Game Development Reference
iOS versus Facebook versus the Web:
What's the Right Platform?
In This Chapter
• Reviewing what works and what doesn't on iOS
• Reviewing what works and what doesn't on Facebook
• Reviewing what works and what doesn't in web games
As you saw in the last chapter, the three platforms that are the focus of this topic have a massive user base. But
they're all far more cluttered with losers than winners, and there are opportunity costs to investing your game-
development resources in one over the others. Apple's submission process for apps can be time-consuming and
arduous, for example, not to mention that Apple and Facebook take a 30 percent commission on revenue, pla-
cing a substantial barrier on profit. The broader web, although offering more options and markets for publishing
games, lacks the concentrated and direct monetization options that iOS and Facebook boast. (In other words, App
Store users already have their credit cards registered in the system, while many Facebook gamers already have a
bank of virtual currency, both of which make them more likely to spend on your game.) At the same time, some
genres generally work better on one platform than others, and all else being equal, offer a better opportunity for
success. This chapter briefly sketches out the game genres and features that tend to perform well on each plat-
form—and the kinds that usually don't.
Reviewing What Works and What Doesn't
A simple review of top App Store sales and downloads, regularly published by Apple and tracked daily by sites
like AppData.com, will give you a pretty good picture of the game genres doing best on this platform. However,
pay less attention to titles in the Top Paid Apps chart, and more to those on the Top Grossing Apps chart, because
this chart will give you a better indication of the iOS games that bring in the most money.
As we'll discuss in more detail in Chapter 11, “Quick Survey of the iOS Game Market,” hardcore games, par-
ticularly MMOs and RPGs, make the most money, with the biggest spenders from the U.S., Japan, and Korea.
As I write this chapter in June of 2012, for example, nine of the top grossing iOS game apps fit in the hardcore