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Casual Game Developers Must Take iOS–and Apple's Approval Policies–Into Account

In an example of the growing clout iOS has in the gaming space, Glu Mobile just launched a free-to-play iOS title called Toy Village. The game prompts players to build a town made of plastic toy buildings and farm plots. The farming operations turn out crops such as strawberries and blueberries, rewarding players with Boodle (coins) and Gems at specific intervals, explains Inside Mobile Apps.

There is also a social element in that players can also visit their friends' villages via Apple's social gaming platform. Toy Village for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is monetized through in-app purchases of gems and Boodle using real money, Inside Mobile Apps says, with prices ranging from 2,000 Boodle for $1.99, to 2,000 gems for $49.99 and 260,000 Boodle for $99.99.

Game Developers Eye iOS

Game developers, such as Glu Mobile, are increasingly targeting iOS as a platform, along with Android.  Flurry recently reported that iOS and Android devices are disrupting billions of dollars of game revenue traditionally earned by Nintendo DS and Sony PSP devices. It found that iOS and Android games have tripled their market share from roughly 20% in 2009 to nearly 60% in just two years. Combined, iOS and Android game revenue delivered $500 million, $800 million and $1.9 billion over 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively.

Apple Policies

However, as game developers adapt to the iOS platform, they must contend with Apple's app store approval processes–which as a generation of app developers can tell them, can occasionally be frustrating. This is not as much a factor for the Android.

Big Fish Games experienced some back and forth (via PC World) with Apple over approval for what it says is the first cloud gaming service for mobile devices and the first game subscription service available in Apple's App Store.   The platform, which was eventually approved, is called Play Instantly!, a cloud gaming service for consumers that features dozens of casual games accessed via interactive video streaming.

The catalog is run in the cloud and can be accessed initially on the iPad. Later it will roll out on a variety of additional devices and platforms in 2012.


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