Mobile game developers have a choice: Completely ignore what's happening in Italy right now, or prepare themselves for the fact that the "free" ride may soon be over.
The majority of developers still make less than $500 per app per month, but the overall "app poverty line" has moved from 67 percent to 60 percent, according to Vision Mobile's Developer Economics Q1 2014 report. The analysis firm researched data from more than 7,000 app developers from 127 countries, from the United States and China to Kenya and Brazil.
There are probably a number of app developers who would like to fling something painful at Rovio. And you could hardly blame them. Not that the creators of Angry Birds would be the only targets. Since the New York Times reported that the NSA and a similar organization in Britain have been culling personal data via smartphone apps, the floodgates for criticism and even hacking have been blown wide open.
For all the hype around in-app advertising, developers should realize that consumers are tuning them out, according to a recent report from Forrester Research.
Creating a mobile game requires plenty of hard work and creativity. But creating the game itself is just the first step in a long and involved process that developers hope will result in a dedicated--even addicted--fan base. How can developers migrate their customers from casual players to die-hard gamers? A number of developers offer their views.
Instead of viewing customers as just part of the mass market, new developer tools help highlight individuals with unique needs, expectations, tastes and potential for engagement. While most developers don't have the technology or manpower to deal with people on a one-on-one basis, they may be able to sort users in a more knowledgeable way. This, in a nutshell, is mobile app audience segmentation, and it's an industry segment that's likely to mature significantly in the next few years.
AppStori, which is still in beta, is among a handful of firms offering various forms of crowdsourcing in the mobile app space, where developers work directly with their target audience to solicit ideas and improvements for their games and tools and in the process, provide more transparency to the development process.
The most popular gaming apps challenge players to chase after pigs and aliens, destroy fruit and even play god. For the developers who make them, there's an even bigger challenge: finding a path to profitability.