Last year, Edge published an article titled “How Clones, Fear, Sanitisation and Free-to-Play Soured Apple’s iOS Gaming Revolution”. With the exception of a few bright spots, the article painted the App Store as a place that indie games go to die and fretted that clones and free-to-play titles were choking off any hope of innovation on the platform. Less than a year later, innovative games are still arriving for iPhone and iPad. Are things still heading the wrong way or have rumors of the death of iOS gaming been greatly exaggerated?
There is little doubt that problems on the app store persist, but the iOS ecosystem is making progress. A case could be made that 2014 was the platform’s strongest year ever from a creative standpoint. “I’d say there are more good games on iOS than there ever have been,” says Matt Myer, one of the designers of Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure. Evidence of the burgeoning creativity in the mobile space comes in part from the multiple Independent Games Festival award nominations given to mobile games this year.