By Dave LeClair
The iTunes app store is filled with games, around 1300 or so. There’s no question that there is a ton of games, but most of these games are family friendly casual games. So I got to thinking, is there a market for games on the app store that aren’t so family friendly, perhaps containing more gore and violence?
Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of the games on app store. (Just look at my review of spore origins.) I feel that there is a market out there of hardcore gamers who own iPhones who I think would love some more Violent games, and are kind of sick of basic puzzle games.
An iPhone costs a minimum of 200 dollars, so the price of entry is keeping a lot of younger kids out of owning one. Most people who own iPhones are over 20 years old. So knowing this, it only makes sense that people would like to have some more adult themed games. A Nintendo DS is 129 dollars, which is substantially cheaper then an iPhone. This price point makes the DS a more attractive option for parents who might be looking for a gaming system for their children, but at $200, the iPhone seems a little high for a kids gaming platform, but none the less the app store is riddled with “kiddie” games.
I think a lot of developers are scared to make M rated games for the iPhone because they are afraid it will not sell. I think there is a market there, but then again there is a reason I’m in journalism, and not video game marketing. However, as I stated before, I think the average age of iPhone owners is a lot older than most platforms, and I think that, like me, they are itching for some more hardcore games. I think all it is going to take is one developer who is willing to step up to the plate and push the limits, and it it works out, we should be able to see a lot more adult based games on the app store.
So, hypothetically, let’s say that someone comes along and makes a good, violent, hardcore game for the iPhone. What genres would fit well? I think first and foremost RTS and turn based strategy games are the best place to start. With its slick touch interface I feel the iPhone is a perfect place for them. I would like to see some shooters on the iPhone, I’m not sure how it would work, but I’ll leave it up to the developers to figure that out. I could see Activision coming along and making some version of Call of Duty on the iPhone, after all, if there’s a market for Activision to cash in on, they’ll be on it. I think RPGs can also work here. (Look at Vay on the app store. Which is a 2d top down RPG.) With games like Fable 2 for the Xbox 360 talking about one button controls, why couldn’t something like that exist on the iPhone.
I think there is a lot of options out there for developers to make some good adult themed games. I’m not saying I’m all about violence and what not, but I would like to play some games that are more like the PSP and less like the DS, on my iPhone. I’m confident that it will happen, and I look forward to playing whatever comes along.