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Top App Store game dev says Apple is the gatekeeper to success


Teemu Maki-Patola, COO of Frogmind Games and developer of the award-winning title Badland for iOS (which reached the No. 1 spot in more than 80 countries), has published an enlightening advice piece on GamesIndustry International focusing on how to make a new game a success.

Since publishing Badland in April of 2013, the game has shifted from US$3.99 to $1.99 to $3.99 to free to $3.99 to $1.99 to $3.99 to 99 cents and finally back up to $3.99, so there's been plenty of experimentation happening. So what has Mäki-Patola learned about the App Store thus far? Make your game look professional, push it into the light whenever you can and pray that Apple decides to feature it.

"Discoverability for new releases is horrendous on all mobile platforms, so like it or not, the owners of the mobile world's very few storefronts are also its gatekeepers," he says. "Getting featured makes all the difference. Instead of battling with the F2P Goliaths to top the charts, focus on making your premium game catch the eyes of the very enthusiastic gamers at Apple who decide which titles to highlight. If your game has a distinct personality and is well-made, this is a battle you just might be able to win."

Badland, for its part, is an absolutely gorgeous title with very few equals, so another piece of advice might be to make a ridiculously amazing game to begin with. You can check out Mäki-Patola's full account on GI International.

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Gaming Apple

Make your game look professional, push it into the light whenever you can, and pray that Apple decides to feature it.