Mac App Store

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Post: #61
There are two things here:
- distribution
- "app featuring"

I'm not suggesting that the distribution part is anti-competitive at all, in fact I've said all along that I believe we benefit from that.

The "featuring" part is where it all goes wrong, I believe. I disagree that one can make the argument that "well, Apple isn't forcing anyone to participate in their system", because the inevitable price depression will affect the entire personal computer software industry. To what extent? We do not know, but if it's anything like on iOS, it isn't going to be pretty.

"Apple aren't forcing prices down at all, just letting devs decide."

I disagree with that. Apple is in fact fostering an environment in which they know full well that the best way for developers to be noticed is to lower their unit prices. Further, it might be possible to argue that it is in Apple's best interest for software prices to be low, for whatever reason (e.g. ad revenue), and if that is the case, then that is clearly anti-competitive. At the very least it is a conflict of interest.

I don't think this is as clear-cut basic capitalism as it seems.
I'd like to add: I'm not trying to shake my fist in the air and accuse Apple of being anti-competitive.

Apple can be called many things, but not dumb, that's for sure. You can bet your farm that they've considered every conceivable trade and legal angle on all of this (and political too -- Obama met with Jobs just the other day). That is why I think we might see federal legislation come out of this -- because there probably exists nothing to cover this situation. At the very least there will be lots of business college theses written about this in the next couple of years.

And like you, many will argue that "it's just basic capitalism, get over it." Maybe that is the correct point of view too, I don't know. What I *do* know is that there is a good chance our software prices are going to suffer, perhaps even severely, because of this move by Apple, unless Apple does something about it, and it's hard not to feel motivated to speak up about this.
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Post: #62
As mentioned earlier in this thread, host only FREE "Demo/Lite" version on AppStore as a channel to build awareness from a "search, category, and find-ability perspective." Have a clickable image stating "Check out our other games" as they play and finish the demo. Apple shouldn't restrict a developer from utilizing ad space to promote other products of theirs. The developer's "other" products would be "sequels" to the game, but in reality they are ultimately the "full/gold" version.

Now, this approach will clearly not grant your app to grace Apple's "New and Noteworthy" sections due to manipulating Apple's system, but it will push traffic to your site :-P

You can also "require" sign-in to the game using your own account registration system. Through this system you can have a payment system. This also gives you access to growing a fan base and having your customer's e-mail to directly market your future games to.

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Post: #63
(Oct 27, 2010 01:31 PM)gatti Wrote:  As mentioned earlier in this thread, host only FREE "Demo/Lite" version on AppStore as a channel to build awareness from a "search, category, and find-ability perspective." Have a clickable image stating "Check out our other games" as they play and finish the demo. Apple shouldn't restrict a developer from utilizing ad space to promote other products of theirs. The developer's "other" products would be "sequels" to the game, but in reality they are ultimately the "full/gold" version.

According to "Mac App Store Review Guidelines" - "2. Functionality" - "2.1":

Apps that are "beta", "demo", "trial", or "test" versions will be rejected

This might conflict with your proposed idea.
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Post: #64
I just read through all of the guidelines. Many things point out to me as being very ugly. They are ultimately policing apps and forcing developers to walk in a straight line.

Here are some examples:

2.1 Apps that crash will be rejected
(This means no Microsoft apps :-P)

2.5 Apps that use non-public APIs will be rejected
(This means no private APIs? Why is this enforced?)

2.6 Apps that are "beta", "demo", "trial", or "test" versions will be rejected
(I guess as long as the app states "FREE" or "LITE", that's all the developer needs to do.That's the way they get around it on iOS.)

2.7 Apps that duplicate apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them
(Does this mean that only a certain amount of apps can be Chess games?)

2.8 Apps that are not very useful or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
(Isn't that a matter of opinion?)

2.21 Apps may not use update mechanisms outside of the App Store
(This is expected, but not beneficial to customers in any respect.)

11.1 Apps portraying realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured will be rejected
(That should mean that realistic FPS games with people or animals getting shot would be rejected. Games like CoD or hunting game would not be allowed, correct? We all know that this will not be enforced.)

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Post: #65
(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  2.1 Apps that crash will be rejected
(This means no Microsoft apps :-P)

LOLLOL

This makes me wonder how on earth we are ever going to be able to test on all supported Macs and then how they will test on all supported Macs.

(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  2.5 Apps that use non-public APIs will be rejected
(This means no private APIs? Why is this enforced?)

Because they don't want developers to be using an API that they don't support, and hence may very well break the app if Apple updates the OS, or worse, may even crash the users' machines.

(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  2.7 Apps that duplicate apps already in the App Store may be rejected, particularly if there are many of them
(Does this mean that only a certain amount of apps can be Chess games?)

That's a really darn good question! I think their intention is to be able to stop blatant copy-cat software like everyone wanting to get rich off a fart app. I take special note that they say "may" before the rejected part.
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Post: #66
(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  2.21 Apps may not use update mechanisms outside of the App Store
(This is expected, but not beneficial to customers in any respect.)
I imagine that two update services will collide pretty easily if they don't have knowledge of the other, seems to make sense to me.

Quote:2.8 Apps that are not very useful or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
(Isn't that a matter of opinion?)
When you want to shoot something, make sure you have a big-ass shotgun. (Translation: This is that blanket shotgun for whatever Apple thinks of in it's black box.)

Quote:11.1 Apps portraying realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured will be rejected
(That should mean that realistic FPS games with people or animals getting shot would be rejected. Games like CoD or hunting game would not be allowed, correct? We all know that this will not be enforced.)

Agreed, seems like a "Cover My Ass" clause to me.

As a side note, I have a feeling that episodic natured games are going to rise with the price drops.
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Post: #67
(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  2.5 Apps that use non-public APIs will be rejected
(This means no private APIs? Why is this enforced?)

Because if it were not enforced and apps used certain SPIs, Apple would be forced to support said SPIs, with their current behaviors, forever, however hard that may be.

Every single public API is a burden that must be supported essentially forever. That's a decision not taken lightly. It's certainly not a decision to give to every single developer of every single app.

Conversely, if Apple wanted to expose certain functionality in such a way that developers could rely on it, they would create a public API.

Quote:2.8 Apps that are not very useful or do not provide any lasting entertainment value may be rejected
(Isn't that a matter of opinion?)

Isn't the whole thing? Hasn't it always been?

Quote:2.21 Apps may not use update mechanisms outside of the App Store
(This is expected, but not beneficial to customers in any respect.)

Again, this comes back to Apple's guarantees. By curating the app store, they take SOME responsibility for these apps. They take responsibility for the apps continuing to work in future OS releases (see above), and they take responsibility for checking that the app is not nefarious, among other things. An external update mechanism is a way for a developer to turn a harmless app into a nefarious one without going via Apple's curation, and that's not good for anyone.
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Post: #68
I found this pretty interesting: http://www.marco.org/1432156914

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Nibbie
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Post: #69
I'm a mac software developer who distributes his apps as shareware. And I thought, when Steve announced the Mac Appstore, that for normal apps it's not that great at all. There are good ways to distribute Mac apps already and the established payment processors don't take anywhere near 30%. Users know where to find cool Mac apps and how to buy them.

But for games it looks a little bit different. I have no idea where I can find Mac games and a gamer is not likely to accept the common procedure of buying shareware. Also the known software directory sites are not really game-oriented. Who likes to browse for games on a business-styled website? Wink

The app store will most likely be an indie version of Steam on the Mac with a freakin low entry barrier (compared to Steam). Where people will have access to a huge directory of moderately priced games. (I guess prices for games will be between $4.95 and $9.95 .)

As a game developer on the Mac I'm happy about the app store. As an application developer I'm not that hyped.
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Post: #70
(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  11.1 Apps portraying realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured will be rejected
(That should mean that realistic FPS games with people or animals getting shot would be rejected. Games like CoD or hunting game would not be allowed, correct? We all know that this will not be enforced.)

Any developer with a sufficiently complete game for the Mac platform should use Steam for distribution, not the Apple Mac App Store. Otherwise, for crying out loud it's Mac OS X. People can download a DMG just like they have for the past ten years or so.

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Post: #71
(Nov 1, 2010 06:31 PM)cmiller Wrote:  
(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  11.1 Apps portraying realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured will be rejected
(That should mean that realistic FPS games with people or animals getting shot would be rejected. Games like CoD or hunting game would not be allowed, correct? We all know that this will not be enforced.)

Any developer with a sufficiently complete game for the Mac platform should use Steam for distribution, not the Apple Mac App Store. Otherwise, for crying out loud it's Mac OS X. People can download a DMG just like they have for the past ten years or so.

Doesn't steam require a windows version too though? What if you're not interested in supporting windows?

The big advantage of the Mac App Store (for the apps that qualify) is the 'new' and potentially large customer base it will bring from people who would typically be more casual gamers. Quite likely to be a different (and larger) customer base to the Steam one and ones that would like to play their games offline sometimes too.
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Post: #72
Do not underestimate the effectiveness of the iTunes purchasing system.
(that statement sounds a little Star Wars-ian...)

Even if one could convince the user to download the app and use it, actually upgrading to the paid version through a service other than iTunes seems
1) less trustworthy: "Why do I have to type in my credit card AND address? I already gave Apple that, what's this developer want with it?"
2) painfully slow: "I need to enter my cc# AND address AND name AND ugh I give up there must be a different app available."

My hint to anybody on here who's seriously considering going into the Mac Store: get in on day 1. It's worth the extra nights of sweat.

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Nibbie
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Post: #73
(Nov 1, 2010 06:31 PM)cmiller Wrote:  
(Oct 27, 2010 04:43 PM)gatti Wrote:  11.1 Apps portraying realistic images of people or animals being killed or maimed, shot, stabbed, tortured or injured will be rejected
(That should mean that realistic FPS games with people or animals getting shot would be rejected. Games like CoD or hunting game would not be allowed, correct? We all know that this will not be enforced.)

Any developer with a sufficiently complete game for the Mac platform should use Steam for distribution, not the Apple Mac App Store. Otherwise, for crying out loud it's Mac OS X. People can download a DMG just like they have for the past ten years or so.

I deleted Steam a few days ago... it will NOT be back on my system until its a proper mac app... not the worst windows port i have seen in 20 + years of using the mac
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Post: #74
(Nov 3, 2010 09:18 AM)RDSWES Wrote:  I deleted Steam a few days ago... it will NOT be back on my system until its a proper mac app... not the worst windows port i have seen in 20 + years of using the mac

I only wish I were so strong! It truly is dire, but having turned off its #*$@ auto-launch, I can bear it enough to keep it around for Portal and co...
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Post: #75
(Nov 3, 2010 09:18 AM)RDSWES Wrote:  I deleted Steam a few days ago... it will NOT be back on my system until its a proper mac app... not the worst windows port i have seen in 20 + years of using the mac
To be fair, it's bad on Windows, too. It's all a custom UI, so it's not even a "proper" Windows app, either. They also don't multithread their UI properly, which causes the interface to hang in a lot of cases. It's not bad enough for me to give up that and the games I have in it, though. I haven't installed the Mac version, though, so I can't comment on if it's any different.
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