Apple didn't invent the smartphone, but it's hard to argue that their introduction of the iPhone back in 2007 didn't dramatically change the existing smartphone landscape and set the tone for how smart devices should be. In a similar vein, they didn't invent the digital app store, but when they placed the OPEN sign in the virtual window of their own App Store in 2008, they largely brought digital software and app-dominated lives to the mainstream. Apple's App Store democratized software development, especially in terms of games. No longer was game development solely in the hands of the major players in the games industry; now literally anybody with the means to make a game and a hundred bucks for an Apple Developer license could put their creations out in the world for millions to see. It's truly amazing.
That said, removing the barrier of entry to game development also brought with it a new set of issues. Probably the most common of these that you'll hear from developers is the struggle to gain visibility in the App Store. With so many people now able to make and release games, well, a lot of people are making and releasing games! There's about 2 million apps in the App Store as of this writing, but visibility has been a concern for developers since day one. I love looking back at this early post of ours from when the App Store officially went live in July of 2008. The handful of comments are all complaining about not being among the featured apps of that time and how difficult certain apps are to find amongst the crowd of others. Keep in mind the App Store launched with just 160 apps back then. The more things change, the more they stay the same!
Anyway, all of this is to say that as of this morning, Apple has launched a major initiative to help increase visibility in the App Store, specifically for indie developers. You may have been following along for the past week as Apple's been running a "Celebrating Indies" promotion where they've been featuri...