People can only buy what's available so the ultimate responsibility lies with the developers. That's why the guy who developed Republique said he'd stop complaining about the poor quality games and start making good ones. The problem is the incentive. When someone can make over $1m from an app that takes 3 days to build, why spend months developing a high quality title that might not make back its development costs? There was a small survey of developers that suggested 60% of apps don't break even. It was a small sample survey though and I suspect it's worse than that based on the revenue and downloads as well as number of developers:
Apple paid out $13b to developers for 60b downloads:
That means each app averages $0.22 in total. A lot of apps are free (~90%) and supported by ad revenue that isn't all paid by Apple so let's assume 10% of the downloads are paid out by Apple, you get $13b between 6b downloads, which is $2.17 average per app. There are nearly 300,000 registered developers for iOS. Apparently the top 25 developers account for 50% of that revenue too (25 out of nearly 300,000) and these are all game developers except Pandora. If you divide that out, you get top developers making on average $260m over a number of years. Gameloft makes around 200m euros alone. Angry Birds made $200m in revenue in 2012.
Candy Crush made $1.88b in 2013. Clash of Clans made $892m in 2013. Not all iOS but it's still a lot. These are the 2 highest grossing apps. Revenue is heavily weighted towards the top titles.
The number of developers for iOS is far higher than the number of games for all consoles combined - the PS3 and 360 have around 1500 games each. The PS4 only has ~80 developers making games for it.
In a way it's a good thing that so many people can develop apps now but it creates a mountain of really poor quality apps, many of which are little more than packaged websites. This creates a problem of visibility for developers who would like to publish for iOS.
Rovio had 51 titles before Angry Birds and almost went bankrupt. They were going to abandon Angry Birds too but found that it was addictive during testing.
That's the agenda now, it's not about creating a meaningful expression of art, it's about engaging an audience, which isn't the same thing - just get a simple, unique but viral idea. Flappy Bird is almost the pinnacle of this. 3 days to develop and although it didn't take off immediately, quickly got 50m downloads when it did.
This sort of thing has happened with music, news and TV. It's a back and forth between lowering audience standards and overpromoting low quality output. This has happened with hardware. Manufacturers sell cheap, low quality products and people lower their standards because of the impact on their wallets.
The only way to fix it is for people to put out high quality products and make people understand that it's worthwhile. That's what Apple does with their hardware - be a yardstick of quality. Developers did it years ago with the likes of Myst and Doom. They could have stuck to the 2D sprite games like everyone else but they chose to push the industry forward and took years developing their software.
Here's a good example of the experience of a mobile developer:
Just 2 guys, they got ~$400k revenue soon after launching their first game but it was only by going the free route that they could sustain their revenue. Every platform has audience expectations and mobile has now developed the expectation of low cost, low quality. With consoles, people expect to pay $60 for a game but they also expect a certain quality threshold.
However, is Flappy Bird any lower quality a game than Pong or Breakout? You can't simply cull apps on this basis. It's better to just select the best apps and promote those as examples of what the audience should expect. Leave the other apps together and give the audience powerful filtering tools to decide what they do and don't want.