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iPhone: Dedicated appstore developers vs Branded Developers

02-22-2009, 08:29 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 161
Dedicated appstore developers vs Branded Developers

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?
02-22-2009, 08:34 PM
#2
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,549
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!

Plus+ ID: Wegmans

02-22-2009, 08:37 PM
#3
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 229
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.
02-22-2009, 08:39 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW_GEE View Post
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.
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
02-22-2009, 08:44 PM
#5
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: MD, USA
Posts: 1,549
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

Plus+ ID: Wegmans
02-22-2009, 08:44 PM
#6
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 229
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianlow32 View Post
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
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.
02-22-2009, 08:47 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by WOW_GEE View Post
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.
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.
02-22-2009, 09:30 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 161
Quote:
Originally Posted by spiffyone View Post
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.
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.
02-22-2009, 09:32 PM
#9
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 894
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.
02-22-2009, 09:34 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 731
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.

Plus+ Account- Hobbes