Two developers quickly discovered that making money from mobile games was more about quantity than quality, whether they liked it or not.
Like many indie game developers believed when Apple first launched the iPhone, Ziba Scott and Alex Schwartz were of the belief that the landscape was about to change. Smartphones would become a platform where independent developers could create and release their hard work and have it seen and used by millions. For the first few years, that was the case.
However, less than half a decade later, the Apple and Android stores were flooded with lazy games, most of which were just clones of ones that already existed. Eventually, Schwartz and Scott took a “can’t beat ’em, join ’em approach” and hopped on the bandwagon. They created a system in which they could develop and churn out slot machine games on the regular.
What started as a joke became a business for the developers. Over the course of four years, Schwartz and Scott released 1500 slot games on the Google Play Store, amassing more than 1.6 million downloads. Eventually, changes by Google meant the project could no longer continue and the apps could not be updated manually. The developers left their system to run itself into the ground, and none of their slot games are available on mobile any more.
Sadly, the problem they discovered and took advantage of is still prevalent today. Most successful mobile games require very little work and it shows. How many different versions of Candy Crush Saga could one society possibly need? A lot apparently, as people continue to download each and every version by the million, and therein lies the biggest problem of all.
If consumers continue to buy and play what developers churn out on mobile, those same developers will continue to make those games. Why put more effort into a game that is going to make less money when you can just re-release an old one with a slightly new look? Until mobile gamers stop downloading bad games, or stores selling the games take a stand and clamp down on a litany of clones being released for pre-existing games, the trend is set to continue or maybe even get worse in the future.
Source: Game Informer
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