I’ve just checked out Square Enix, because I wanted to know what games are they porting to the iPad and iPhone and I am disappointed by how some of the main players in the industry still view the iPad as a platform for fast, cheap casual games - http://na.square-enix.com/us/games?p=223
The success of games like https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/republique/id687888390?mt=8 Republique should have shown to everyone that the tablet platform isn’t used in the same way as is the iPhone and in general that the mobile platforms aren’t all about flashy colors, collecting candies and funny characters.
I see clones upon clones upon clones of cheap fast free games flooding the app store in the last years. The only thing that could have stopped it is saturation of these trash apps and I believe that exactly that is what’s happened in the last year or so.
There are simply enough cheap copycat games and what’s been urgently missing for the mobile platforms are heavy audiovisual experiences.
Making a casual game is a risk. You either rise high or you remain in the never to be found part of iTunes. Making a heavy audiovisual game is also a risk, you take longer to develop, it’s much much harder, but in my opinion you have at least some chance, because you’ll always find people who’ll find your artwork, your game physics or story. A casual game is either addictive or not, that’s that.
Take a look at
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/superbrothers-sword-sworcery/id424912055?mt=8 Sword Sworcery or other titles. They’re not free. They cost money and the make money.
I went down the road of providing heavy audio-visual experiences. I didn’t expect to be a booming hit being downloaded by millions of people - my apps are for a niche market and ere huge (over 200MB). But I get downloads, people are happy and i get good reviews.
One of the series I launched is the Invisible Apartment http://www.invisibleapartment.com I oped for visual novels, since I’m good at stories and producing short stories and I have less experience in 3D or in fully interactive games. I believe that visual novels are the best type of digital storytelling you can bring to a tablet, especially to the iPad.
In the last few Months I’ve met people who tried to convince me to go down the road of doing cheap, flashy, fast games and I always sent these people to hell. I simply hate the ‘large hit or flop’ kind of mentality of flappy bird. It’s true that flappy bird made a lot of cash, but how much did all the thousands of copy cats make? It’s true that you can make a very simple game in one weekend, but is that a contribution to culture, can it be something rememberable and will you get any downloads?
In any case - I’m puzzled that even companies like Square Enix go down the road of promoting cheap flashy games for iPad when their fans are searching for the likes of Final Fantasy.
So. The market for fast and flashy games is saturated. And that’s a good thing.
Now. Let’s create some great rememberable games featuring great artwork and music. Ok?