App Store finally gives indie games the spotlight they deserve

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Mac App Store
Competing with big-name developers won't be so tough for indies.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

After a big indie game promotion over the past week, Apple has given titles from independent developers their very own spot in the App Store. And it’s about time, too!

The new section will make it easier for shoppers to find new titles from smaller studios, while developers will benefit from greater coverage. It won’t be quite as easy for the latest releases to be drowned out by bigger titles from gaming giants.

The App Store can be a wonderful place for indie developers, but as its catalog of games grows larger every day, getting attention becomes increasingly difficult. It’s so easy for new titles — no matter how awesome they might be — to get lost.

That’s because it’s incredibly difficult for self-funded, independent developers to compete with the likes of Activision Blizzard, EA, and Supercell, which can afford to throw millions into advertising their latest releases and driving downloads.

But by giving indie games their very own home, Apple is hoping to make things a little fairer. Small studios won’t have to compete with billion-dollar businesses here; it will be a much more level playing field.

It will also make it easier for shoppers to find the newest and best indie games. The section will be split into categories, with spotlights on things like “incredible sound design” and “unforgettable stories,” according to TechCrunch.

It’s a shame it has taken Apple almost nine years to make this move. Some of the greatest games to have ever graced iOS — Monument Valley, Canabalt, Tiny Wings — were built by independent studios with tiny budgets.

And so many games that are just as terrific, with the potential to be just as successful, hit the App Store and go unnoticed. It’s not easy to drive downloads when you have no marketing budget.

The indie spot comes after Apple’s “Celebrating Indie Games” promotion, which is running from March 9 to March 20. As you’ve probably noticed, the App Store’s entire spotlight has been on independent titles, which have taken up all of its featured sections.

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