Spelunky dev: mobile is “just too scary” for indie teams

Tuesday, 9th April 2013 08:54 GMT By Dave Cook

Spelunky developer Derek Yu has explained in a new interview why the mobile arena may appear too scary and fraught with risk for indie teams, when compared to the PC market.

Speaking with, Yu said, “I think it’s tough because that [mobile] market does have so many games that are there to be cheap entertainment and make a lot of money.

“That’s just a difficult place to be for a developer who wants to make essentially a non-mobile style game for a mobile platform. It’s just kind of intimidating. It’s a very finicky business, too, in terms of what succeeds and what doesn’t. For a lot of developers, putting games on iOS and mobile feels like a lottery, and that’s a real unstable feeling that’s hard for developers.”

Yu added that the mobile arena was “just too scary” for him to explore further at this time, and added, “You could really just completely tank on mobile, which I don’t think is true if you make a good game on PC or console. If you spend a couple years on it, you’re going to at least get back what you put in.”

This is similar to something I touched on yesterday, where I likened the iOS market to a lottery and suggested that digital store-fronts on consoles could just propose a better prospect. See what you think here.



  1. The_Red

    Who cares? Just shut up, release the updated version on Steam and take my money!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. sh4dow

    Seriously? If you make a good indie game for PC, it’s quite possible that nobody will ever even hear about it (which is less likely on mobile devices). I only heard about Cave Story years after its initial release. And I don’t know a single person who has ever heard about Driftmoon or Eschalon.

    Sure, there is some validity to his arguments. Still… I think it depends on the size of the project, with more ambitious indie games probably really better suited for PC/consoles. But if you’re developing a small little gem…

    #2 2 years ago
  3. deathm00n

    @2 Not to mention that it’s so easy to develop for mobile. I’m doing a project for my college and it’s a tower defense game for android. I am amazed at how easy it is to develop.

    But yeah, there is a problem of saturation right now. There is so much games that years ago would be featured in Flash games sites as the games people never touches. There’s a lot of good things, don’t get me wrong, but God knows how hard it is to find them among the “Zombie Killers 27″.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Cobra951

    Saturation–good word. With all the casual crap crowding the scene, real-game devs get buried. That’s before considering the natural restrictions of a small, buttonless mobile device.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. deathm00n

    @4 I’m not the one to say they are crappy, because I don’t know how good the “game” I’m making will be, but if by crap you mean this: yeah, this is hiding good things from people, this one I linked (wich is a total copy & paste of counter strike) is the top downloaded new free game…

    #5 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.