â??End is nigh for small App Store indie gamesâ??

â??End is nigh for small App Store indie gamesâ??

By Rob Crossley

February 18th 2010 at 3:41PM

Rising expectations and saturated market favours the big firms, says Assyriaâ??s Adam Green

A leading iPhone game studio has questioned the sustainability of small-scale titles on the App Store, as bigger publishers circle the lucrative mobile game market.

Adam Green, the managing director at iPhone game developer Assyria Game Studios, said that brand awareness on the App Store is favouring the bigger studios and publishers.

“Examples of this can already be seen on iPhone as the likes of EA and Ubisoft dominate the top 10 slots of the App Store. A year ago it was full of unique independent games,” said Green, whose own company has made a trio of iPhone titles.

“Without very careful monitoring and design of the online stores, I can’t see the small developers managing to get sufficient exposure next to the likes of Assassins Creed in the future,” he continued.

“Constant production of small-scale games, while ok at the moment, is unlikely to be very sustainable as consumer expectation grows.”

Speaking as part of this week’s Develop Jury, Green suggested that the expanding popularity of the iPhone and App Store is ultimately leading to an increased expectation of polish and quality – something which is more possible, in theory, with bigger teams.

“As broadband and cellular data network speeds increase, this market and the size of games in it will gradually increase,” he said.

“This will lead to increased consumer expectation of digital distributed games and therefore more difficulty for a small team in terms of getting noticed on these kinds of platforms.”

Green added that small developers can of course do well on the App Store, but in order to succeed smaller devs will need to meet the ever-escalating market expectations.