Apple, Google competing for mobile game exclusivity

23 APR 2014

Apple and Google have been vying to secure the biggest mobile games in order to bolster their position in the apps market, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Sources said the two companies have worked to ensure certain titles appear on their platforms first by offering game publishers promotional help, such as placement on home pages.

It is believed that Electronic Arts struck a deal with Apple in August last year in which it would receive additional promotion of its ‘Plants Vz Zombies 2’ game in the App Store in exchange for making the game available exclusively to iPhone users for two months. The Android version of the game emerged in October.

‘Cut the Rope’ maker ZeptoLab apparently agreed a three-month exclusivity period for the new version of the game in the App Store. The Android version of the game appeared in late March.

Google also reportedly struck a deal with Russian developer Game Insight in March in which it offered to promote apps that make use of the Android branding. Discounts were apparently offered in games made by the developer for items sold in games that resembled the Android robot mascot.

Consumers can be tempted to change platforms in pursuit of their favourite games, meaning exclusivity of titles could be enough to win business for Apple or Google.

The approach has been commonplace for game consoles for some time but is new to the mobile app sector.

Historically games were developed for iOS first due to the easier development process and a smaller number of devices running the software. However, Android has caught up with the introduction tools to make development for the platform easier.

Games are a major battleground in the app space, accounting for 70 per cent of all app spending in 2013, according to App Annie.


Tim Ferguson

Tim joined Mobile World Live in August 2011 and works across all channels, with a particular focus on apps. He came to the GSMA with five years of tech journalism experience, having started his career as a reporter... More

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