Apple ending the App Store Affiliates Program sort of shows how iOS/Mobile gaming is evolving as a whole.
It’s so hard for premium games or ports from other platforms to make a worthwhile dint vs the F2P & shovelware that comes out nowadays. Mobile a few years ago felt like a really exiting horizon and part of an evolution of what the GameBoy used to fulfil. The Goldrush days for premium games on iOS seem to be over now however for all but a few select developers. Even then, front page promotion can be make or break for small studios. Apple still doesn’t really care about these experiences over grabbing a percentage and having a flashy graphical demo they can wheel out every so often on a keynote. Curation and promotion are still as big a problem as they ever were.
Touch Arcade reporting and content has mostly pivoted away from more thoughtful pieces towards a swarth of positive reviews of shallow F2P games and less deep reporting or critical pieces. Touch Arcade have said this is because it’s what gets clicks. This is the content people want. And I 100% believe them. It’s reflected in the App Store as well. Apple only caring about their own promotion and curation of their market place doesn’t surprise me. Of course they want that control.
There’s a huge market for ‘gaming’ on mobile. It just no longer sync’s up with what older, more traditional gamers expect for the most part. F2P, Gatcha & Paid Advertising experiences don’t need to be written about or scored in the same way as larger, story based/premium games. If everything is surface deep, there’s nothing to dive into and discuss anymore.
As 2018 rolls on, Touch Arcade has probably become a relic itself of the market it chose to report on as gaming on mobile evolves.