Apple Unveils New Look Games Section on App Store

Apple has been making a slew of updates on the background on its iTunes App Store. These updates will impact how the apps are organized and featured on the App store from now on. Game developers are following this new update with interest as the oft-used section built using internal algorithms are now showing up differently instead of the usual “New”, “What’s Hot” or “All iPhone (Free & Paid)” sections.

What is gone?

Gone are the standard lists as mentioned above. In its place are newer lists that also include a fresh new editorial content curated specifically for the Games section. These changes are not without a cause. Apple has been coming across increasing cases of apps whose names begin with “AA”, “AAA” or “AAAA” simply because they think that this will allow them to stay on top of the “All iPhone (Free & Paid)”lists arranged alphabetically and hence have better chances of downloads.

For the “New Release” section, this too has now gone. While the results weren’t being arranged alphabetically here, they were instead being arranged on basis of download volume. This also gave a good shot to indie developers if their app could garner enough download numbers in the first few days/week of their app’s launch.

What is now updated?

However these changes done in the month of May can do away with these algorithmically arranged lists of apps. From now on a weekly refreshed list of ‘All Time Greats’ and ‘Best New Games’ will be prominently present in the Games section. The list will be designed by the Apple’s team of editors who will handpick the apps along with better curated content. The updates have been applied for the very first time to the Games section and its sub-sections like “Action”, “Adventure” or “Racing”. In addition, the new sub-category pages will also have its own individual banner art. The new look and editorial collections will now appear on “Best New Games,” “All-Time Greats,” “Pay Once & Play” and “Free”

The impact

It is pretty early to determine the degree of impact on developers’ earnings. However many have reported a drastic drop — in the region of 30% to as much as 85%. While the huge skew doesn’t lend enough credibility to the numbers as of now, it will be interesting to watch when the actual aggregated numbers come in after a month or so.

What we think is that for developers who are serious about getting discovered the legitimate way on Apple Store will not be impacted. Also those who have a more targeted and committed marketing or user acquisition strategy too won’t be impacted much.

Moreover, the new update will seek to incentivize those who develop a truly remarkable game, thanks to the human interaction that goes on when developing the editorial content that will encourage the downloads of these with their positive reviews. From a user point of view the editorial content will provide a more refreshing way to know which app to download and which to steer clear of.

Originally published at: MobDevApp

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