This morning I awoke to a nightmare. Surrounded by hundreds of Doodle characters and Scribble objects. My mistake, not a nightmare, just my inbox which is absolutely full of developers that want me to review their new game that starts with the word Doodle or is some type of Match 3 game. It’s tiring because there are so many new things developers can bring to this market. The possibilities are really only limited by the devices screen size. Very few times in history have developers had a chance to stand out from a crowd with a unique game, yet so many fail to even try.
I have heard that the cost of developing a new iPhone or iPod Touch app costs somewhere between 1000-100,000 dollars. That is nothing compared to the costs for developing for a console or even the cost of developing for the platform like the Nintendo DS. The only platform that allows development for those cost ranges until now has been the PC market for software. The problem with those markets is that until very recently, success required contracts with individual retail locations and publishers in order for your game to be a success. The rise of Steam and Stardock’s Impulse has changed that landscape a bit but not nearly to the degree as the iPhone and iPod Touch market for one very important reason: hardware. On the iPhone and iPod Touch, every one of the 80 million plus users has relatively the same hardware. The market is huge, the entrance fee is cheap and the desire for good gaming is there. Why all the repetition?
I think the answer is fairly simple: laziness. Developers want to use the App Store to get rich quick so they are extremely willing to copy old ideas instead of coming up with new ones. It really is a shame. A game like Doodle Jump has sold millions of copies and has also created a monster of duplication. Other developers are begging to cash in on that success. There are literally 50+ games on the App Store that start or include the word Doodle. There are 10 games on the App Store that include Doodle Jump’s tagline: Be Warned: Extremely Addictive! Argh! Seriously?
I run this site because I think the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad gaming market is a substantial force in the gaming landscape. These copycat developers are killing the buzz for me. I try to review as many indie games as I can because I am looking for the next Doodle Jump. I know it’s out there but for the love of God, if you’re a developer, please stop the copycat behavior. Come to us with new ideas, something fresh and it will be welcomed with open arms. Come to us with the same old thing and it will be deservedly torn apart.