The iOS App Store — a field of dreams, a potential goldmine for bedroom coders — all you have to do is develop your iOS game and watch the millions roll in, or at least that used to be the case. It now seems that times have changed. Recent data from mobile analyst house Distimo (whose byline is “We Know App Stores”) estimates that the top 300 iPhone games are tied to just 10 publishers.
There’s no doubt that Chillingo and others hold significant power in the App Store, but is the grip of the big-boys really that strong? Since Gameloft (Ubisoft) and EA entered the space with their seemingly unlimited marketing budgets, things have been certainly been tougher. For gamers, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing — big publishers generally increase the quality of titles, as demonstrated in conventional gaming markets.
There’s also the news that in-app purchases are funding 35% of the top 300 — an interesting metric that suggests getting people playing is more profitable than charging them the privilege to.
Finally there’s the claim that the revenue created by the ‘premier league’ increased 79% year-on-year, a figure probably helped by the ever expanding iPhone hardware figures.