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Jagex CEO believes new Apple hardware could 'kill the App Store'

'The mobile bubble will burst'

Product: App Store | Manufacturer: Apple
App Store iPhone, thumbnail 1
Mark Gerhard, COE of developer Jagex, has made some doom-laden predictions regarding the future of the App Store.

Speaking at a BAFTA-chaired Games Question Time, Gerhard spoke of how advancements in browser technology will lure developers away from closed platforms.

"This is controversial, but the mobile bubble will burst this year," Gehard said.

"There just isn't the money there. The only people that are winning right now are Apple and consumers."

The price of success

Gerhard believes that the cost of developing a highly-polished profit-making game for the App Store doesn't justify the return, revealing that Jagex's four chart-topping iPhone games only generate £3,000 or £4,000 profit a month. 

Going further still, he declared that Apple hardware updates like the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3 could make the situation worse, and ultimately "kill the App Store".

"I think that fundamentally, bar a handful of winners that Apple is keeping, nobody makes money on their platform. It's great for consumers, not good for developers, and that's going to be the death of it," Gerhard continued.

Right of reply

Not everyone agreed with Gerhard's assessment, however.

Elite creator David Braben argued in favour of the App Store model, praising it as an excellent "route to market", ensuring developers can effectively and directly reach their audience.

"The advantage of The App Store is that it's a place that focuses you; you're seeing what's coming out," Braben stated. "With the internet it's a lot, lot harder."



Reviewer photo
James Gilmour 22 February 2012
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Feb 2010
Post count:
jellyroll | 23:23 - 22 February 2012
Maybe they need to charge more for games? I'm usually a bit shocked at how little some of my favorites cost.
Dec 2010
Post count:
Excelcius | 15:46 - 22 February 2012
Ive always look upon the internet as being an interactive book / magazine / TV. and with the iminant death of Flash and the rise of HTML 5 I think this simplification will become clearer in the years to come.

The web can't provide a powerful and consistent enough medium for games, unless he thinks that everyone will ditch high end games and graphics in favour of playing low budget flash game in the future. (((a Facebook game doesn't necessarily need to be played through a browser)))

The app store provides a clear and solid hassle free way for consumers to get access to dedicated apps which make full use of the hardware and allows developers as clear hassle free way to monetize their efforts. That is if you develop something original or polish an existing genre that people like, for example a Platformer. But if your just gona jump on the latest angry birds, tiny wings, bandwagon like 100 other developers don't expect your profits to be high.

And what does he mean by iPhone 5 and iPad 3 are just gona make the situation worse ????
Feb 2012
Post count:
AG | 13:36 - 22 February 2012
How interesting! What a convincing series of descriptions and predictions!

I'm sure the Angry Birds and Cut the Rope people are clustered around an oilcan fire under a bridge eating beans out of a tin can at this very moment!


Or maybe this guy's company sucks at making good games? Just throwing that out there
Apr 2011
Post count:
NotSpam | 12:48 - 22 February 2012
1. It's possibly tricky to be profitable if you churn a number of titles that don't stand out and your overheads are large. Yes.

2. But if you're an indie dev (with low overheads) and produce a stand-out and somewhat original; innovative; or g8 implementation of a dusted-down idea, I can be profitable.

4. The app store could do with a more intuitive user-friendly method of searching for potentially interesting titles functionality to prevent a flood of chart trickery swamping the cream rising to the top. Or other metrics for what makes a game/app stand out eg the categories should have tags as well to search multiple terms?

5. There's definitely been a mini-revolution of devs out of jobs with larger studios taking their chances with the app store and enjoying the freedom to create their own games and the app store still is a good place for them?

6. We've had convergence in mobiles, and multi-platform probably will be a trend to boost sales/open markets?