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Leaving mobile behind: The indie developers heading back to PC

06-24-2015, 05:59 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 362
Leaving mobile behind: The indie developers heading back to PC

Leaving mobile behind: The indie developers heading back to PC

Maybe the platform is getting what it deservers.
06-24-2015, 07:04 PM
Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 3,937
Indeed, Steam/Itch.io/GOG are still going to be the true haven for indie developers and gamers who are interested in purchasing a game and not quarters for an arcade machine. And while mobile is very firmly in freemium territory, 2015 has been unexpectedly positive for premium releases too.

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06-24-2015, 07:10 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 1,560
Lucky it's getting easier and easier to port things over from one platform to another. Things might head to PC first but I would expect the better titles to trickle over to mobile.
06-24-2015, 08:12 PM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 810
I'm not even gonna bother listing reasons why premium is not going anywhere from ios,but I'll just say something:

1) When everything stays the same for too long it gets boring (constant CoC copies,constant candy crush copies,constant energy bars)

2) Finding gold in a pile of crap always brings a lot of money (regarding the premium games on ios - there will always be players who hate free2play or players who just can't stand it,who prefer premium)

3) Almost everything is about whales and kids on the ios free2play part of the appstore

(if kids like something then that something gets popular and brings whales into the free2play game and if they don't like that something then it looses popularity and it does not receive any whales=death of the free2play game,that is exactly what is slowly happening to the current energy games,gameloft's games and some other titles - kids hate energy in action games so it ruins the popularity of the game,of the company + ios is turning into a gaming device,slowly but it is happening=some kids will consider asking for iTunes gift cards or credit card access before buying the device if they really care about games,since I'm sure as heck that minecraft is not the only premium ios game that kids really crave)
06-24-2015, 08:48 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 1,001
Yea it's too bad it has come to this but anyone could see it coming.
06-24-2015, 09:11 PM
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,688
PC will soon experience the same fate as iOS. Developers may be getting ahead of the curve, but being on Steam is by no means the slam dunk it used to be.
06-24-2015, 09:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Location: Ibaraki, Japan
Posts: 900
This happened a while ago for many. Strangely enough, I've heard similar complaints about the modern PC market from those who switched a while back. Which makes sense, if you consider what the actual problem is.

1) Anyone* can make a game. Everyone does.
2) With a flooded market, price wars break out to help games get an edge on the competition.
3) The audience sets their purchase price point at an ever-decreasing baseline.
4) Soon everything is so cheap it's hard to justify more expensive projects without having a way to keep money coming in (this is where the IAP/DLC creep starts to happen), particularly since the audience generally expects updates.
5) More and more free to play games with IAP/DLC start to dominate the market and mindshare.
6) This all results in a market where it's hard for anyone new to get a break unless they have something to trade on or get enormously lucky.

Mobile is obviously at step 6. Steam is somewhere around step 4-5. The only way to solve the problem is to find a market that isn't flooded. Once it's found, everyone floods it, starting the problem again. For example, right now those on the edge of the curve are going to Sony's platforms.

The sad truth? There are more games being made than anyone will ever want or need. Far, far, far more games. The final answer to the problem is, in my opinion, for 90% of the developers around today to find a different line of work. :/

*Which is to say red tape barriers are low, not that it's easy in terms of work. Because it's not.
06-24-2015, 09:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 362
Yep. I started making games (a game) back in 1984. But stopped when things went 3D with realistic graphics and required a team of mathematically advanced developers to create a game that was good enough to sell. The iPhone came out with its App Store and I got back in because it seemed that there was a chance to compete again. Those days quickly came to an end, and now I guess I'd better forget about mobile and concentrate on developing for the PC/Steam. But as PC/Steam is at stage 4-5, I have very little time until it's best to completely forget about making games.

Thing is I saw this happening two years ago and every time I talked or posted about it everybody was on my ass telling me I'm either too pessimistic, or completely wrong.

The Apple guys at every WWDC would boast at how many games were on the App Store, as if that were a good thing. I saw it for what it was. Death to most indies. Last night I watched Unite Europe 2015 keynote and now even the Unity guys are boasting about how many millions of developers are downloading Unity, and how many games are being developed with unity. I cringe every time I hear these 'numbers' boasts.
06-24-2015, 11:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 339
Originally Posted by Kenan2000 View Post
I'm not even gonna bother listing reasons why premium is not going anywhere from ios,
I think that's right, what we may see is less short-term support for some of those games as development moves back to the PC.

Not talking about mobile games here, but we're in a great and simultaneously terrible time. It reminds me of back in the 90's when everyone and their dog was making the next killer mod for whatever the popular 3D shooter was that week. Most of those mods, though promising, never finished.

Now we have Early Access on the PC and it feels like some of those games will never get out of beta. At least they are honest about it. However, the current Steam model has allowed a deluge of games to enter the field. iOS and the App Store, for all its problems, has also opened up a distribution model that bypasses the standard retail distribution scheme.

At some point this WILL balance out. Or it will crash horribly taking a bunch of development houses with it, but then balance out afterwards. In the meantime I am flooded with games that look promising but I will never play because

1. Not enough time
2. Too many promising games turned out to be dogs
3. No way I can actually know about every game coming out

I didn't say anything about the $$$ because these games are being released on the PC or iOS anywhere between $1 to $30. I can pretty much buy everything I want. Which is bad because reference the "Not enough time" problem.

Someone will continue making money off premium iOS games in the App Store. In the meantime, many devs may feel there is easier money to be made on the PC.

I just hope we get the right game on the right platform because quite frankly some of the iOS ports, even highly regarded ones, don't flow well for me and there are other games made for mobile that feel "off" on the PC.
06-25-2015, 12:13 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Posts: 2,241
If everyone leaves someone's gonna stay behind and milk an unrivaled market.