. And they will continue this movement, gradually snatching up any indies that cause any waves, make them into major storefront players, and continue onward because people will blindly chase success as customers will gladly rip off everyone as the software goes free.

It's killing a lot of the smaller devs... yes...my shop included. I've already started to look for another job because I can't continue like this, and my company has made 2 titles that people actually enjoy.

To give you an idea of numbers, Amazon put Polara out for free for a day... 64,000 free downloads, over the next few days only 100 were sold, and now is at about 5-6 units a day. Kunundrum 110,000 were downloaded for free, next few days saw about 150 sales and since then has dwindled in a slow decline of about 20 per day.

If you consider the trade off there... we shot out nearly $200,000 dollars worth of software for about $670. 20 days worth of sales(Polara is basically dead on that store) and we've only JUST made minimum wage for one person for one week.

How exactly can a company survive with that type of return? That's over a year and a half of work and costs to make the software. It's just not worth it...

However, if you take into consideration the crap that is peddled on the feature lists, those games are making thousands a day.

When we are exposed on Google(who's actually given Kunundrum 2 features this year, which is AWESOME of them) we've seen unit movement up to 600 a day and then drops off to almost nothing again. So the power of exposure is intense...but the free model is basically like watching fish flop out of water trying not to die.

Sorry for the length but it has to be explained.
Just to add this
iOS 6 kicked the new releases section from the App Store ....why?
Used to find some good (unknown)games there
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2012, 01:07 PM
LBG LBG is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psj3809 View Post
I feel kids are ruining the app store by constantly waiting for games to be free, when most games are a dollar or two then just buy them !
I don't blame them. Instead I'd put the blame somewhere between Apple and the developers/publishers.

If there's a good chance of a game going free after a while, then why would people want to pay for it?
For early access - sure, but many people are probably stocked up with enough games and don't mind waiting a while. I used to buy many games on the App Store, but I haven't bought one in months and I'm not ashamed to admit this. I can easily afford to buy iOS games, but I no longer feel the need to buy them as I have a backlog of unfinished games that I've downloaded when they went free.

And I doubt most consumers actually care to think about the consequences, not that they should have to. When games are going free left, right and centre and inhibiting the sale of paid games, then it's up to Apple and the developers/publishers to come to a solution, and not us, the consumers.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2012, 01:15 PM
defred34 defred34 is offline
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Originally Posted by LBG View Post
I don't blame them. Instead I'd put the blame somewhere between Apple and the developers/publishers.

If there's a good chance of a game going free after a while, then why would people want to pay for it?
For early access - sure, but many people are probably stocked up with enough games and don't mind waiting a while. I used to buy many games on the App Store, but I haven't bought one in months and I'm not ashamed to admit this. I can easily afford to buy iOS games, but I no longer feel the need to buy them as I have a backlog of unfinished games that I've downloaded when they went free.

And I doubt most consumers actually care to think about the consequences, not that they should have to. When games are going free left, right and centre and inhibiting the sale of paid games, then it's up to Apple and the developers/publishers to come to a solution, and not us, the consumers.
This is precisely what I'd have wanted to say, but you put them in clear better words. For one, Apple needs to be blamed. As for the developers, they'd always claim that others are doing it hence they need to do it too.

First apple must remove the paid free paid free capability. This is being missed a lot these days. Next, apple should make a policy such that an app can only reduce in price X number of times each year. This means developers will target the best price and settle there, not jump around like a fish out of water like they currently do!
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2012, 02:29 PM
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Eli Eli is offline
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The reason this is happening is because of how the App Store search ranking algorithms work. Games with more downloads are seen as "more relevant" than other games/apps with fewer downloads. So, the idea behind all these sales is to drop your game to free for a few days, rack up tons of downloads, and then flip it back to paid before the freeze. If everything works as intended, when you search for your game it'll come up first.
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2012, 02:45 PM
HTWGames HTWGames is offline
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Originally Posted by Eli View Post
The reason this is happening is because of how the App Store search ranking algorithms work. Games with more downloads are seen as "more relevant" than other games/apps with fewer downloads. So, the idea behind all these sales is to drop your game to free for a few days, rack up tons of downloads, and then flip it back to paid before the freeze. If everything works as intended, when you search for your game it'll come up first.
And it used to work that if you were high in the free column, you would retain that position when switching back to paid... but that was removed as well.

Again, I can't repeat this enough, the Free giveaways are promotions that are by knee jerk reactions to a controlled exposure by the storefronts...
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