Indie Developers Prefer Vita to iOS and Android

Friday, March 29th, 2013

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PlayStation Vita Store

Earlier at GDC, a group of independent developers took part in a panel dedicated to the PlayStation Vita, hosted by Gaijin Games’ Alex Neuse. The developers at the panel included Bobby King (The Pinball Arcade), Richard Hogg (Frobisher Says), Brian Provinciano (Retro City Rampage) and Chris Harvey (Guacamelee); all of whom had overwhelming praise for the PlayStation Vita.

When asked about mobile platforms—specifically iOS—Provinciano went so far as to compare it to gambling because of how unpredictable a game’s success on that platform can be, likely because of how saturated the mobile market is as opposed to the Vita. Hogg added that he “pretty much gave up” on making games for the platform. Meanwhile, King preferred the consistency of the Vita’s specs compared to Android devices, where his game The Pinball Arcade supports 20 different Android devices.

Over the past couple years, the mobile gaming industry has become a bigger part of the industry. Some gaming pundits have gone so far as to claim that mobile games are the way of the future. But, if this and Gunman Clive’s success on the 3DS is any indication, that doesn’t seem to be the case. At least, not right now.


About Kyle Emch

Kyle has been studying music at college for about three years now. He's played the piano since he was 6 years old and has been recently been learning how to write music. He has followed the Operation Rainfall movement on Facebook since it started and was happy to volunteer for the website. Just don't mention Earthbound or the Mother franchise around him.

  • GOOD. Make more games for this damned machine!

  • Aerokii

    Handful of indie devs show up at a Vita panel, and praise the Vita. Wow, there’s a shocker.

    I’m very willing to believe that their opinion is not the majority opinion. As much as I like the Vita, choosing it to develop a game opposed to iOS or Android, which have much higher market penetration, seems silly.

    • Unless you are a developer or a market analyst, I don’t think you should call people that are just that, silly.

    • Aerokii

      Software Engineer/Dev, actually.

      And I’m not calling these developers silly, I’m saying this story is silly. It’s like running a story about a Nintendo panel that says developers like Nintendo. It’s full of bias, and they’re not going to say otherwise. Had this been at a panel for general mobile development, I’d believe it.

    • I understand your point, but it is not as if they are saying “Vita is great because is vita!” They are stating specifics that when you look at the logic and data involved sorta make sense. My post above kind of goes into that. It’s obviously more complex and I won’t pretend to know everything about the situation. But, from the articles I have read by many developers and publishers and what I see when I search the markets for games myself; they have a sound logic in that an indie game released on a more stable platform with higher costs for market placement that make it more difficult to flood the market, profit is easier to make.

    • At least get a Viet or Chinese

      Really? For every Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, do you have any idea of how many games you’ve never even heard of that will literally never be seen by people with iOS or Android devices?
      For every success, there are about 100 failures. Market penetration is incredibly hard to do without paying apple to advertise your app.

  • But don’t they still have a point? They praised the Vita because of consistency and market saturation. Both of which make perfect sense. When you have a new IDevice coming out every year with new specs and tech and dropping compatibility for older versions, and Android OS is developing at a rapid pace with massively different configurations and no standard as every company can modify it; the situation becomes nearly impossible to keep making profit. As every company saw profit for a casual market EVERY gaming and non-gaming company is placing games on the market, many of which are terrible quality. You get a Wii situation where there is tons of shovelware and while some people make money a majority never really see a return.

    With the handheld systems as mobile gaming devices, they have 1 system. It lasts for a 5ish year cycle where the OS on the newer systems only gets tweaks for improved hardware usage and OS optimizations….not major changes that completely change it’s ability to do specific tasks while throwing out other options. As the cost of making games for a handheld gaming system is more, it weeds out cheap clones in it to make a quick buck and stops not gaming companies for over saturating the market with shovelware.

    • FrancisUnderwood0482

      “They praised the Vita because of consistency and market saturation.”
      A handheld that’s sold about 8 units in NA has market saturation?
      But anyway, of course any Dev worth a damn would rather make a game for a dedicated gaming rig then f’ing smartphones.

    • At least get a Viet or Chinese

      Hey, it’s a Vita-has-awful-sales joke! I remember seeing those being relevant 4 months ago!

    • FrancisUnderwood0482

      sales are still in the toilet so yeah asshole, still relevant.

    • At least get a Viet or Chinese

      I remember that comment being relevant 4 months ago too! So funny how people can lag so far behind.
      Get with the times numnuts. Vita sales are taking off and they’re taking off strong. It helps to get your head out of the sand once in a while.

    • Please read before commenting. I said it does not have market saturation because of the cost associated with placing something on the PSN as opposed to placing it on the Android or IOs market. Also, the sales figures you sarcastically mention are wrong. Good day.