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

Games vs Apps?

10-28-2010, 04:22 PM
#1
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: xor eax, eax
Posts: 755
Games vs Apps?

Having three iPhone games in the AppStore I decided to develop an app.
Just wondering whether there are fellow developers out there who tried both genres? Which genre is more successful in terms of sales / visibility?

Background
I've spent 10+ years in professional software development so far. Currently I design and develop business related iPhone / iPad / Blackberry apps at my company (a really big one ).
I was also involved in game projects during my carrier, and started developing iPhone games as a hobby early in 2009.

My games are selling moderately well, though - that's why I decided to develop an app instead of another game. Anybody followed the same or similar route? (And want to share he's story / findings? )
10-30-2010, 05:01 PM
#2
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 344
I'm a game developer, so I concentrate on what I know. You appear to have varied options. I would say go where your best ideas and most interest lie. They are more likely to reap rewards than just following a numbers game.

Of course you balance that out by researching your chosen path very carefully to avoid places that have no viable market. But you will be better off with a good product in a smaller market than a mediocre product in a larger market.

10-30-2010, 09:48 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos View Post
Having three iPhone games in the AppStore I decided to develop an app.
Just wondering whether there are fellow developers out there who tried both genres? Which genre is more successful in terms of sales / visibility?
I'm surprised by the success of the Photics: Toolbox. It's a collection of six tools in one app. Compared to my most recent games, the utility suite was actually easier to make. Yet, it seems to have stronger reoccurring sales.

Commove (for iPad) was my most successful game. (Although, I think Annoyed Tomatoes might beat it.) But basically, that was mainly because of a spike in traffic. Apple featured the app during the International launch of the iPad. (I had German and Polish language support in my game.)
  • So, over time, the Photics: Toolbox actually outsold Commove.
  • A non-gaming app is actually my best iPad app.

The gaming area is highly competitive. It's also one of the most activate areas of the iTunes Store. If you can stand out in the gaming area of the iTunes store, you can make a lot of money. But unfortunately, it's really hard to stand out. It might not be a bad alternative to make a good utility app instead.

Michael Garofalo - App Developer and author of The Unofficial GameSalad Textbook.
11-01-2010, 05:07 AM
#4
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: xor eax, eax
Posts: 755
Thanks for your answers!
@Photics: thank you for sharing your experience!

With 1+ year in the AppStore I believe that creating an iPhone game which stands out from the crowd is very hard for an indie developer. Finally I decided two months ago to put together an app instead of the originally planned 3D-podracer.

I'll finish my productivity app in less then a month. A lot of work went into designing and polishing the app. Just checked other apps in it's category, and could hardly find any competitor. So I'm quite confident it will succeed.
11-01-2010, 05:54 PM
#5
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 344
Good luck, and I'm glad you're putting effort into polish. It makes all the difference.
11-02-2010, 01:52 AM
#6
Hi Carlos,

Again no guarantees. The app store is very similar to a nudist beach with no place to spread your towel or xmas shopping when 5 cars are fighting for the spot that isn't empty yet while the poor guy is trying to back out. I completed " Absorb Water" it is doing ok and we just finished" You" and it is doing really well. We have already paid for the development cost in a few weeks even though we did a really poor job testing the app before release . The new version is way better and it will boost our sales a lot. So yes there is a chance to do well out side the game categories but don't be surprised to have some naked hairy guy with bad breath fighting for the 3 square feet of towel space.

STR8TS , STR8TS 6X6 , DOMINO DICE , PUZZLE DICE,
CAVEMAN TEST, 1 TO 25, SUDOKU+STR8TS, ZARTE, ABSORB WATER, YOU, TIME SHEET (PHOTO VERIFIED),Office Alarm, Travel weather, dock clock,

Last edited by Syndicated Puzzles; 11-02-2010 at 10:41 PM.
11-03-2010, 06:19 AM
#7
I think it's down to the development team. All games on emulators were originally released on consoles mass, therefore, have large budgets and resources, while there are many companies dedicated to mobile games only, and some units are so different that it would be difficult to develop a single set.

r4i
12-02-2010, 06:28 PM
#8
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: xor eax, eax
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syndicated Puzzles View Post
So yes there is a chance to do well out side the game categories but don't be surprised to have some naked hairy guy with bad breath fighting for the 3 square feet of towel space.

It took a bit longer, but our app is finally "In Review". Screenshots and a short description is available on http://www.leakka.com.