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Gameloft CFO calls app development ‘an ugly scene’

Gameloft’s CEO Alexandre de Rochefort spoke last weekend at the Reuters Global Technology Summit in Paris, and gave a particularly stark view of this growing global app market. While a lot of big time developers are bullish on the app market and its possibilities, de Rochefort presented a more tempered view. He called it “an ugly scene,” and said that “the smartphone market is not a goldmine for developers. It’s a bit like playing the lottery.”
He’s got a point — there are some major developers making a lot of money selling their apps on the App Store (and Gameloft is one of those), but there are also thousands if not millions of developers out there whose apps just can’t seem to find the public’s interest. Even low-budget, one man developers might have trouble even recouping the costs of their apps if not featured by Apple or the press, not to mention huge developers who risk huge budgets on games that might not fly.
Of course, some may say that’s business, and for the most part they’d be right. But a lot of times the app market is portrayed as a new gold rush, with millions of dollars of revenue available for anyone who releases an app. That’s not quite the case, especially a few years into the app scene.