Mobile Mavens

What will iOS 11 dropping App Store top grossing charts mean for developers?

What will iOS 11 dropping App Store top grossing charts mean for developers?

Apple has spruced up the App Store for iOS 11.

Interesting features in the new-look App Store include a games-specific section and a curated 'Today' tab, which features a more in-depth look at specific apps and games in the form of interviews and other written content.

The theme running across these changes is that the App Store Editors are playing a bigger role in not only curation of apps and games, but also in actively producing content to go alongside them.

Another major change noted during the iOS 11 developer beta is that top grossing charts appear to have been omitted - a move that would have major ramifications for app intelligence firms such as App Annie.

So to gauge the reactions of the industry, we put it to our Mobile Mavens:

  • What do you think of the App Store redesign?
  • What would be the impact of iOS 11 dropping App Store top grossing charts for mobile game developers?
Jared Steffes Co-founder Muxy

I've always felt the top grossing charts added very little value to consumers.

Do consumers really think something like, "let's see where I can spend the most money today on in-app purchases" and download those games? I really doubt it.

A chart of 'biggest movers', or something that changes with high volatility, would help get apps discovered.

The aesthetics of the new store images are inline with what is working well for Instagram and other popular apps.

People like to slide up and down. I find it unfortunate that the main home page will likely only show two apps at load, though. It really leaves you in the hands of fate.

William D. Volk Chief Futurist Forward Reality

The daily features should enable more independents to get featured. That is a good thing.

Dropping top grossing charts will break the revenue estimation tools such as App Annie and Priori Data.

These tools are essential in business planning for new apps, not just for games. It allows one to estimate the market potential and determine the strong competitors.

In free-to-play, downloads do not always correlate to revenue.

I have heard rumor that Apple will allow access to this data by other means, but no confirmation.

Will Luton Executive Producer Rovio

I hope Apple will continue to give access to the top grossing charts, perhaps through desktop iTunes - even if for nothing else than as an industry leaderboard.

However, I support it being removed for consumers. It's a little confusing and doesn't offer much relevant insight.

Oscar Clark Author, Consultant and Independent Developer Rocket Lolly Games

Oscar Clark has been a pioneer in online, mobile, and console social games services since 1998. He is also author of the book, Games As A Service – How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games.

I think the changes look highly promising! I've not had a chance to get hands on with them yet, but I really like the magazine feel from the images I've seen so far.

I have never been a fan of top grossing, as anyone who has read my comments will be aware. This was something I have felt for a very long time has been holding back players from making new choices.

That was my experience back in the days of network carrier game stores.

I'm a little nervous as to how the new style will help you find more games. One of the compromises of having better look/feel seems to be the real-estate to show larger numbers of games.

However, I think the benefits will absolutely pay off.

Tom Kinniburgh Consultant MobileFreeToPlay

I think it shows how Apple considers the store: a digital magazine.

Apple considers apps and all media products from the perspective of a curator. It likes to play, select and display their favourites to show off their best first.

The editors have invested time picking and playing, so you don’t have to.
Tom Kinniburgh

The aim is to guide users into making good decisions, because the editors themselves have invested time picking and playing, so you don’t have to.

The new redesign allows for much more freedom to the editors to creatively display apps.

This is very different to how Google does it, where they use data and your habits to suggest apps that others and yourself should like.

Both options have merits and for consumers. It comes down to “do I like the tastes of the App Store Editors?” or “is the algorithm good enough?"

For developers, the big shift is the movement away from the weekly rotation.

This means you might be more likely to get a large front page feature with less competition, but you will be shown for less time - probably a day or two.

It remains to be seen if this will be better or worse in terms of downloads than the current system.

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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