Category Archives: iOS Development

Who is the Mass-Market iPhone Gamer?

I’m afraid this amazing comment from sciencestick will disappear one day, so I reproduced half of it below. This is from a postmortem of Brainsss on Joystiq (direct link).

I like the analogy of the person who buys a $4 cup of coffee from Starbucks that lasts 20 minutes but wont buy a 3 dollar iphone game that would give them much more, not because it’s a valid comment about setting market expectations (and it is, when that trend started people thought they were “cooler” in the eyes of others if they drank expensive coffee instead of 7-11 and here we are 15 years later and “the herd” EXPECTS to pay 4 dollars for a cup of coffee, the same way only in reverse that .99 cents games is setting a bad expectation)…

It also inspires an intuitive insight into who that person really is. That person with Starbucks in hand, and 5 minutes to kill, that just started browsing games in the app store… Is not looking for a REAL GAME they don’t want to feel silly playing a REAL GAME that requires them figure out how to play, and to pay REAL attention to whats going on. They have a 5 minute subway ride where their signal sucks, or 4 minutes staring at the wall before their next meeting. They also don’t want to feel foolish or nerdy taking a game overly serious. Which is why you will find almost no seriously titled or art directed games in the app/google store, everything is inoffensive, cute and cuddly and/or whimsical. This means they don’t want IMMERSION OR SUSPENSION OF DISBELIEF, the game needs to be inoffensive to the point where they don’t feel uncomfortable buying it; And non-immersive to the point where they don’t lose track of time playing it.