I went to a teacher conference this week, during my time off which is just lovely. Anyway, I decided that it might be good to have a game on my phone to dip in and out of when I had a few spare minutes between (during?) lectures and such. So off I popped to the App Store to see what I could find. What I found prompted this response:
So let’s talk about Steam a little. Since Steam Greenlight and Early Access, the store has turned into an absolute (pardon my language) shit-show. Every day there are more and more terrible games released onto the storefront due to shady practices. Since Greenlight has closed down things will hopefully improve, but the number of poor games, asset flips, and shameless trading card cash grabs hasn’t abated. I don’t see Steam Direct changing this any time soon.
Valve have tried to change this but I suspect they are making way too much money to want to make significant improvements. The Playstation Store has recently shown a similar situation with games like Life of Black Tiger and that stupid trophy hunter game being released so clearly other major companies want in on the gravy train.
I recently switched back to iPhone after having a while using Windows Phones for a while and I expected the iPhone App Store to still contain a pretty high standard of apps. How wrong I was. I went looking for a dice based game (something I could drop into here and there) and came across all manner of unrelated things. There were heaps of games with no reviews, games that had terrible or non-existent descriptions, and game after game of freemium nonsense.
The store is in serious need of curation and management. Quality over quantity and all that. I would sooner buy a good game that I can manage to find rather than a crap game that happens to appear in a list. I suspect the answer to this question is “Money”, but why do storefronts insist on opening the floodgates to anyone who can put together any old piece of crap and slap a £0.99 price tag on it.
In the end, I didn’t buy anything and downloaded Carcasonne to play again, a game I purchased a few years back. You know, back when it was easy to find quality games and not have to sift through the tripe? The fact that the App Store has turned into a mess of rubbish games has put me off bothering to look for anything to purchase. I’m more likely to listen to a podcast to find out something worth buying than take a risk on one of the hundreds of potentially poor releases. I suspect I’m not the only one. To digital storefront owners: stop opening the floodgates to any old “developer”. Hire a team to curate your store and make it something worth visiting rather than a dodgy market full of rubbish that people won’t want to visit. It’s hard to sell to customers when they don’t want to come to your store.