GameSalad has announced the launch of GameSalad Studio and GameSalad Direct, an iOS mobile application and service allowing anyone to design, test, and publish games for the iPhone and iPad.
There have always been tools out there that enable anyone to create their own mobile apps and games with no programming required. What’s interesting is the publishing piece, GameSalad Direct. Ironically, the issue for wanna-be iPhone game developers is not developing the game itself for iOS devices. That part is easy, as evidenced by the fact that hundreds of games are developed and release for iOS devices daily.
The main issue is discovery. With so many games launched, how do you stand out in the crowd? GameSalad looks to be taking out a page out of the book of Open Feint, not just offering the tools around game creation but also doing the heavy lifting of submitting games to Apple, handling PR, and cross-promotion. If a few games in the GameSalad portfolio become a hit, they can leverage the traffic and sales to promote other games in the portfolio.
And that’s the rub. You can give an artist the best canvas and paint in the world, but it does not mean s/he will be the next Van Gogh. GameSalad’s strategy is based on the idea that if you give everyone the tools to create good games for the iPhone, a few will come up with the next Angry Birds. If they are correct, they could become a player in this space.
GameSalad’s tools and services are free for now (aside for a submission fee) but they do take a revenue share on any commercial product.