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Top 1% of iOS Game Developers Make a Third of All Revenue

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the fighting-for-scraps dept.

Businesses 244

donniebaseball23 writes "The top one percent of iOS game developers earn over a third of the gaming revenue made on the App Store, according to a new survey of iOS developers. The survey, set up by Canadian indie developer Owen Goss, found that the bottom 80 percent of iOS developers are splitting a mere three percent of all App Store game revenue."

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top one percent of X control large amount of Y (0)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 3 years ago | (#37564216)

News at 11.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564354)

Not true. Apple makes roughly a third of the revenue. The top 1% make closer to a quarter of the revenue.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (-1, Flamebait)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 3 years ago | (#37564406)

If 1% making 25% isn't "large amount" then, erm, I guess you were brought up to Reaganomics.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (2, Funny)

ShakaUVM (157947) | about 3 years ago | (#37564548)

>>If 1% making 25% isn't "large amount" then, erm, I guess you were brought up to Reaganomics.

Obviously we need to tax these "iOS fat cats" and send some of their profits to the poorer developers, eh comrade!

Developers of fart apps, rejoice! We will eliminate the iOS income inequality once and for all!

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564598)

Are people really as stupid as you in the real world? Wait, I just remembered the Tea Party exists, answered my own question.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564946)

actually i believe the maker of fartapps already belongs to the top 1%

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (1)

maxume (22995) | about 3 years ago | (#37565058)

It's a threadjack complaining about the framing of the summary, not someone quibbling with you.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (0)

msauve (701917) | about 3 years ago | (#37564410)

Quick! We have to tax them, so they pay their fair share!

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564606)

Of course they have to pay tax when we have chosen to build a society where money is a requirement to survive. I didn't make that choice. You pay a percentage of your income, so you really can approach unlimited profit if you want to be a rich motherfucker, and by mother I mean the country or the earth.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (2)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37564628)

Seems like it would be reasonable to charge more successful apps more for distribution.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 3 years ago | (#37564786)

How would it be reasonable? You would effectively be punishing the success of those who made your app store a success. "Hey, screw you guys. You brought us more revenue than the rest of those schmucks, so we're gonna stick it to you real good."

It would actually be more reasonable to charge less (as a percentage) - a lot of the overhead of providing an app store is fixed cost and doesn't scale with the number of downloads you provide.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#37565066)

It would actually be more reasonable to charge less (as a percentage) - a lot of the overhead of providing an app store is fixed cost and doesn't scale with the number of downloads you provide.

That's how most places do it, the more you make the less the percentage they take is. Like Paypal, once you have over $10,000 a month in sales they lower the percentage they take from each sale. Kind of an incentive to get to that level.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | about 3 years ago | (#37565626)

OTOH: a new or indie developer would have a harder time making money thus stifling innovation.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (1)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 3 years ago | (#37564832)

I know, right... The first thing I thought when I saw this headline was the class warriors were going jump all over this...

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (2)

icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37565192)

Unlike in real life, (most) iOS developers actually start in equal standing, so the distribution is fair.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (4, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about 3 years ago | (#37564814)

Well it is also the situation of production value. If you look at the app store, then you have 100 clones of one existing successful program, with myriads of developers trying to cash in on the same concept.
Those really getting money are either ones

a) with very high production value
b) with a very good concept and good implementation which has not been cloned to death

Its as easy and as hard as that. I just wonder who is constantly buying all the canabald clones all the zombie shooter clones and hidden object games which come out a dime a dozend every week?
Obviously someone must do it otherwise they would not come out anymore.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 3 years ago | (#37565000)

you forgot c) with a good marketing team or a well known brand

Also, the existence of said clones doesn't mean anybody is buying them. but rather, that some developers THINK somebody will buy them.

Re:top one percent of X control large amount of Y (2, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about 3 years ago | (#37565420)

Yes, and generally the situation is really bad, you really have to look hard to find real gems, like for instance Avadon.
Those games make their money, but the possible target audience have a hard time to find them. Instead you constantly either see
a) Another hidden object game
b) another physics puzzle variation of the same game
c) another even worse canabalt clone
d) another 2d zombie shooter
e) another bad tower of defense game

That does not mean iOS has not a really good games, but they are drowned in ripoff shovelware.
The same probably goes for apps as well, but I have my eye simply more on games.

So, just like real life then... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564228)

Cue the usual crowd of nerd libertard Ron Paul nuts defending the magic of freedom and capitalism and how a rising tide lifts all boats, so long as you can live with the free market deciding that they don't want to let black people eat at their lunch counter etc.

Re:So, just like real life then... (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 3 years ago | (#37564844)

So... in your view successful iOS apps should be taxed and their proceeds spread around to less successful apps... so black people can eat?

I'm not sure what you're trying to say... so I'm guessing. But due understand you're talking nonsense. This thread is about how most iOS apps don't sell and only a handful are successful. That's all it's about. If you want to get get political about it... that's fine... but you'll basically be declaring yourself to be a nutcase.

Re:So, just like real life then... (3)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#37565092)

He's AC, they rarely say anything worth mentioning. Best to ignore all AC posts, makes life simpler and more enjoyable.

Re:So, just like real life then... (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37565498)

A brilliant system, all the lower 99%ers will be looking at the top guys, spending money on app developer subscriptions and saying "with enough hard work, I can be just like them!" - which is actually true with software sales, unlike real life, so I guess there's nothing wrong about it apart from the illusion of a more even wealth spread.

Methodology counts in all amounts (2)

ThreeGigs (239452) | about 3 years ago | (#37564238)

Requests to take the survey were distributed via the following social networks and web sites: ...
Reddit ...

I don't think they make grains of salt large enough to compensate for that bias.

Re:Methodology counts in all amounts (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 3 years ago | (#37564324)

Yes, there are many faults with this survey.

Yes, it would be easy to design a better survey.

On the other hand, it would not be cheap to conduct a proper survey.

So until somebody ponies up the cash to conduct a proper survey or Apple stops being so secretive about it's business, this sort of thing is the best we will have. And even with selection bias, the results are likely better than a small collection of anecdotes.

Re:Methodology counts in all amounts (1)

stms (1132653) | about 3 years ago | (#37564402)

Hmmm... maybe the top 1% of game developers will pony it up money for a better study.

Re:Methodology counts in all amounts (3, Insightful)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 3 years ago | (#37564342)

One would say there are easier methods, that are more objective. Like: take the statistics provided by the app store on number of downloads, the price of the app (if not free), and from that you have the revenue.

It's normal that the top 20% takes 80% of sales. Like 20% of the products in a typical supermarket create 80% of turnover. Though in the app market it may be even more skewed.

Re:Methodology counts in all amounts (2)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#37565142)

It's normal that the top 20% takes 80% of sales. Like 20% of the products in a typical supermarket create 80% of turnover. Though in the app market it may be even more skewed.

I was thinking that too and wondering why this was a shock to anyone. Top 20% of smartphones probably make up 80% of sales, top 20% of OSes probably make 80% of sales, top $SmallNumber of $Anything probably make $LargeNumber of sales. That's just how it's going to be with everything in life, there will always be a few leaders that rise to the top while everyone else shares what the leaders can not accommodate. To the victor goes the spoils.

Re:Methodology counts in all amounts (3, Insightful)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 3 years ago | (#37565306)

One would say there are easier methods, that are more objective. Like: take the statistics provided by the app store on number of downloads, the price of the app (if not free), and from that you have the revenue.

It's normal that the top 20% takes 80% of sales. Like 20% of the products in a typical supermarket create 80% of turnover. Though in the app market it may be even more skewed.

But that is where the stats would fail. Many of the free based games are ad-supported and make money off of that. You would not be capturing that large demographic.

Re:Methodology counts in all amounts (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37564408)

With the amount of shovelware out there, why would you expect the results to be much different though? It will be the same story in almost any non-fungible market in the world.

It also reflects the real money distribution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564246)

It also reflects the real money distribution.

Disclaimer says it all (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564248)

Quote on the front page:

Top 1% of iOS Game Developers Make a Third of All Revenue

I guess what's most important is the disclaimer on the researchers Web site:

I make no claims as to the statistical validity of this data.

Based on this one statement, the researcher could have just hired some unemployed Enron accountants to do the study.

And based on the average pay of a typical game developer (for iOS at least), I'd think twice about investing my time and money in the programming field. Sanitary engineers make more money than programmers, so maybe people should think about engineering instead of wasting their time trying to make money for big corporations. There's no shame in shoveling shit if you can at least get a guaranteed minimum wage from it.

Re:Disclaimer says it all (2)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37564490)

And based on the average pay of a typical game developer (for iOS at least), I'd think twice about investing my time and money in the programming field. Sanitary engineers make more money than programmers, so maybe people should think about engineering instead of wasting their time trying to make money for big corporations. There's no shame in shoveling shit if you can at least get a guaranteed minimum wage from it.

You're clearly not a programmer.

1) Most mobile game developers aren't stupid enough to quit their day job to do it, at least until they hit the big time.

2) These people are the types who enjoy programming for its own sake. Developing games is fun (in fact developing even "boring" productivity apps can be fun, but games are more fun to test :p ). Shovelling shit isn't much fun.

3) Most of these developers are not working for "big corporations", they're self employed.

You can continue to keep your time and money to yourself. The rest of us are happy to enjoy programming even if you don't understand.

Disclaimer: I do get paid to do development, in the engineering/oil industry. No, I don't often write games. When I have I've released them for free, including the source.

Re:Disclaimer says it all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564916)

1) Most mobile game developers aren't stupid enough to quit their day job to do it, at least until they hit the big time.

What's this "until"? It should read 'if' a BIG 'if' as in they have the same chance as winning the lottery.

Re:Disclaimer says it all (4, Funny)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37565488)

I see you aren't a programmer either. Until is a conditional too. As in

until (programmer.hobby_income >= enough_to_survive_on) or programmer.is_dead
{
          programmer.make_games_for_fun();
}

Seems Reasonable Given Fraction of Great Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564254)

I buy a fair number of iOS games for my children, and the solid majority of games are dreck. On the other hand, there are so many games that there are also many good and even great games. Just yesterday I downloaded a Disney game about a showering alligator which is actually pretty educational about hydraulics, obviously a large investment in time and money by Disney and worthy of earning a ton of money.

If you get into iOS game development thinking you will just automagically earn a decent living, you are mistaken. You will do well if you write exceptional products and spend as much time marketing as coding. Otherwise prepare to never lift out of obscurity.

Re:Seems Reasonable Given Fraction of Great Games (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37564438)

Disney seem to make good games. Toy Story 2 and 3 were favourites of mine especially. The earlier platform stuff like Lion King, Aladdin and Herculese were also good. They're one of the few companies that actually seems to get it right when doing a movie to game conversion..

Re:Seems Reasonable Given Fraction of Great Games (2)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#37565188)

Just yesterday I downloaded a Disney game about a showering alligator which is actually pretty educational about hydraulics, obviously a large investment in time and money by Disney and worthy of earning a ton of money.

I LOVE that showering alligator game!!.... er, I mean, my children love that game!... aw crap this is /. we know no one here will ever breed.... yeah, it's me, simple 99 cent game, levels take less than 30 seconds with little thought required. Sometimes I like dumb simple games, and with 3,000+ 5-star reviews I figured what the hell why not? Think the game's called where's my water.

Need more Agile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564264)

Well if they made more Agile games...

So (2, Insightful)

Kuruk (631552) | about 3 years ago | (#37564266)

A third of all the kids play the top 1% of iOS games.

I play PC games. Give me a call when you make a decent one. That is what phones are for.

Re:So (2)

MacTO (1161105) | about 3 years ago | (#37564360)

Of course many of those iOS games are going to be better than the PC games kids played in the 80's.

Re:So (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37564668)

I'll assume you meant "home computer games" rather than PC games, since PCs were more used for business than games in the 80s.. so not exactly a fair comparison.

When you start to take into account late 80s and 90s home computer/console games, modern day phone gaming is blown away. In fact forget late 80s and 90s - I'd seriously rather play text-based adventures over the mobile games I've played so far. I was born in 1983 in case you're wondering.

80s/90s style point'n'click adventure games are perfect for touchscreen devices. They're one genre where tablets would have a chance to really shine. I see Tales Of Monkey Island was released for iOS, that's a start. Would have been nice if they released for Android too, though I already completed it on PS3.

These days I mostly play first/third person shooters and racing games btw, I'm not just an story-based-adventure junky. But I think that shooters and racing games using tilt suck. Racing games are best with either a proper fixed-in-place steering wheel, or a joystick. Tilting is lame.

Re:So (0)

maxume (22995) | about 3 years ago | (#37565084)

I'm pretty sure PC stopped referring to a single platform sometime since 1985.

Re:So (0)

jedidiah (1196) | about 3 years ago | (#37565230)

Were you computing then? Then STFU.

An Atari user would be insulted by the idea. An Atari user is being insulted by the idea.

Try 1995 and you might be onto something. Although by then other platforms were close to dying out completely (including MacOS too).

Re:So (1)

maxume (22995) | about 3 years ago | (#37565286)

I didn't say in 1985, I said sometime since then. An example of sometime since 1985 would be 1995.

Thanks for the bile.

Re:So (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37565514)

1995 is after the 80s though. I was saying that in the 80s there wasn't a big IBM PC gaming scene compared to all these other home computers.

Re:So (1)

maxume (22995) | about 3 years ago | (#37565620)

Sure, but deleting that entire paragraph doesn't really change your comment; my point was more that there was no need for an aside pointing out that you were assuming that MacTO was using present day usage.

Re:So (1)

icebraining (1313345) | about 3 years ago | (#37565216)

80s/90s style point'n'click adventure games are perfect for touchscreen devices. They're one genre where tablets would have a chance to really shine. I see Tales Of Monkey Island was released for iOS, that's a start. Would have been nice if they released for Android too, though I already completed it on PS3.

Apparently the ScummVM was also ported, so there should be a nice bunch of games ready to be played. Beneath a Steel Sky should work nicely.

Re:So (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37565536)

Beneath A Steel Skye was actually released as an app for the iPad (my flatmate has it). The rest will be available on ScummVM yes, but I think more developers should make new point'n'click style games for all these touchscreen devices. I found this [androidpimps.com] while Googling earlier. Flash does make sense for 2D point'n'click games, though I'd imagine ScummVM makes things even easier since it's specifically designed for them.

Re:So (1)

jeremyp (130771) | about 3 years ago | (#37565246)

A PC is a "personal computer". Back in the early 80's, we had a PC: it was a Commodore Pet.

Anyhow, I have a Commodore 64 emulator on my iPod. It probably has to be throttled to run at the right speed and the games on it, some of which I remember, are really poor by today's iOS standards.

Re:So (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37565586)

I'm quite aware that all home computers, phones, graphic calculators, etc could be referred to as "personal computers", and I know that makes sense, but it's simply not common usage. PC has meant "IBM PC compatible/derivative" for a long time. Witness the "I'm a Mac / and I'm a PC" adverts. Even in my Mac and Amiga days, I didn't refer to them as PCs. I referred to them as Macs and Amigas, or computers.

Re:So (3, Interesting)

Kjella (173770) | about 3 years ago | (#37564450)

A third of all the kids play the top 1% of iOS games.

I play PC games. Give me a call when you make a decent one. That is what phones are for.

I play Angry Birds and the other 1% top games on my iPhone and just finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution on max difficulty on my PC, I don't see the big contradiction in that. The games on my phone are to pass time, I'm not expecting a huge game experience for $1 and I don't think the small screen and touch interfaces could provide one either. It's just there in my pocket every time I got 5 minutes to waste and I just grab something from the top 25 - sometimes top 100 - because they're probably decent then. Usually I go straight for the pay games with no in-game payments, because freemiums and those that try to milk you through in-game stores are plain annoying. The only frustrating thing is that Apple's icons are plain fraudulent, there are apps with in-game stores and purchases yet don't carry the "+" sign in the store like the Mighty Eagle in Angry Birds. I don't mind that they do, just be honest about it. Apple should just block any app that doesn't carry that sign from calling any purchasing API at all.

You're mistaken (5, Informative)

shunnicutt (561059) | about 3 years ago | (#37565036)

Actually, the plus symbol has nothing to do with in-app purchases. It denotes universal apps -- apps which will run on the iPhone or iPod Touch as well as the iPad.

Re:So (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564642)

I play PC games, PS3 games, Wii games, 3(DS) games, PSP games, AND iOS games. It's called being a gamer. A true gamer seeks out anything of quality, and if you think there is nothing of quality on iOS platforms that just means one thing: you haven't looked. I could sit here and list the literally hundreds of games on my iTouch right now, but that wouldn't do any good 'cause you're stuck in your world of bias, gaming on one platform and not caring about the others. You're limiting yourself to be a *true* casual gamer, one that only casually cares and lets your biases get in the way of the rest of the millions of gaming opportunities out there. I'll leave you with two games that are worth everyone's time that are available only on mobile platforms, two vastly different experiences, one catering to "hardcore" gamers, the other to those that just want something to play on the bus. Those two games are Infinity Blade, and Cut the Rope. If you say these are bad games you are a poor judge of quality, and if you say they are the only ones that don't suck, go search the App Store right now. I was like you, thinking mobile gaming on phones and iDevices was a bunch of crappy Angry Birds style cheap-ass games getting popular on brand recognition. Then I actually got an iTouch and looked and saw a whole new world open up to me. Do yourself a favor and stop being so ignorant and closed-minded. It's true in life and it's true in gaming.

Re:So (0)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | about 3 years ago | (#37564926)

I play PC games. Give me a call when you make a decent one. That is what phones are for.

Bull! PCs are for balancing check books and storing recipes. Buy Pong or head to your local arcade if you want games.

Re:So (1)

iamhassi (659463) | about 3 years ago | (#37565258)

Bull! PCs are for balancing check books and storing recipes. Buy Pong or head to your local arcade if you want games.

wow! Lol I had forgotten that's what they would advertise home computers for in the 80s. Man that takes me back... and to all of you not over 40, in the early and mid 80s most ads would show the main benefit of a $3,000 (closer to $6k in today's money) home computer is that it can balance the check book or (to get wives interested) store cooking recipes. Wow we have come a long way.

Re:So (1)

Jappus (1177563) | about 3 years ago | (#37565446)

wow! Lol I had forgotten that's what they would advertise home computers for in the 80s. Man that takes me back... and to all of you not over 40, in the early and mid 80s most ads would show the main benefit of a $3,000 (closer to $6k in today's money) home computer is that it can balance the check book or (to get wives interested) store cooking recipes. Wow we have come a long way.

Actually, as far as storing recipes is concerned, Apple is still using exactly the same advertisement for the iPad. So much for coming a long way and that "nothing will ever be the same again"! (Or whatever slogan they use in the USA, as I'm hailing in from Germany and am currently too lazy to check.)

Is anyone actually surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564276)

Sounds like life as we know it in every other field. Did someone think this market was somehow outside of the realm of the rules for the "free" market?

Solution? (2)

Tailhook (98486) | about 3 years ago | (#37564314)

App tax! Make the top third pay their fair share.

That probably makes sense.... (1)

robbak (775424) | about 3 years ago | (#37564404)

If the top one percent paid 34.33...%, the bottom 80% could probably take home 100%.

Re:That probably makes sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564456)

This isn't a good idea.. it would not promote innovation - good apps are not rewarded for been good apps.

Re:That probably makes sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564532)

The reward would be that they are taking home a lion's share of the profits from the app store.

Re:That probably makes sense.... (0)

ScentCone (795499) | about 3 years ago | (#37565424)

Why should 80% of the people pay no income taxes on their income? Isn't it bad enough that half the people in the country currently pay no income taxes on their income, but still get to vote on how much to tax the small minority of people who actually pay the bill? What kind of civil society is that? It's one thing to have a really bad year and end up paying no income taxes. It's another thing to make a permanent structural system in which one half of the country gets to place a tax on the other half (mostly on a small percentage of the other half) while skipping out on it themselves.

By the way: if you taxed everyone that makes $1 million a year at a rate of 100% (confiscating ALL of their income) it wouldn't even close the federal budget deficit through April of a given year. In other words, your conjecture about the top 1% and 34.33% tax rate is wildly, wildly off base. And yet it's notions like that that are used to fuel "raise the taxes on those Eeeeevil rich people" nonsense. If you really think that you can make the budget work without debt, and send some number of people in the country home without paying any taxes, then you need to include people making $37k in your list of Eeeeevil people that need to be more heavily taxed. You know, those rich people making $37k a year an up.

See? When you say that someone else should pay the taxes, not you, be careful what you wish for. Do the math, and find that you're likely on that list yourself.

Re:That probably makes sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565584)

I think he was referring to Apple's "tax" of a flat rate 30%. That by raising the "tax" to 34.33% on the best selling apps, then the back room developers that only sell a couple of hundred $ worth could take home 100% of their revenue (minus real taxes).

But perhaps you should stop reading a tech website and start reading a economics / politics website as you obviously have some issues you want to discuss.

Re:That probably makes sense.... (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 3 years ago | (#37565612)

The world view he's expressing applies in both arenas, hence my comment.

Re:Solution? (5, Interesting)

bit trollent (824666) | about 3 years ago | (#37564452)

Every app developer pays Apple 30%.

That's alot more than can be said about our federal tax laws which are more like a record of bribery and scams than a rational tax code.

Google dodges taxes using techniques known as the "Double Irish" and the "Dutch Sandwich" to reduce its tax rate to 2.4 percent.

citation provided [bloomberg.com]

My kingdom for a mod point (3, Interesting)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 years ago | (#37565116)

More to the point, app developers pay 30% on their GROSS RECEIPTS. If the US switched to a gross receipts tax rather than an income (personal) or profit (corporate) tax, many of the loopholes and dodges would disappear entirely and a flat rate would likely be in the single-digit percentages.

Re:Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565254)

Google dodges taxes using techniques known as the "Double Irish" and the "Dutch Sandwich"

Well-known positions in the kama sutra

Re:Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565368)

You know that those rich people you want to tax more, will just make more trust funds, move more offshore, and make more corporate expenses?

Stop punishing the TINY businesses that get lumped into the same tax brackets you jackass. 3% gross cost me healthcare.

Re:Solution? (0)

ScentCone (795499) | about 3 years ago | (#37565472)

more than can be said about our federal tax laws which are more like a record of bribery and scams

It's true. The left has used bribery (in the form of letting half of the people in the country PAY NO INCOME TAXES) to buy votes, requiring instead only a small minority to do all of that, instead. That is indeed irrational. The half of the population that is exempt from income taxes still get to vote and tax other people, but they don't have to materially participate in providing the funds they're telling other people how to raise (from someone else!) and spend. Well, other than recieving it in the form of "rebates" on incomes taxes they don't even pay. Half of the country. Half.

Re:Solution? (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37564638)

Seems like it would be fairer. Why should the bottom dwellers who are hardly deriving any of the benefit of Apple's distribution network have to pay the same percentage as a wildly successful app that tops all the searches?

Re:Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565404)

This makes sense, they could use the money they save on marketing or making an app that doesn't suck.

Re:Solution? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | about 3 years ago | (#37565504)

Why should the bottom dwellers who are hardly deriving any of the benefit of Apple's distribution network have to pay the same percentage as a wildly successful app that tops all the searches?

Right! Punish the successful people, and reward those who are less creative, less innovative, and who didn't have as compelling an idea and see it through to completion. That is a terrific model, and we should use it nation-wide. You'll definitely get more innovation and creativity and economic activity if you punish it - works every time!

Ugh. Are you listening to yourself?

Re:Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564688)

oh, like the way servers (waiters) will pool their tips? Look, that might be a good idea if Apple wants an ecosystem developers are attracted to live in: the possibility of making it big and spreading the tips, or, more likely, making it moderately and receiving a bit of tips.

I would say that is not a bad goal for America to have.

And before you say that the tip analogy is flawed because it is "extra", realize that in a lot of places the actual wage a server (waiter) earns might as well be $0, it is so low (less than a couple bucks an hour).

Re:Solution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564690)

Beautiful.

Extra! Extra! (3, Insightful)

EdZ (755139) | about 3 years ago | (#37564340)

80% of IOS (and android) games/apps are rubbish and nobody wants to waste money on them.
In other news, the sky is blue and water is wet.

Re:Extra! Extra! (1)

binkzz (779594) | about 3 years ago | (#37564380)

I agree. I think 80% is a low estimate. A lot of games on android are copies of existing games with changed graphics. Some companies churn out the same game several times a day with slightly altered graphics in the hope of catching more revenue. It's awful.

Re:Extra! Extra! (1)

Darfeld (1147131) | about 3 years ago | (#37564460)

maybe, but it works...well enough. When you just have to reskin a game, production's costs go down that much. And you don't have to sell the reskin as well as the first version for it to be profitable.

Re:Extra! Extra! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564732)

The problem is that that make lots of shit is a more reliable income than make something that's good.

Every time a gamer or reviewer says, "Well make a better game then." they show their ignorance of the business.

Sound familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564352)

That top 1% should be punished for the gifts they've lucked into and be forced to redistribute their wealth to the other 99%. It's just not fair.

Re:Sound familiar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565496)

They already do, Apple takes a share of their profits and uses it to support the infrastructure that benefits all iOS developers. Sound familiar?

This isn't too different from traditional software (1)

rolfwind (528248) | about 3 years ago | (#37564366)

In videogames, developers have long depended on the hits for both profit and paying for the other titles. Each title is a calculated gamble, and if you lose, well, you just move on to the next one.

It's sad for the small developer who puts heart, soul, and savings into a single title, but they should be told that going in, they only have a 1 in 5 chance of just breaking even, let alone squeezing out a profit for all their trouble.

Re:This isn't too different from traditional softw (1)

joh (27088) | about 3 years ago | (#37564520)

In videogames, developers have long depended on the hits for both profit and paying for the other titles. Each title is a calculated gamble, and if you lose, well, you just move on to the next one.

It's sad for the small developer who puts heart, soul, and savings into a single title, but they should be told that going in, they only have a 1 in 5 chance of just breaking even, let alone squeezing out a profit for all their trouble.

But this is not exactly a random gamble, you know. While you surely need some luck, someone putting his heart and soul and knowledge into an iOS app/game has a much better chance to get some decent earnings out of it than the average clueless programmer. There are lots and lots of apps and games that nobody buys because they very plainly aren't worth a penny. And the apps that sell really well usually deserve it.

As far as software titles go, iOS easily is the most level playing field in existence yet.

Re:This isn't too different from traditional softw (4, Interesting)

MrAngryForNoReason (711935) | about 3 years ago | (#37564700)

iOS easily is the most level playing field in existence yet.

Except the App store is the only playing field of iOS and it isn't as level as you seem to think. Apps that get promoted by Apple within the store get a massive increase in sales, often propelling them into the top 10 / top 50. Top 10 / top 50 apps are naturally bought a lot more than others so they tend to stay in the top charts. Apps that don't get promotion by Apple languish in the depths of the App Store.

This wouldn't be such an issue if the App Store was organised better with better categories, or filters instead of having to endlessly hit "show me more" to get another screen of icons with no real info about what the game is. At the moment the order of apps is based on a combination of sales and star rating which wouldn't be so bad if the star ratings weren't so misleading (obligatory xkcd [xkcd.com] ).

Re:This isn't too different from traditional softw (1)

somersault (912633) | about 3 years ago | (#37564678)

I don't think the odds are 1 in 5 for individual developers considering how much crap is out there. The odds are dependent on how good they make the game. It's still possible for a good game to be overlooked, but considering how awful most mobile games are, I don't think it's very likely that it would be as long as a little time and effort is spent polishing it.

Clearly, this is a racist institution. (-1, Offtopic)

Loopy (41728) | about 3 years ago | (#37564370)

What else could explain the vast disparity in incomes between the super rich and the poor? This situation appears to be in dire need of legislation to resolve these egregious inequities.

*cough*

Sorry, bit of a hairball, there.

One percent? I was expecting one, period... (1)

shish (588640) | about 3 years ago | (#37564488)

Speaking as an android user who only ever sees iphones in the hands of friends, does it have any apps other than Angry Birds? :-P

(I really am curious -- I'd put money on that being the top selling app, and I can't think of anything else that seems anywhere near as popular)

Re:One percent? I was expecting one, period... (1)

Surt (22457) | about 3 years ago | (#37564646)

I'm pretty sure I saw someone using it for pseudo-gps navigation once.

Re:One percent? I was expecting one, period... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37564762)

Other popular apps apparently include phone calls, SMS, a picture gallery and an Internet browser. To be fair, I don't know how many people has ever seen me using real apps on my Android phone. I use some app but usually not when speaking with friends.

Re:One percent? I was expecting one, period... (3, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | about 3 years ago | (#37565072)

It is wildly popular - you only have to look at Apple's in-store lists where you can list the top 20 apps by revenue - a year or so after TomTom satnav came out it was holding second place as the highest revenue generator (it sold for £60 initially in the UK store) with the number one being Angry Birds (at £0.59).

I think pretty much everyone buys it, because it is a very fun game that is easy to pick up and put down - it's pretty much the sweet spot for a mobile game. Certainly other games have managed that, but none have been quite as successful as Angry Birds.

As of today, in the UK store Angry Birds is number 4:

1. Fifa 12 (EA)
2. WhatsApp Messenger (WhatsApp inc) [cross platform messenger system for iOS/Android/BB]
3. Where's My Water (Disney)
4. Angry Birds
5. Flick Champions
6. World of Goo HD

Re:One percent? I was expecting one, period... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565336)

Speaking as an iPhone user do Android phones even have apps? I've never seen anyone use apps on their android, whenever friends show me their Android phones they're too busy waxing on about the 52" screen or 100mp camera or whatever while I'm showing them trinity blade or order and chaos. Seriously someone should make apps for android, I bet it could run something simple like pong, or at least some of them could, I forgot how fragmented android phones are, only a few are decent and the rest don't have enough processing power for Hello World. Good thing iPhones aren't like that, my 2009 3GS still runs all the latest games, no 2009 Android phone could say that.

Re:One percent? I was expecting one, period... (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | about 3 years ago | (#37565464)

Actually there is a load of really good games on iOS much more than on Android, and generally the games are way more polished. The problem simply is that they are drowned in a myriad of shovelware and ripoffs of other games.
I have about 40-50 games I consider to be really good on the Ipad, but once I am done with this list the new interesting stuff to be found becomes thin.
About 1-2 games per month slighly catch my attention and about 1 every three months I consider worth to be bought.

Heartless Billionaire One-Percenter (1)

zackly (2469836) | about 3 years ago | (#37564640)

*Admires Grover Norquist and Steve Jobs portraits on mantle*

From the comments on that page (0)

goose-incarnated (1145029) | about 3 years ago | (#37565008)

All the commentators seem to be saying the saying the same thing - "YAY! If I work harder I'll be in the top 20%" :-)

Hilarious.

Re:From the comments on that page (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565356)

In the back of their minds, everyone knows that they are unlikely to to make the top 20%, even with their hard work. But, the possibility exists. There is a chance. Somebody has to be in the top 20% and it could be me.

It's about the opportunity. Now if you remove that opportunity, whats the point. Why work, much less work harder, if there will be no opportunity for success. Additionally, why work harder to achieve the top 20% when, if you get there, it will be stripped from you by the government/rabble?

Re:From the comments on that page (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565608)

Additionally, why work harder to achieve the top 20% when, if you get there, it will be stripped from you by the government/rabble

Because while the anti-taxers are throwing their petulant little temper tantrums, someone else is doing the $10 worth of work for $7 gain. Meanwhile, yet someone else is doing the $2000000 worth of work for $1200000 gain and getting rich.

Actually, I suspect that the vast majority of the whiners complaining that they refuse to work any harder because they won't get rich fast enough are actually working as hard as they can to get rich as fast as they can, and that they're just lying about acting like little whiny malfeasant toddlers.

Re:From the comments on that page (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 3 years ago | (#37565592)

That's exactly what the officials at the rat race are trying to get all the contestants to think. What the contestants fail to notice is that if you win the rat race, all you get is to be chief rat for a little while.

For example, if everybody works harder and tries to come up with great apps, then more apps will sell, so Apple's 30% becomes a bigger chunk of change, all without Apple having to lift a finger.

This certainly shouldn't surprise anyone (1)

jonnythan (79727) | about 3 years ago | (#37565334)

This is not at all unusual. The best 1% of people at something are enormously better at that something than the average. This applies to virtually everything. The top 1% of NFL players make a large portion of overall money, and the only reason it's not higher is because of salary caps. The top 1% of money-makers in the US earn something like 15% of all the money.

Stratified Elite or Meritocracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37565486)

Clearly, those with all the capital are exploiting the others. We need to redistribute the wealth to all app developers by nationalizing the App Store. Viva la Fart App.

Statstically meaningless, but likely correct (1)

laird (2705) | about 3 years ago | (#37565556)

The methodology he used (asking people to volunteer to take the survey) means that, as he quite rightly says, the results aren't statistically valid. So they certainly don't prove anything. In particular, broadcasting a survey and asking people to take it doesn't ensure that the people that take the survey are representative of the developer population - they could (for example) be more likely to be non-commercial developers, because the commercial developers might not be allowed by their employers to share informatiom like this. And so on.

That being said, it's not all all surprising that a tiny percentage of 'hits' would be responsible for the mzjority of the revenue, as that's true in many businesses. For example, in music the top 2% of music makes enough money to pay for the other 98% that loses money. Book publishers similarly lose money on most books, paid for by the 'hits'. Pharmaceutical companies lose money on almost all of their research, but the 'hits' pay for everything. VC's lose money on the large majority of their startups, and the 'wins' pay for everything. Most videogames lose money, paid for by the big hits. I think that it's a natural dynamic in any creative field where you're creating something new, rather than a commoditized business - you are taking a risk, and most of the time it doesn't pay off, but when it does it's huge, making the risk worthwhile. And in all of those markets it's something like 1-2% of hits that generate all of the real money.

There's also a dynamic in the market that once something 'breaks out' it accellerates. For example, when an album 'breaks out' by hitting a certain success level that gets it attention, it starts getting more promotion, it shows up in best seller lists, etc., giving it wider exposure and thus more sales. And in the iTunes store, when something starts doing well it gets better placement, reviewers write about it, etc., all of which drive up sales.

So between the two, you end up with a huge pool of new games/songs/... trying to make it, and the occasional breakout that moves up to the top tier and becomes a hit. It makes it all exciting!

Why is this news? (1)

misterye (260449) | about 3 years ago | (#37565568)

Compared to the console and PC gaming world I would imagine the disparity there to be even greater than this. EA, Take Two Interactive, Nintendo, Capcom, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, Sega, Sony, etc are likely the top 0.01% when it comes to developers and probably take in almost all the (it's too damned early for me to actually do the research, sorry). The important difference here is that in iOS, as of now, the top 1% is only taking in 30% and that those developers are made up of a far greater number of indie studios.

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