Category Archives: games publishing

Social Games are “evil” (a.k.a: Indie Marketing 301)

I reckon this is just a case of indie developers (finally) starting to
understand the concept of “marketing” in a bit more depth than the 101
stuff.

With my PR hat on, this is great stuff: highly contentious (and
potentially dangerous) quotes – and yet, nowhere near as
career-damaging as declaring that a certain console is ****.

“Evil” is emotive, but just vague enough that you can get away with it in ways
that you can’t when you target billion-dollar brands. *ahem*.

I’d also add that – in true marketing style – this whole conversation
is about 6 months behind the curve. Which is about right for a
mass-market promotional piece – people at the coal face have moved on,
but Joe Public is still intrigued and yet to catch-up. Anyone who
still thinks Zynga is the company from “that SF Weekly article” is
living in dreamland. FB games moves much, much faster than that.

Gamers play on iPhone instead of hand-held consoles

Even if you own a Nintendo DS or a Sony PlayStationPortable, there’s a high chance you’re playing games on your phone instead:

“27.2% of consumers who indicate that they play games on their phones only (and not on the DS/PSP) actually own a DS or PSP, but do not actively use the device(s).”

Admittedly, it’s a terrible, amateurish statistic – it’s missing the REAL stats that we need to corroborate the concept – but the report is pay-for, so I can’t look that up.

Still, assuming the report isn’t woelfully misrepresented, it’s a seriously big proportion who own yet have given up on their Nintendos and Sonys. Now compare that with all the people who haven’t forked out the hundreds-of-dollars to buy one yet: how much harder is it going to be to grab them?

Snapshot: But… is it worth publishing on iPhone?

Are there enough consumers purchasing games on iPhone to make it worth it?

(NB: this is an ultra-quick analysis, based on the various stats and info I’ve read recently – if you want references you’ll have to pay someone, or google it all yourself)

As of Dec 2010, approx:

  1. 140m DS
  2. 60m PSP
  3. 120m iPhones
  4. …approx 20m-40m iPhones “owned by under 30s” (many competing guesses in this area)

Given that iPhone has two of the top 5 slots on children’s Xmas wishlists (once as iPhone, once as iPod Touch), I’d feel confident in saying that iPhone has already overtaken PSP’s installed userbase.

Of course, iPhone app price is approx 10 times less than PSP/DS game price. But … family spending tends to be fairly constant, developers get much higher revenue share on iPhone, and cross-promotion of your own games is spectacularly successful on iPhone.

So, assuming you develop more than one game, you should be getting the same or higher revenues on iPhone games. And yet the development costs are significantly lower than on DS/PSP.