I’m an Apple user, one search of my name through Google alone will prove that as a well published fact. Despite this, I have witnessed over the years a great demise in the industry in a whole. Although I can’t comment on the state of the Android market (I have owned Android devices but never used them for games) I can comment on iOS, which I have been writing about, testing, and playing for many years.
When the market was first in its infancy and early stages, it was fantastic and was partially because of how simplistic the games were. At launch they used the tilt controls and swipe controls of the iOS device perfectly. Games like Fruit Ninja, Angry Birds and Flight Control (RIP) were very popular and put all three of those developers on the international map (Halfbrick, Rovio and Firemint). One thing they all had in common was they were all cheap, yet paid.
Over the years people tried to replicate these successes and failed. With failure came other ways developers were to release games and thus that came about the dreaded IAPs. That said, it was very rare that a game that came out had a fair and well working payment system for downloadable content. This was really the downfall of the more recent App Store, which hasn’t been the same ever since.
Now the App Store is transitioning into the more hardcore market, which in truth the iPhone isn’t built for. You can add better processors, better screens, better this and that, but it doesn’t change the fact its a small mobile device that lacks real buttons. Meaning the only way to implement these buttons is to take up screen space, which lessens the gaming experience. Sure you can add a mobile controller, but then you might as well just use a bigger screened device like a PC.
This is why I am excited for Apple TV. Sure it will have its flaws, specifically its lack in storage (REALLY APPLE!!!?), but it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully though, the Apple TV will pull the App Store out of its horrible IAP state and into one that has reasonably priced games that people will buy.
If everything works out, the Apple TV will really allow Apple to compete in some way against PC and console gaming. Sure, we aren’t expecting it to go up to the levels the Playstation and Xbox has, but they are in their fourth generations and have AAA games. The Apple TV is on a lower level, aimed to compete against the likes of Steam and the many indie games that can be found on Playstation’s online store.
The addition of the controller is great and allows you to play the many games on the App Store, all on your home TV. Even though the standard controller is fairly basic, it’s great Apple is working with controller manufacturers to make third party controllers. With a good controller and an easy to use interface, the new Apple TV could lead to the addition of AAA games onto the store, and with games like Guitar Hero stepping on board it is a step in the right direction.
Is it not weird that the two most successful games on the App Store in Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja were paid!? Hopefully with Apple TV, the iOS market will go back to its roots.