2023: The Year In SNAPP!

Well, 2023 is finally over and we’re already a week into the new year. I kind of wanted to go over the last 365 days and just talk about how the year was here at SNAPP Studios. I’ll try not to ramble, but no promises!

First and foremost, 2023 was shit and it showed here at SNAPP. I’m not trying to make excuses or anything, but there were a few factors at play. Of course, I was one of the many in the game industry that was laid off. So, while running the site, I’ve also been looking for a new role, sending out resumes, networking, the usual. It’s definitely been tough. So many studios have been hit with layoffs, so there are thousands of people out there looking for the same handful of jobs open. It really puts a damper on my super “witty” writing. Then of course, there’s been the whole Twitter/X fiasco. Since Twitter changed to X, SNAPP has lost over 80% of its social media traffic. So, that’s always a kick in the balls everyday. I don’t want this write up to be a major downer, so I’ll just say that I know the website could’ve been a little better last year. 

Next, we’ll get to the App Store and the mobile game industry as a whole….

We saw a lot of changes in 2023. F2P games are in a weird state. The hyper-casual genre started to fade out as developers/publishers started putting out games with a little more depth to them. I think a lot of this was due to the popularity of survivor.io. That of course brought us literally hundreds of survival-style games last year. That’s the industry for ya though. A game blows up and everyone tries to ride that wave and ends up flooding the market. We also saw a lot of games go “free-to-try” which is a nice sign of things. I’d much rather see these types of games seeing how they are usually full fledged games with just a few features behind a paywall. It’s always better than a game with odd timers and F2P mechanics thrown in. But, subscriptions seemed to be the biggest thing going on in mobile last year. We had Apple Arcade still going pretty strong, but Netflix was quickly snatching up titles throughout the year. On one hand, it’s good because we’ve been seeing some pretty solid premium games getting released on mobile, but it’s just another subscription to worry about. We’re getting to the point where we are spending more on subscriptions than we were on the handful of games we would’ve bought that month. That doesn’t even include the in-game subscription services we’re starting to see. Every game seems to have some sort of subscription/battle pass system going on anymore. It’s honestly a bubble that I can’t wait to burst. 

Soooo, how’d the Switch do in 2023?

I think most people will agree with me when I say that the eShop is a mess at the moment. The UI is primitive, it’s slow, clunky, and a pain in the ass to maneuver around. If that wasn’t bad enough, the storefront has been flooded with shovelware, hentai, and alarm clocks week after week. It looks like a lot of the hyper-casual games that used to be all over the App Store are now showing up on the eShop with a 2 to 5 dollar price tag on them. It’s getting tough for smaller developers to get their game noticed due to their game getting pushed so far down in the Newly Released section. It wasn’t all bad though! Outside of Nintendo’s first party titles, the Switch saw some gems like Dave The Diver, Outer Wilds, and Sea of Stars. Even though the eShop might have some issues, there’s no denying that the Switch is the ultimate console for indie games. Especially for people like me who used to miss a lot of these games due to not having a gaming PC.

Even though 2023 wasn’t the greatest of years, I’m still thankful for a lot. I really appreciate all the readers and SNAPP Family out there that have stuck with me throughout the years. And a special thank you to the handful of people that have helped me out via Patreon (you know who you are). It helps me keep the site and servers up and rolling every year. SNAPP Attack may not be the best site out there at the moment, but it’s only run by one passionate (and handsome) person. So, here’s to 2024. Who knows what the hell it will bring us. Regardless, SNAPP will be there for you! 

Love you glitches!
Paul (@hashtagnoen)

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