The popularity of the iPhone turned Apple’s App Store into a gold rush for developers. Lured by a deal that allows app makers to keep 70% of revenue, thousands poured into the field. The reality, however, has not lived up to the hype. Most lose money and even those with top sellers pull in less than expected. App Store developers interviewed by Newsweek describe the stress of investing large amounts of time and money into a project, hoping it will stand out among thousands of other applications.
"It's kind of a crapshoot," says the designer of Trism, and early App Store hit. ”I think we've reached a point where people are thinking I shouldn't quit my day job for this." Even when one does have a successful game, the rewards are often thin after development, design, and marketing costs. What’s worse, the big boys have invaded—only one app currently in the top 10 was built by an independent publisher.