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it is bad news. And then it gets worse

06-23-2010, 07:41 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 761
it is bad news. And then it gets worse

Here is an interesting article, fresh and brand new:

Full Analysis of iPhone Economics

It's a long read but well worth it, especially for the developers that seem shocked by the state of the industry. It's too late to ask questions AFTER you fail, do the research beforehand.

In most respects, Flickitty performed above average and my development costs were nowhere near the $35,000 stated in the article.

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone
06-23-2010, 07:55 PM
#2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flickitty View Post
Here is an interesting article, fresh and brand new:

Full Analysis of iPhone Economics

It's a long read but well worth it, especially for the developers that seem shocked by the state of the industry. It's too late to ask questions AFTER you fail, do the research beforehand.

In most respects, Flickitty performed above average and my development costs were nowhere near the $35,000 stated in the article.
On the other hand, half of the apps on the store are quite poor quality with poor marketing behind them...

Also I think the $35,000 development costs are also skewed somewhat... As our own games are relativley cheap (under $20,000), whilst the games that will deffinatally do well due to the liscence can get a budget of $100k +... I dont think it's fair to therefore ignore the skewed revenue, while still considering it viable to include the budgetry skews...

Yeah sure gameloft can spend $200,000 on one title as they will likley make it back simply as they have a very strong brand identification; but similarily if I spend $5000 making an iPhone game, I can likley make a suirable return in a similar fasion (albeit with a smaller fan base than GameLoft, but the same principles apply)...

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06-23-2010, 08:12 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2010
Location: London
Posts: 62
You need money to make money otherwise you need to win the appstore lottery.
06-23-2010, 08:27 PM
#4
This guy is too verbose. The article is so long because only one out of every 5 paragraphs contains actual useful information. (Comparing iPhone App revenue to Pop Idol SMS revenue? really?)

Agreed that $35k dev costs are too high an estimate. A very, very simple way to look at dev costs via eLance.com.

Search for iPhone
change status to include "closed" projects

There have been 13.5k projects with the keyword iPhone in it. Of which 5,700+ are less than $500. Only 488 jobs have been more than $5k. The earliest job dates to 4/12/2008. There are at least 1/2 a dozen sites out there that offer similar services.

There are 225k apps on the App Store, but there's a lot of crap on there developed for $500.


I do completely support his warning to potential entrants into this field. The gold rush days are long over.
06-23-2010, 08:58 PM
#5
Some of the points do stand. Did he mean to say that traditional mobile phones downloads in java sell more than on the iphone and such?

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06-23-2010, 11:23 PM
#6
When someone starts off a long article on app store economics with a topic called "ACTUALLY I LIKE APPS" it makes me think that the best he has to offer is an educated outsider's perspective. If he actually takes the time to explain to his audience why apps seem to be a good idea, we are not his audience.
06-24-2010, 12:44 AM
#7
Interesting. The one thing I agree with is that, as others have mentioned, the app store is no longer a gold rush... its become a competitive market just like everything else, but is that really a surprise? Generally speaking, the good and above average games rise to the middle ground or the top, while the 90% of forgettable games (no offense to anyone) gets pushed to obscurity. I think the allure comes from the fact that anyone can at least try.

Not to mention I SERIOUSLY doubt the "average" app has a dev cost of $35,000... I think the upper echelon of successful games have higher costs, naturally because they take more time to create and polish. But that's also the beauty of being an indie dev. Making games for the guys in our team for ex is just fun to do... I'd be doing this in my free time regardless of our profits, so its not as easy as simply putting a price per hour on the work you put in.
06-24-2010, 05:16 AM
#8
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 2,699
I think that quality games do get noticed eventually. There are a lot of apps out there that litter the store but you can usually recognize the quality app once you notice it. That's where the marketing comes in. Devs who market their quality apps by being active on TA and similar sites, who engage with the fans are bound to gain some success. iPhoneGlobes' Chad is a perfect example of a dev who actively promotes his games.
06-24-2010, 03:40 PM
#9
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 6
So developing apps is not as profitable as SMS biz for american idol.

And so is selling lemonades. But what is the point in telling the kid to start a company for mass production of canned carbonated soft drinks and giving the example of coca cola.

Indie Developers fuel the engines of the AppStore and they are usually a bunch of guys who write the apps on their spare time. It's ony about creativity and development for them. After that its just a click on the submit button. Getting SMS deals for huge brands is not about development, it's about everything else.

And about the lucky million dollar profit game that distorts the curve; If there is anything that distorts the curve, it's the thousands of crappy apps on the store that has been developed on 2 weeks to 2 months by two guys with a not-the-best-ever idea.
06-24-2010, 04:02 PM
#10
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throndor View Post
Indie Developers fuel the engines of the AppStore and they are usually a bunch of guys who write the apps on their spare time. It's ony about creativity and development for them. After that its just a click on the submit button. Getting SMS deals for huge brands is not about development, it's about everything else.
I'd believe you except for the popularity of threads that constantly ask how to improve sales, etc. You can't speak for everyone and say what drives the indie- I know I can't and I won't. I have my own agenda, my own ideals and my own problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throndor View Post
And about the lucky million dollar profit game that distorts the curve; If there is anything that distorts the curve, it's the thousands of crappy apps on the store that has been developed on 2 weeks to 2 months by two guys with a not-the-best-ever idea.
I agree with you. It isn't the million dollar game that is keeping me from getting recognition, it is the thousands of other crappy apps that are plugging up the app store. I don't use the term 'crappy' loosely, these are seriously worthless and crappy apps without an ounce of thought or inspiration.

Some developers complain that their app only made $100... and my response is "really, you were able to sucker 100 people out of money for THAT pile of shit? You're lucky."

A ragdoll physics platformer:Flickitty
The artist: randall schleufer
Twitter: @FlickittyiPhone

Last edited by Flickitty; 06-24-2010 at 04:04 PM.