Fresh from the announcement of his new mobile game development studio one month ago, games industry veteran and ex-Halfbrick Studios developer, Tony Takoushi, discusses the main concern for all iOS developers - Apple's App Store is way too crowded, and it's getting increasingly difficult to get your title noticed.
Tony's new studio, Total Arkade studios, launched their first game release, a word-based action puzzler called AbraWordabra, to consistently positive reviews with an average score of 80 percent on many major sites. Unfortunately for the new startup, AbraWordabra has been met with disappointing sales so far. The 30-year games veteran puts it down to the large signal to noise ratio that's plaguing Apple's popular distribution platform.
‘The iTunes store is a very different place from two years ago,’ says Takoushi. ‘There are around thirty games being released a day, and even if you can get some oxygen for your game, there is no guarantee it will succeed no matter how good it is.
Apple has done an amazing job empowering developers letting them to grow and make games that just wouldn't have been made before, and that's something special. They have literally blown the market wide open...the downside is that you also get a lot of poor quality games from opportunistic developers.’
Things don't fare that much better for AbraWordabra on the Android platform where pirate copies were available within a day of launch which Tony believes had a negative impact on sales. Most heartbreaking for Tony and his team is the fact thatAbraWordabra teetered on being a huge success. During the approval procedure, AbraWordabra was shortlisted for a highly global banner position on the App Store but missed out in the end. Receiving the highly sort-after promotional boost from Apple this way has meant an incredible amount of sales and success for many developers, but for Total Arkade studios, it was not meant to be.
As for the future, Tony is hoping he can keep his team on a work-for-hire project with publishers or find funding for another title.