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Apple's evolving rules make iOS a hard platform for small devs, says  Year Walk  dev

Apple's evolving rules make iOS a hard platform for small devs, says Year Walk dev

December 11, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

December 11, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon
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More: Console/PC, Smartphone/Tablet, Production

"For a small developer like us, mobile has become more difficult to support than consoles. Releasing a mobile game means supporting it perpetually, and justifying that is tough for us, at the moment."

After developing mostly for mobile platforms, developer Simogo's upcoming game Project Night Road will be skipping smart devices and instead coming to consoles. 

While studio co-founders Simon Flesser and Gordon Gardebäck note that the switch isn't a permanent farewell to mobile game development, the pair explained in a blog post how certain aspects of iOS development have changed and made the platform less attractive to developers in recent years.

One such change came in the form of iOS 11 and Apple's end of support for 32-bit apps. Ahead of the change, Apple had warned developers that they'd need to update their apps to 64-bit and bring older apps in line with current requirements or they'd be incompatible with the new OS update.

As many developers have pointed out, it can be a considerable amount of work to upgrade existing apps to 64-bit and, in some cases, impossible. In Simogo's case, the team spent a significant amount of time this year trying to bring their iOS games up to speed instead of working on Project Night Road as originally planned. 

What Simogo calls Apple's lack of "interest in [the] preservation of software on their platform" has turned iOS development into a neverending process, something that Simogo's co-founders say makes the platform a difficult one for smaller developers.

"The ease of mobile game development drew us to making iPhone games back in 2010," reads the post. "But, it’s getting increasingly financially unviable, tiring and unenjoyable for us to keep on making substantial alterations for new resolutions, guidelines, and what have you, as they seem to never end."

More on Simogo's shift to consoles as well as some insight into why the dev is looking to preserve its iOS games outside of the App Store can be found in the full write-up

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