Game Development Reference
Full 3D Games
The App Store's top-grossing list for 2011 is scant on games with full 3D graphics, which display a first-person
perspective or display the game space with a camera that rotates along the full X/Y/Z axis. Indeed, the only 3D
game to make the top-grossing chart in 2011 was the fighting/RPG game Infinity Blade (see Figure 2-2 ) .
Figure 2-2: Infinity Blade, one of the few 3D games that performs extremely well on iOS
There are probably a number of reasons for the lack of top-selling 3D games on iOS, chief among them
the gameplay context. Unlike a couch or desk, where 3D games are traditionally played, an iOS game is often
played in open, public, and semi-public areas, where it's difficult for a player to devote the high degree of focus
and time that 3D games typically demand. Further, maneuvering in a 3D space is difficult to do without the
keyboard/joystick controls that PCs and consoles have but the iOS lacks. And if you've ever tried playing a 3D
game on iOS, you're probably familiar with the calluses they tend to give your fingertips!
Gaming Console Ports
Games that are based on or ported from bestselling console and PC games are also scant on the App Store's
top-grossing and top-paid lists. Although titles like Grand Theft Auto : Chinatown Wars and Street Fighter IV
for the iOS draw respectable sales, they are consistently beat by indie games made on smaller budgets without
any pre-existing brand recognition. Part of the problem is that most of these adaptations and ports use full 3D
graphics (see “Full 3D Games”). Further, game ports often do not make use of the iOS touchscreen interface.
And because they typically require higher production values and budgets, publishers feel pressured to sell their
iOS ports at relatively high cost (the Grand Theft Auto and Street Fighter games currently sell for $4.99 and
$9.99), which makes them less appealing to the larger iOS gaming market. (They can play countless games of
near or equal quality at little cost, or even free.)