Big publisher involvement in advertising apps in Apple App store market place is a fair enough strategy to promote the apps, but using their weight and money to leverage getting onto the top download lists is a compelling reason for game developers to cartel in order to take the reins back.
Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Ian Harper of Hungry Shark developer Future Games of London shared same view and claimed that larger, bigger and more profitable publishers were effectively ‘buying their way up the charts’ by making use of Cost Per Install marketing programs. As a result, smaller iOS developers are being pushed out from Apple App store market place and bigger players are continue to improve ranking, downloads, and increasing their app visibility.
“Any developer who hasn’t already had a hit on the App Store faces that challenge: ‘can I get anybody to play it in the first place?’” said Harper. “I think if you can get people to see you’re in with a fighting chance, but the issue nowadays is lots of big social media games companies are coming into iPhone and buying huge numbers of CPI [cost-per-install] installs and advertising, essentially buying their way up the charts, which really kind of crowds out the space for other people quite a lot. That’s been getting progressively worse in the last year, to the point where now it’s very, very difficult to get an app seen at all.”
CPI is a marketing method to measure where app developers have made partner with larger publisher, who in return will promote developer title and then pay when a user install their app on their smartphones.
The Future Games Network offers in-app promotional tool that provide other developers as an independent publisher status rather than entering into a potentially restrictive contract with larger publishers like Chillingo. Harper further added, “It’s really an alternative to going cap in hand to Chillingo or one of the other big publishers and doing some terrible deal with them where you end up with quite a restrictive contract, potentially having to give up your IP or something like that. So this is just to give people an alternative.”
Chillingo provides the popular Angry Bird game to Android, iOS platform and Windows Phone platform. Recently Electronic Arts (EA) acquired Chillingo to further strengthen their gaming market leadership in Apple platform.
iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system introduces a number of new features including new apps and new functionality, amazing graphics, better support for gaming experience, integration of social networking site, addition of iCloud features etc. iPhone and iPad devices which run on iOS continue to attract bigger downloads and helping to improve average selling price. The fifth generation iPhone 4S will have Infinity Blade and the upcoming Infinity Blade 2 game.
What is noteworthy here is that full time independent developers and development companies have the highest profit, due to the fact that they have access to resources that can create apps and games which are more sophisticated than their counterparts. Not a good sign for smaller developer!