Are the best games on Android or are the best games on iPhone? That’s a question that’s becoming increasingly important to both Apple and Google, and they’re reportedly willing to help developers get massive marketing pushes in exchange for periods of exclusivity for hot new games. This will come as a surprise to precisely no one familiar with the console market, or the basics of running any store, real-world or virtual. Mario, Sonic, Halo, and other exclusive franchises made the console wars of the past, and on mobile, and for iOS and Android, that’s now translating into Plants vs. Zombies 2, Cut the Rope 2, and many others. Ian Sherr and Daisuke Wakabayashi, writing for the Wall Street Journal:
As Android’s influence has grown, Apple’s editorial team has been factoring in exclusivity to a greater degree after it deems an app to be attractive, according to people familiar with the process. The editorial team also will give greater consideration to titles recommended by its developer-relations staff, they said.
Android, both in the form of Google’s Play Store and Amazon’s appstore, are working promotional angles in their own way as well:
Google has struck deals to help promote apps that integrate Android branding. [...] Amazon.com Inc, too, has gotten into the act. The online retailer has sought exclusivity deals with game developers as a way to boost the appeal of its Kindle family of Android devices. Amazon is offering premium placement on its app store’s home screen in exchanges for exclusivity, according to people familiar with the matter.
There’s apparently no money changing hands, but the massive marketing boost preferred placement in Google, Apple, or Amazon can provide in terms of downloads and purchases is just as good. Apple once-upon-a-time made a game of their own, Texas Hold ‘Em, but has long since removed it from sale. Google acquired and maintains Ingress, their own Android-exclusive game. None of them have gone to Mario, Sonic, or Halo levels yet when it comes to exclusive gaming, however. But is that just a matter of time?
How do you feel about platform exclusives? Do they influence your buying decision or just frustrate you if and when you have to wait?