★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

How are some publishers featured so often?

09-10-2015, 04:25 PM
#1
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 19
How are some publishers featured so often?

Something I do each Thursday is to check the best new games list in the US and see what Apple chooses to feature, and I pay particular attention to the more minimalist games as they're more similar to the games I make. Something I have noticed, and this week's features makes very clear, is that certain publishers are featured far more than I would expect for the types of games that they make. In particular, I'm talking about Slow Down by Ketchapp, Pop the Lock by Simple Machine, and Impossible Caves by Appsolute Games. All three of those publishers have had their previous game featured as well in addition to some games prior to that.

So why is this happening? What are these publishers doing so right that others are doing so wrong? You could argue game quality but there's so much competition for those types of games that I can't agree with that. So what is it? Is it just that they were lucky enough to be featured once and now they have an automatic preference?
09-11-2015, 10:37 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 1,006
If I knew, I wouldn't tell you :-) But I suspect it's related to metrics - proven successes.

Apple features 1-2 simple, minimalist games each week. There are of course dozens more that get passed over. I don't think you're imagining things. Some publishers do get invited into special relationships with the Apple review team - a dedicated manager contact at Apple to coordinate, etc. Once you get attention, it only makes sense that any new app release would get special consideration.

Consider Flappy Bird and the follow-up Spin Copters.

Apple completely ignored Flappy Bird - it managed to climb the charts without any artificial boosts.
Spin Copters was noteworthy, because it was a follow-up from the same developer. I doubt it would have been featured if not for Flappy Bird, but you never know.

Companies that have popular games can leverage their own IP to advertise new games. So long as they release apps frequently, they can ride momentum from one game to the next. A company like Ketchapp could probably do quite well even without being regularly featured by Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob1221 View Post
Something I do each Thursday is to check the best new games list in the US and see what Apple chooses to feature, and I pay particular attention to the more minimalist games as they're more similar to the games I make. Something I have noticed, and this week's features makes very clear, is that certain publishers are featured far more than I would expect for the types of games that they make. In particular, I'm talking about Slow Down by Ketchapp, Pop the Lock by Simple Machine, and Impossible Caves by Appsolute Games. All three of those publishers have had their previous game featured as well in addition to some games prior to that.

So why is this happening? What are these publishers doing so right that others are doing so wrong? You could argue game quality but there's so much competition for those types of games that I can't agree with that. So what is it? Is it just that they were lucky enough to be featured once and now they have an automatic preference?

09-11-2015, 03:18 PM
#3
Think of Apple as a business and from their point of view they're going to feature the Apps that they think will make the most money. That one sonic game that came out recently? It was an all-around terrible experience but since it has very recognizable IP Apple knows its going to get downloaded a lot. I'm sure there's a lot of factors involved as mentioned above, and its also dependent on humans as its curated by the people at Apple.

Making apps and taking naps since 2013. Protect the sloths and the environment.

Our hottest game: King Rabbit

Our flagship game: Furdemption

twitter | website | facebook
09-12-2015, 09:18 AM
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by rob1221 View Post
Something I do each Thursday is to check the best new games list in the US and see what Apple chooses to feature, and I pay particular attention to the more minimalist games as they're more similar to the games I make. Something I have noticed, and this week's features makes very clear, is that certain publishers are featured far more than I would expect for the types of games that they make. In particular, I'm talking about Slow Down by Ketchapp, Pop the Lock by Simple Machine, and Impossible Caves by Appsolute Games. All three of those publishers have had their previous game featured as well in addition to some games prior to that.

So why is this happening? What are these publishers doing so right that others are doing so wrong? You could argue game quality but there's so much competition for those types of games that I can't agree with that. So what is it? Is it just that they were lucky enough to be featured once and now they have an automatic preference?
I totally agree and i also investigating this, i can't understand why Apple keep featuring Ketchapp and Appsolute games EVERY WEEK, i have to say sometimes they do have good games but most of them games arent worth a feature slot, it's fishy and sucks because they take a slot, and i dont see why apple dont try to give their slot to other devs who doing great minimalist games as well, i guess those guys have really good connections on the right places, but in that way apple is ruin the App Store
09-17-2015, 05:22 PM
#5
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 19
Ketchapp and Appsolute Games have done it again this week with Sky and Cave Swing being featured.

On a side note, it seems that Pop the Lock from last week went viral, and is not only the #1 game but also the #1 app.
09-21-2015, 04:39 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 7
I've worked with some companies that have gotten featured so I can answer this. Once you've been featured, you'll get a contact in Apple's marketing department. Going forward, you can reach out to them... it's a point of contact that all the other devs don't have. It's not a guarantee, but being able to email someone on the app store marketing team with details about each new app you have is a huge help. They'd rather feature another good app from a dev they've featured in the past than go sifting through the thousands of new apps that get approved every day to find the next gem.
09-22-2015, 12:11 AM
#7
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mappdev View Post
I've worked with some companies that have gotten featured so I can answer this. Once you've been featured, you'll get a contact in Apple's marketing department. Going forward, you can reach out to them... it's a point of contact that all the other devs don't have. It's not a guarantee, but being able to email someone on the app store marketing team with details about each new app you have is a huge help. They'd rather feature another good app from a dev they've featured in the past than go sifting through the thousands of new apps that get approved every day to find the next gem.
This is true for larger developers and/or for the higher priority feature slots.

However, as a small indie company, we never got a direct contact at Apple after a best new games feature, it just happened without them telling us. Not so much as an email.
09-22-2015, 09:55 AM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mappdev View Post
I've worked with some companies that have gotten featured so I can answer this. Once you've been featured, you'll get a contact in Apple's marketing department. Going forward, you can reach out to them... it's a point of contact that all the other devs don't have. It's not a guarantee, but being able to email someone on the app store marketing team with details about each new app you have is a huge help. They'd rather feature another good app from a dev they've featured in the past than go sifting through the thousands of new apps that get approved every day to find the next gem.
I've read about this on developer blogs. I understand why Apple does this, but a lot of these games are just clones of each other (Ketchapp Appsolute have dozens of games with extremely similar or identical mechanics eg. "tap to fly and avoid obstacles"). It makes me feel that Apple doesn't care about indie developers at all, they just want to earn $. see my other thread about wishing we could "Follow" developers to support them http://forums.toucharcade.com/showth...69#post3686969

@Columbo:

Really that's odd. In reading older blogs about app features, Apple contacted so the devs could prepare banner images etc.
09-22-2015, 12:52 PM
#9
Joined: Apr 2015
Location: United States
Posts: 19
AFAIK Apple doesn't contact developers if being considered only for Best New Games because that doesn't require any extra promo images to be submitted.