Interview

NimbleBit, Zach Gage and Untame praise the App Store's new indie games section

NimbleBit, Zach Gage and Untame praise the App Store's new indie games section

Between March 9th and 20th, Apple is running its 'We Heart Indie Games' promotion on the App Store.

As part of this celebration of independently-developed games, the platform holder has even dispensed with its regular weekly release cycle by launching new indie titles every day.

But now, it's been revealed that this is merely a prelude to a new, permanent section on the App Store given over to celebrating indie games.

“I think it has the potential to be really great,” says Zach Gage, whose game Typeshift is launching on March 18th as part of the 'We Heart Indie Games' feature.

“There definitely isn't enough space as it is to feature every indie game that deserves it in 'New Games We Love', so having an additional area for featuring to handle overflow would be great.

“On top of that, I think it is always a good thing to have a place for the community to gather on the App Store.

He adds: “iOS has always had a very vibrant indie scene, but from the consumer standpoint, it hasn't always been tremendously clear who is making what.

“Apple adding this section and shining a permanent spotlight on indie developers is pretty exciting.”

In the spotlight

Like Gage, Pocket Planes and Tiny Tower developer NimbleBit has seen a lot of comings and goings on the App Store since its formation in 2007.

I think making this a permanent feature could be really amazing for indie games.
David Marsh

The studio launched its latest, Bit City, on March 13th as part of the 'We Heart Indie Games' showcase. But how big an impact could this permanent App Store placement have on developers?

“I think making this a permanent feature could be really amazing for indie games,” NimbleBit co-founder David Marsh tells PocketGamer.biz.

“As long as indie games still also show up in the regular App Store features, having an additional permanent home for indie titles should mean a lot more regular exposure for a lot of small developers that might otherwise feel sort of 'boxed out' by having to compete with big studio games.

“It also shows that Apple values indie developers in general, and that they want the App Store to be a place for them to continue to share their creations.”

Welcomed with open arms

Newer to the App Store - and indeed mobile games development - is husband-and-wife development team Untame, who brought its award-winning PC title Mushroom 11 to iOS to coincide with 'We Heart Indie Games'.

“We've been in close contact with Apple from the early days of Mushroom 11, and their support has been incredibly encouraging,” says Untame President and Founder Itay Keren.

“This promotion therefore doesn't surprise us, and shows Apple's true commitment and understanding that true diversity of experiences comes from the creative freedom that can only be found in independent works.

“By showcasing this wealth of artistic directions, business models and gameplay styles, we believe that Apple is helping to transform mobile gaming.”

Mushroom 11

But for Gage, while this new indie-specific section is heartening, it's really just an extension of what Apple has already been doing for a long time now.

“When you take a step back and notice just how many featured games, Game of the Year winners and Apple Design Award winners are indies, despite the presence of games in the store that literally make millions of dollars a day, Apple's commitment to democratisation comes across pretty clearly,” he reflects.

“Compared to other storefronts, I think it's pretty great.”

Features Editor

Matt is really bad at playing games, but hopefully a little better at writing about them. He's Features Editor for PocketGamer.biz, and has also written for lesser publications such as IGN, VICE, and Paste Magazine.

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