Competition between two of the world’s largest companies is spreading in various areas and this time around the battleground is over mobile games. Google and Apple are both trying to woo game developers to release games exclusive to their respective platforms. This comes as no surprise as there are consumers who will consider getting a mobile device based on the games available on it.
The Wall Street Journal reports that both companies are offering game developers top placement in the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store. A game title that is visible in any store has a greater chance of it being bought by consumers which then translates to increased sales. While there is no money being exchanged in this deal, it is a win-win situation for both parties involved.
The report says that both companies are making their push in the mobile gaming front however it seems that only Apple is taking action so far. Take for instance the release of the highly anticipated Plants vs. Zombies 2 last August. Game publisher EA managed to close a deal with Apple that allowed their game to be prominently featured in the App Store. In exchange for this EA made the game an exclusive iOS title for two months before it got released on the Android platform.
ZeptoLab also made the same deal with Apple when it released the sequel to “Cut the Rope” last December over at the App Store. The game became an exclusive iOS title for 3 months before making its way to the Android platform.
Emily Greer, head of Kongregate, compared this latest battle to an “arms race” for the best gaming content. “When people love a game, and it’s not available on an alternate platform, they’ll change platforms. The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything.”
So what has Google done in the mobile gaming scene so far? The report says that the company has “struck deals to help promote apps that integrate Android branding.” An example given is that in March popular Russian game developer Game Insights offered discounts on items sold like Android mascots that were sold in the game. Google featured the app in a specific spot in the Play Store.
Amazon is also working to get exclusive titles on its devices. An Amazon spokeswoman said that “We work with many developers to bring their apps to the Amazon Appstore, some of which are exclusive to our store.”
Exclusive game titles are known to sway customers to a particular platform. Take for instance in the gaming console business, a lot of people will choose to get either an Xbox or a PlayStation based on the games available on each platform. Lewis Ward, an analyst at IDC, however thinks that this might not apply for mobile devices. He says that “In terms of decision factors of why you buy the device you do, games are very low.” He seems to have a point since the first thing I look out for in a smartphone is its specs and not on what titles it can play.