iPhone Game Development

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by filharvey, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. filharvey

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    k an interesting question for you guys. I've been looking at iPhone development, have a small 2D / 3D engine working. And have had people ask me what I would take for developing games (original and ports of other games I've done - mainly DS games to be ported) for them.

    So I was wondering. A lot of you have games out for the PC and or mac. If someone came upto you and said we would pay (small advance) for you to develop an iPhone version or maybe for them to get a team to convert your game to the iPhone, what do you think would be fair?

    1: Would you prefer an advance with small royality %'s.
    2: Would you prefer just royality %'s.
    3: Would you prefer just an advance?

    Also, if they came up with orginal IP and asked you to develop for them? say a 6 month project? Again what would you want?

    My concern is a lot of the games coming out are looking like they are going to be priced at $9,99, and hence royalities could be small.

    Thanks

    Phil
     
  2. cableshaft

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    The $9.99 problem is something it looks like people are just going to have to get used to, as XBLA set the precedent, Sony and Nintendo are following suit, and now Steam and Apple are getting in at that price point also. It sucks, but the consumer is starting to expect that price point. I even heard my boss the other day say "Wow, that game is $20? Expensive! How the hell do they get away with that?" for the PC downloadable version of a game that was also on XBLA. The perception is changing, and it's being fueled by these huge companies.

    Meanwhile, in the U.S. at least, all other prices are shooting up like crazy. Might force the indies to exodus at this rate :p.
     
  3. simonh

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    I would ask for an advance, as well as a royalty.

    You're going to have to shift a lot of units at $9.99 to make any profit. The relatively small user base and the zero barrier to entry for developers makes me think it's going to be very hard to succeed as an iPhone developer/publisher.
     
  4. Jack Norton

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    Don't come in Europe/UK though. Then you'll see the deadly combo of insane rising prices+currency conversion :eek:
     
  5. Adrian Cummings

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    $9.99? Personally I'm going in a little later at super budget level on iPhone as I assume the top spots will be pwnd by the bigger players no doubt?

    I don't imagine that I will make a lot of cash no, given that there are around 4000 developers (I last heard) will full access to the App Store now that could 'potentially' produce apps and games for this platform?

    I would add at this time, that it 'probably' isn't worth working on a title for 6 months or more on iPhone until we all know what's going to happen for real on the App Store soon - in others words, I would'nt base my entire business revenue stream on it being too great for everybody involved.

    Sure there will be hits from small developers that make top coin, but where there is 1 hit there will be several hundred that are not methinks and turn over moderate to low or even no cash at all perhaps?

    It's a great platform but not the holy grail given everybody and their dog wants/is in on it now LOL.

    Still if I sold 2500 units of the first of many planned titles on budget, that would be a start given there are 10million iPhones in circulation soon with only one place to buy software from... the App Store - a risk that deffo is worth it IMHO if say investing a shorter amount of dev time perhaps.

    My advice is think smaller and build on it slowly if possible rather than trying to claim the iPhone Monkey Ball crown before the revenue race has even started.

    Very soon there will be real performance numbers in circulation from the developers that went in early on App Store - personally I can't wait to hear some stories as they unfold regard this ;)
     
  6. cableshaft

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    Supposedly, the iPhone App store is launching with 160+ games, first day. That's more games than is currently on XBLA right now. How in the.... I understand there's probably going to be a lot of quick and dirty mobile ports, but that's still a pretty insane number considering the dev tools have only been available since March.

    http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=19355
     
  7. simonh

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    160+? :eek: And that's just from the lucky few who gained early membership...once everyone's on-board, it's going to be SWAMPED. Still, survival of the fittest and all that. I'm sure a few gems will make big bucks, admist a huge barrel of muck.
     
  8. filharvey

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    k, yes there are 160 Entertainment titles on the App store today. But there is only 15 in the games section. A lot of the 160 titles are books etc..

    There seems to be about 10+ sudoku games, or match 3 clones.

    Max price so far is $9.99.

    From what I've seen now, after it being open for about 3 hours, is that SuperMonkey ball has had 800 downloads, at $9.99. Other games range from 20 to about 300.

    I must admit looking at the games I'm unimpressed with what people have done. Not many stand out to me. Even super monkey ball is not great, and hard to control.

    Phil
     
  9. chanon

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    Does 800 downloads mean 800 sales?
    So everyone will see how many sales every application gets?
     
  10. Genimo

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    Also, where is the number of downloads visible?
     
  11. Adrian Cummings

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    Odd, I assume that if it's not a free App then each download equates to a sale.

    The number of downloads is shown when browsing the title in the App Store under 'Popularity'.

    Yesterday I saw 'Monkey Ball' on around 800 myself and this morning is shows zero?

    In fact everything I looked at this morning (both free and paid) shows zero downloads so perhaps they have reset the App Store servers or something?

    Then again as a publisher myself do I really want the public to know that I sold x amount of y at 70% so you can work out what I made - no not really :)

    Not sure now what's going on therefore.
     
  12. filharvey

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    by the end of the day supermonkey ball was at 12k, and the cro mag racer at about 1800.

    But yes now shows 0.

    Phil
     
  13. Steve

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    Does anyone know if there is a sales chart for iPhone games? Just wanting to see the download curves, if a game like MB got 2k dl's in one day how did it do over the course of time....?
     
  14. mahlzeit

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  15. Xiotex

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    I found that link a little bleak, especially the bit about once you are out of the top 50 your sales figures will go down. I then took a step back and realised that the reason you fall out of the top 50 is because that list will always be cycling because once your app is bought it is bought and you need new iPhone owners to come in a buy it. This does of course mean that if you rely on iTunes alone then you have a very short window to sales.
     
  16. jaguard

    jaguard New Member

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    I'm sure most apps/games will never break top 50 even once :).
    But there are categories, so even if you are not in the top 50, you can be a top-50 in some category.
    Some will be using PC/mac version of the itunes, so you will have some chances to get some sales anyway :).
    There's a search function after all.

    This is pretty natural and looks pretty much like casual portals - as long as you're in top-10, you're a nuke. Once you fall - you're wasted.

    Are there any other choises? I hardly believe it's worthy to use internet advertising for an app which costs 3-5 bucks.
     
  17. nathan3011

    nathan3011 New Member

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    I would say that it has to depend on the amount of work that goes into making Ashburnham for the iphone.

    Usually, I would say that an advance and then royalties as well if you have spent quite a lot of time developing it but just royalties if it was quick and easy to do.
     
    #17 nathan3011, Dec 8, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  18. simonh

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    It's funny to look back at this now. If only it was a $9.99 problem - it's more like a $0.99 problem now.
     
  19. Adrian Cummings

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    Very true with hindsight I agree.
     
  20. jesse_playtiva

    jesse_playtiva New Member

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    It's kind of a chicken and egg problem right now. Because prices for the games are low, so developers don't spend much time on them...in fact most of the games in the store are crappy one level stuff. There are a few good ones but I think their development cost is still higher than their sales on the store.

    I was QA for an Iphone game that wasn't concerned with revenue so we didn't have problems regarding sales and was able to concentrate on the game design itself, but I am aware that it is the exception not the norm.

    I keep hearing people tell me that Iphone games are the next big thing...but having worked on one...I am thus far unimpressed. There ain't much you can do with the limited battery life, cost and control mechanisms (which admittedly are cool but still unconventional for most users.)

    And yeah, 9.99 is aiming a little high...most games are much lower. I believe my game is sold at 1.99 and even then not expecting to earn back development costs.
     

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