Consider this when choosing a platform for your game

Written by Petri Pekkarinen

This morning I read a great post by Michael Todd about how the game development scene is getting really crowded. It’s indeed a known fact for us too that the while being very easy to access the mobile game market is super crowded, with hundreds and hundreds of apps being released daily. In addition to Michael’s insights, I thought I’d share some points you can consider when starting your next game and choosing the right platform in terms of visibility.

Is mobile the place to be?

We have literally tried our luck on mobile with a couple of games. With all we’ve learned during the last year we can now easily say that those games didn’t stand a chance to begin with. We have since shifted our focus on making a game for PC and console gamers, as they are an audience we better know and understand. And what we don’t yet know, we are more determined to learn.

The current and future potential of mobile is of course undeniable. Even with all the competition, it is still possible to make a success there with a clear vision, even limited resources, but most importantly the acceptance of the many challenges involved. But like any business or industry, mobile game development has it’s on set of pros and cons that you must consider before and during your game development efforts.

What about PC and consoles?

After rambling about mobile, I want you to consider the following picture:

I have no idea whether the numbers presented are in any way accurate, but I believe the ratio is somewhat true. Outside mobile Steam is probably the most crowded platform with easier access than ever through Greenlight and Early Access. The above picture also probably reflects how easy or difficult it is, especially for indies, to gain developer access to said platforms. Because if you look at the numbers, it does not take a statistical genius to say that getting exposure for your games is best with the next-gen consoles. The process of developing anything on these platforms is however a bit more complicated than releasing your game on mobile, but both Microsoft and Sony have been warming to indies planning on developing on those next-gen devices.

So while any approach on a certain platform may take time, it is worth the time and resources when you are determined and know that your game is right at home with them. Among the big players there can also be surprising potential on any small and “unsexy” gaming platforms now and in the future.

How can I choose?

So whether you are doing games for PC, any of the older or newer consoles, Apple Watch or the navigator in your dad’s car, in the end it comes to only a few key things:

  • have passion for your craft and chosen path, be it business, market or a single game/product
  • recognize and be ready for opportunities that won’t conflict with the previous
  • make something you know you can, only then consider stretching your skills in order to take it a lot further.

Of course you can and should consider multiple platforms. Just make sure your game works and is well received on all of them, do not make it available on a platform just because. Also consider testing it out on one platform and then moving on to others when you have better knowledge what you need to change or improve.

Have a nice weekend!