Google may command 80 percent of the smartphone market, but the war for who gets the best games first is still raging. Reported by The Wall Street Journal, Google, Apple, and Amazon are doing everything they can to score exclusive games for their respective platforms. The publication reports that, in return for prominent placement in the App Store, EA and ZeptoLab agreed to publish their games, Plants vs. Zombies 2 and Cut the Rope 2, exclusive to iOS for a while. Plants vs. Zombies 2 was exclusive to iOS for two months, while iOS maintained Cut the Rope 2 exclusivity for three months.
According to Kongregate CEO Emily Greer, that exclusivity pays dividends when it comes to people wanting to play those games. “When people love a game, and it’s not available on an alternate platform, they’ll change platforms,” said Greer. “The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything.”
Interestingly enough, Apple does not appear to offer money for game exclusivity, a tactic that’s practically commonplace everywhere else. Apple will offer marketing or promotional assistance only after developers either demonstrate or discuss their games. Both Google and Amazon employ similar tactics, with an Amazon spokesperson saying, “We work with many developers to bring their apps to the Amazon Appstore, some of which are exclusive to our store.”
Even so, not every developer wants to go down the exclusivity route. Gameloft, for example, chose to release its Asphalt racing games simultaneously on Android and iOS. Since mobile games accounted for more than 70 percent of the $16 billion spent on mobile apps, it’s no surprise that not every developer wants to limit itself to one platform, promotion or not.