It was just great to have Develop in our home town, hopefully they will come again. My feeling about this year’s Develop was that it was ‘Two Tribes Go to War’ to stretch the Scouse analogy. Developers seem to fall into two camps, those working for large console game developers or ‘Dinosaurs’ as we might call them and the Indie App Store gang ‘Mammals’. The Dinosaurs are in recession, general game revenues are dropping (sales down 16% in UK according to MCV) and traditional publishers finding it really hard to raise debt funding. The Mammals are in a whole different boat, low overheads, ownership of IP and decent revenues for some on mainly their iPhone titles. Don’t get me wrong most of the skill still sits with the big developers but 2009 will mark the start of a new console cycle ‘the App Store’.
One of the speakers really summed it up, when someone in the audience tried to draw an analogy to previous console booms and slumps he started very clearly that this is like ‘nothing we have seen before’. I feel that this is spot on, the industry has changed and there is no going back.
Stuart Dredge’s talk focused on the 5 app stores, iPhone, Android, PSP, Blackberry and DSi sales figures are hard to find but we can all see that the model works well for both consumer and producer. As he himself said there are many other app stores, off the top of my head Orange App Store, Windows Mobile, Wii Store channel (Wiiware), PSN for PS3, XBLA, Intel for Atom PCs, Ovi from Nokia and I am sure many others. Other the next few weeks we will look at each in detail from both a business and technical veiwpoint and try and think about their pros and cons.