Future iOS Trends Game Designers Should Watch For

Facebook will become more pervasive on mobile devices, and iOS game developers need to compete with it (or work with it) for attention. Acquisition costs will continue to rise, benefiting big publishers and making it harder for indie developers. The iPad will increasingly become a hard-core gamer platform, especially for RTS and MMO games. Location-based gaming, which uses a unique strength of the iOS, will become increasingly popular. Don’t expect many future iOS games to use an old-school D-pad, which is going the way of the dinosaur.

China already has the biggest audience for iOS games, but Western designers need to know how to navigate and appeal to that market: Chinese players not only like to buy game power-ups and enhancements, they brag about them. Western social media integration doesn’t work in China, since Twitter and Facebook are blocked. Be sure to avoid the “Who the hell is King Arthur?” problem by creating games with universal themes that Chinese gamers can relate to.

See Chapter 14, “Future Trends and Opportunities for iOS Gaming,” for more information.

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