A lot of people come to me and say - "Hey I have an amazing idea for a game I just need someone to make it!" this is where I let out a big sigh and say, look ideas are not worth anything. It's the work on it that is important. I have millions of ideas....it's making them that's the hard part.
The tough truth to get through to people is ideas are worth nothing, but execution is everything. A good example to use is Uber. Uber came out and was the best new thing, however in no time at all came along copycat rideshare companies like Didi and Ola. These companies looked at the weaknesses of Uber and offered the same service but with different features and they now profit off someones idea. As you can see, being the original isn't always the best. Luckily for Uber they became the gold standard, but this isn't always the case. Many companies with the original idea go bankrupt.
Uber is still the most popular. So perhaps being first does count for something? But only if you capitalize on it. If you don't, others will. They also did it well.
In game development it is the same principle. You don't always need to re-invent the wheel. Take an existing concept and simply working at it and adding the things you want will actually breed a new game. Why is this? because everyones art, animation and coding is different. Even a simple change to a characters gravity in a platformer will completely change the entire feel of a game. This means even if you are making the same type of game, with the same mechanics. If you add to it and it really is a labor of love. People will see that.
It's very rare that a game I make turns out like my original idea. When you develop things, you will run into changes and sometimes even realizations that certain concepts are just...boring. Trial and error is really the best way to figure these things out, and trying to make the idea work.
Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't come up with original ideas. You should and should strive too. My best games The Unfair Platformer and Draw-Play were original ideas at the time. This made them successful, however other developers more experienced than me at the time copied my game and generated profit off my idea. Of course theres not much you can do, you can't copyright a genre. You can only copyright art itself or if the game is identical which it rarely ever is.
Max and the Magic Marker is a AAA game that used the same concept I came up with 15 years ago before it.
This means if you do have a great new idea, you put in the work and developed it. Then you should make sure you come in swinging executing it right, otherwise you will fall prey to copycats very quickly.
It's always hard to tell my friends. I'm sorry but your game or app idea does not mean much to me. The hard part, the huge amount of work is always developing it. It takes months of hard work and many changes along the way. Execution is everything. You have two choices, pay a developer a high wage to create it or learn to code and make it yourself.
This article shouldn't be seen as something that discourages unique ideas, it should more inspire you that your idea doesn't need to be perfect to begin with. Many simple game concepts that exist can be improved on.
Hey look at Final Fantasy for example, were on number 16 by now. When will that end? Soon I'll be telling friends hey did you get the new Final Fantasy 8,988,234??!