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Apple highlights indie games with new iOS App Store section

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
In a change to the iOS App Store late Thursday, Apple debuted the new "Indie Game Showcase," a special section that will regularly highlight one independent developer and their favorite titles.

Indie


The debut of Apple's Indie Game Showcase, which now appears on the iTunes App Store's homepage, happens to coincide with the end of this year's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. The new section was first spotted by Mac Stories.

The showcase, as described by Apple:

Often made up of just a few dedicated members, independent studios prove that what really matters is the size of your dream. In each Indie Game Showcase, we celebrate a popular game and its creative team, highlighting the developer's titles along with their favorite games from other studios


The first showcase features Simogo, makers of the hit game Device 6, a narrative-driven puzzle adventure that was a runner-up for 2013's Game of the Year award. The studio is also responsible for the eerie title Year Walk, which won critical acclaim for its strong storyline and visual style.

As for Simogo's favorite games, the developer chose Space Invaders Infinity Gene, Critter Panic! and Gauge, among a few others.

It is not known how often Apple plans to rotate the showcase, though other curated App Store sections are on one-week cycles.
post #2 of 8
Good idea. The Zyngas and EAs and Kings have enough marketing on their own. Interesting to have indie devs "promoting each other" in this section, in a sense.

(I hope the featured developers promote other indie games more often than not! Infinity Gene would not qualify, though I like it too.)
post #3 of 8
It is definitely a very good idea. Too bad that this section is not to be seen in the German iTunes App Store, and also disappointing is to find that some game titles are not available on the German iTunes App Store or the Mac App Store.
I don't understand why a game should simply not be released worldwide. And such initiatives be spread, even in English if so needed, to all iTunes store.
post #4 of 8

Steam needs this. There are so many indie games on there nowadays it is hard to find the AAA games.

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post
 

Steam needs this. There are so many indie games on there nowadays it is hard to find the AAA games.

yeah because those AAA games just slip out and go into obscurity. /s

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post
 

yeah because those AAA games just slip out and go into obscurity. /s

especially when they are not even released in your country for some obscure licensing reason or who knows why....

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by singularity View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

 
Steam needs this. There are so many indie games on there nowadays it is hard to find the AAA games.
yeah because those AAA games just slip out and go into obscurity. /s

Some AAA studios do struggle financially. AAA developers aren't all backed by big marketing budgets. A dedicated place in the App Store is highly visible. There doesn't seem to be a strict definition of what qualifies as Indie:

http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/05/03/ea-indie-bundle-released-on-steam-wait-what/

and I would say that a good deal of Indie development shouldn't be promoted. Look at examples of what happened on Kickstarter and Steam's Greenlight:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-07-26-kickstarter-game-raises-USD122k-then-gets-canned-after-13-months

The game Dark Matter on Steam ran out of money so they just abruptly ended the game (42 seconds into the video):



The developer Simogo appears to be a two-man operation:

http://simogo.com/about/

One of them is using a Mac Mini here:



One of their games is this:



Does that deserve more promotion than a game like Syberia published a few months ago:



That's an old game port published by a big studio but it's a high quality game that deserves promotion. When you see games like Bioshock Infinite and Remember Me, you just assume that they have loads of money to keep promoting themselves and they don't so the studio behind the first is pretty much gone now and the studio behind the second is downsizing and making deals with other publishers. The staff working for big companies don't have it easy and these are really talented artists, voice actors, engine developers, audio people and so on.

It's clear that developers like Gameloft (which is apparently a subsidiary of Ubisoft) and EA are raking in cash from the store so that's not a great setup but having showcases for individual small publishers isn't the way to redress the balance. There's far too many apps on the store. They need to fix discoverability at a deeper level. If I like Syberia and rate it highly then that's what I want to see more of. I don't care what games an Indie developer likes, I care about what I like.

It's only through better discoverability that really great games will be found regardless of whether they are Indie or AAA games.
post #8 of 8
To be fair to Valve, they realise the problems with discoverability and are trying to solve these problems.

The advantage that Steam has over the iTunes store is that it has a stronger social aspect. It's easy to see what your friends are playing and recommend games to other people. The new user-generated tagging system is also quite interesting.
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