How the Apple App Store Redesign Will Impact the Gaming Industry

July 7, 2017

2:30 pm

Apple’s app store launched nine years ago. Just last month, it announced its biggest update since, which will roll out with the iOS 11 update, expected in autumn of this year. Given the important of the app store in the app developer community, I knew I needed to know more, so I spoke with Glu Mobile’s Chief Revenue Officer, Chris Akhavan.

Glu is the mobile gaming developer behind massive hits like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, so they keep a close eye on what’s changing in the world of apps. Here’s Akhavan to discuss the redesign’s impact, from the separation of gaming apps from the rest of the app world to how even app developers will now have to get into the video media boom.

How do you think the redesign will affect mobile game developers overall?

“The redesign looks fantastic. The UI is much cleaner and apps will be featured more prominently. Developers will have to invest more resources in producing video assets, as the new store allows developers to leverage multiple videos to tell a story around their apps instead of the one trailer we are allowed today.”

What’s the biggest change and its impact?

“The biggest change I see coming is the full separation of Apps and Games into separate sections of the App Store. Today, Apps and Games are merchandised side by side across the store, including the Top Charts. With the new store, Apps and Games will live in their own distinct sections.

This should have a positive impact for the ecosystem, as consumers will have a clear destination to visit when they are looking for new games to play. Non-gaming developers should also benefit from being merchandised separately from games where they will be able to find consumers seeking utility apps, commerce apps, or other types of non-gaming experiences.”

Any other interesting changes?

“The removal of the Top Grossing charts from the new App Store has gained the attention of many developers who religiously check this chart multiple times a day to see how various games and apps are performing. While developers will be able to get this information elsewhere, it’ll be interesting to see how consumers react to the Top Grossing charts going away.”

What potential negative consequences could developers face?

“The new App Store features big, bold features of apps. We’re very excited about how apps are going to be merchandised and featured in the new store. The one negative consequence developers may face is that the bigger, bolder featuring also means fewer apps and games may get a share of the real estate in the editorial sections of the store. That said, I think the positives of the new store are going to greatly outweigh any negatives. I expect the new design will draw consumers into the App Store more often, which will hopefully drive an increase in the overall downloads across the ecosystem.”

In short, the future looks very different, but the app developers who can adapt will see an even more vibrant community.

Read more about the future of gaming here at TechCo

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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