Mobile Devices New Opportunity for Indie Game Developers

by Istvan Fekete on March 21, 2013

The iPhone has revolutionized the smartphone as we know it, and also opened up the door for another industry: Mobile applications. Since then, the App Store has accumulated more than 800,000 apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, while its main rival, Android, has roughly 700,000 apps in Google Play. The BlackBerry CEO has assured BlackBerry fans that the platform will have 100,000 apps available in BlackBerry World by the time the latest handsets reach the US.

As Flurry’s Peter Farago has pointed out in a blog post, the birth of the mobile app industry has also meant new opportunities for indie game developers to compete with big names in the gaming world. It’s an open secret that the majority of the apps you can download from the App Store or Google Play are games.

For a Toronto-based company, XMG Studio Inc., these storefronts and the growing popularity of smartphones and then tablets has brought the change: what started out as a hobby — creating games – has blossomed into a full-time career. As of today, the studio has built award-winning games, which have attracted millions of users, and reached the No. 1 download spot in several countries.

In other words, the opportunity is there, and the market is huge: it is estimated to reach $25 billion this year. As the above case and market analysts such as Flurry have highlighted, this has been the first time that indie developers have been able gain an advantage over of the big game makers.

Yet with the growth of the App Store and Google Play came the problem of app discovery, the one thing indie developers need to address. As AppAnnie emphasized in January, the top publisher positions are retained by Apple, Google, Electronic Arts, Rovio and Disney, which is a success story for Rovio in this case.

When entering into the industry, the first question is mobile monetization. Right now, iOS seems to be the best choice, but Google Play is growing as well. We don’t know about BlackBerry: the company has put tremendous effort into pushing its app storefront, reaching 70,000 apps before the launch of BB10, but it seems like the big names that might prompt users to switch platforms are missing from there.

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Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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