The Harsh Reality of Indie App Games Developers and Myths Surrounding It

Over the years, indie mobile games development has become very popular. Indie developer revenue becomes an appealing source of mainstream income. But, app developers are on the verge of facing new challenges and the indie app reality is not on your side sadly. The games business is changing extremely fast. The world is not only in the midst of console transition, but the mobile gaming market has also gone through the phase of maturing. Not to mention that variety of mobile gaming platforms that have had gained prominence for the past years. Veteran and novice app developers alike are entering the indie mobile games scene at a fast pace while some of the successful indie app developers are expanding their studios.

Are you a full time app developer? Are you planning to enter the indie scene? Although indie games are getting popular, Indie app developers are facing the harsh truth that competing to establish themselves on Android and iOS gaming platforms is not easy. Indie mobile games development may appear to be glamorous on the outside, but the truth is that being an indie app developer is stressful, money bleeding, sleep depriving, and can make you experience a roller coaster ride of emotions. Here are some of the problems that indie mobile games developers are facing:

Competition – There are over 600, 000 apps in the App Store alone. These exclude the apps available on independent mobile game platforms.  This number will increase by the end of the year as many emerging app developers are submitting their apps to these platforms. If you want to succeed as an indie mobile games developer, you need to create high quality apps. This is the only way you can beat the competition. With the number of emerging indie apps constantly increasing, not all of them are high quality unfortunately.

There Is No Best Platform for Indie Mobile Games – During the past few years, Mobile app stores serve as the best platforms for indie app developers trying to venture out in the industry. But, this is not longer the case these days. The App store is saturated and giant publishers are focusing more on the market. It seems that the only way to compete on giant mobile publishers is to bring a well know franchise on the App Store or to have a strong relationship with Apple.

The Indie Development Is Growing at a Fast Pace – More and more indie app developers are getting business savvy. A number of emerging indie developers is putting marketing dollars on ads campaigns to promote their projects. Also, successful developers are teaming up to put indie games into the mainstream.

Indie Mobile Games Myths

1. “There is a best place to sell indie mobile games”

So you have created a high quality game and everyone that has tested it say it’s a good game. But, the problem that you will face is to look for a better platform to sell your game. In order for you not to worry about where to sell your game after creating it, you have to do a research on this right from the beginning of the app’s development process. The indie app reality is harsh and if you do not build relationships with established indie app developers, you may not acquire revenue from your game no matter how high its quality is.

2. “There is no need to do marketing”

You have to market your game if you want to acquire higher indie app developer revenue. Marketing sometimes is considered as a bad word among the flock of indie app developers, but it is not as bad as it sounds. Marketing is critical, and you have to do this if you want your game to be known in the mainstream.

3. “People may steal my idea if I tell it to them, even before my app is ready”

This is a common myth among indie developers, but they won’t. A person that is competent enough to steal your idea may be busy with their own ideas. Not to mention that ideas are cheap for indie developers and you may have plenty of them. Also, ideas change and you may come up with a better idea for your game before its ready.

4. “Build it and they will come” Or “There are always people who will buy my game”

This is not the case with indie mobile games. Some indie game developers think that developing a competent game is enough to succeed. But, it’s only a fraction of the battle. The most important aspect that you need to focus is determining the factor that will make people buy your game. As your own self, “Why will people buy my game?”  This may sound harsh, but it’s the indie app reality.

5. “I have all the necessary skills to create a great selling indie game”

Actually no, besides, not a single person person has all the necessary skills to make commercial standard mobile game. Before you begin with your project, think about the set of skills needed to create a commercial standard mobile game. These include UI art, environment art, sound design, character art and animation, music, game design and balancing, production/documentation/scheduling, marketing/press communication and business skills/Legal /accounting. The truth is that you do not have all these skills, and no one person does.

If you want to create a commercially high-standard game, you will need the help of other people that know how to do these things best. The reason why huge companies can create high quality games is that they have the resources for these skills. As an independent app developer, you may need to spend more dollars on these set of skills if you want your game to be great.

The Harsh Truth about the Indie Sales Revenue  

Some people enter the indie scene because they think indie development revenue is appealing. But, did you know that nearly 95% of the sales that indie mobile games make come from games that are highly discounted or on sale? Only 52% of indie games revenue comes from full-price sales. This is a very low figure because you already give a launch discount. With the indie games revenue decreasing, indie developers are facing harsh challenges. These challenges will arise from the increasing competition and highly saturated app market. Now onto making better games for the gaming community…

Mighty Dragon Studios



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