Breaking into the App Store can be difficult enough, but for small-time mobile game developers its even more of a challenge as they go up against billion-dollar, globalpublishers who dominate the top charts, like Supercell, Activision Blizzard, Niantic, EA, Tencent and others who can afford to invest millions inmarketing budgets and advertising. Apple is now hoping to level the playing field a bit, by giving indie games a new and highly visible home on the App Store.
Throughout theweek, Apple has been highlighting indie gamer content in a dedicated section on the App Stores home page, where it often features new releases, favorites, staff picks and other recommendations.
This hub, dubbed Celebrating Indie Games, includes a number of new releases and debuts from independent game developers, but also some of the best, all-time titles for iOS gaming. Further down the page, indie games are further broken down into category spotlights like lists of those with incredible sound design or unforgettable stories, for example.
The selections were chosen by the App Stores Editorial team, and include a mix of both paid and free-to-play titles.
Initially, this collection appearedto be justanother promotion meant to give indie titles a push. Apple often hostsfeatured collections like this on its App Store in order to showcase new releases, interesting apps and other exclusivecontent.
The launch of the hub was preceded by other promotions on indie games, including discounts and other prominent placements for new, indie releases. Apple said it would be highlighting indie titles throughout the month, from March 9th through 20th.
However, according to a tweetposted on Thursday by the App Store Games Twitter account, the indie games hub willbe a permanent installation on the App Store, after the promotional period wraps. In March, Apple suggested itsrefreshing the content in the indie hub daily, but presumably that pace will slow when the Celebrating Indie Games push ends.
For indie developers that is, those whoare small, self-published, and self-funded, according to Apples definition the change could greatly impact their discoverability on the App Store. A dedicated section for finding these titles offers developersa way to get in front of potential new users, without having to pay for App Store Search ads, or other ads on sites like Facebook.
Games remain one of the most popular categories of apps and account for the majority of App Store revenue. According to data from Sensor Tower,more than 80 percent of all money earned through Apples App Store came from mobile games in 2016. App Annies figures were slightly lower, at 75 percent of all App Store revenue.
Last year, mobile gaming also was poisedtotake a larger share than PC gaming with $36.9 billion in revenues, up 21.3 percent worldwide, Newzoos report said.
The promotional efforts seem to be working. Currently, titles like Botnicula, Surgeon Simulator and Prune all of which are being featured in the new hub are sitting high on the App Stores Top Paid Apps chart at #7, #1, and #5, respectively.