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Apple will continue to highlight independently-produced games in the iOS App Store, with a new permanent 'Indie Games' collection accessible within the store, following after a 12-day promotion used to 'celebrate' the work of smaller game development studios.
The new page, accessible from a new thumbnail labeled "Celebrating Indie Games" from the front page of the App Store, grouping together some of the major releases in the category. The page includes a list of the App Store editors' favorite indie titles, as well as sections highlighting games deemed to be innovative, have "outstanding gameplay," impressive visuals, "incredible sound design," and "unforgettable stories."
While the App Store has opened up a digital storefront to almost everyone, games and apps still rely on a prominent placement within the store to gain an audience, with Apple's editors selecting which items are offered to users on the front page. Smaller developers tend to miss out on the opportunity of appearing on the valuable storefront, something a dedicated subsection and image could help fix.
"While independent works often set the creative tone, the consumers can unintentionally set the market in a different direction, in terms of genre, pricing, and creative risk," Mushroom 11 developer Itay Keren said to Polygon. "By setting up this showcase and reserving this desired spot on their store, Apple is essentially taking a stand to insure the creativity, sustainability, and diversity."
The official App Store Games Twitter account confirmed the new permanent indie games page within the App Store in a post on Friday.
The App Store has been showcasing titles from "small, self-funded, and self-published teams" during its "Celebrating Indie Games" event, running from March 9 through 20. As part of the promotion, Apple has discounted a number of popular titles, temporarily marking down games such as Her Story, The Room Two, and Samorost 3 down to $0.99, as well as unveiling new indie titles each day.