Longtime tech rivals Apple and Google are vying for mobile marketing dominance in a new arena – videogames.
Gaming apps are among the most lucrative genre of apps, so it makes sense that both companies are courting game developers for exclusive content. The goal is to get top game developers to produce their games on the respective platforms first and edge out the other company.
Both Google and Apple are offering promotional boost for the games, including premium placement in the Play store and iTunes store respectively. For example, Electronics Arts Inc., released “Plants vs. Zombies 2” last August as a follow up to its popular game. It struck a deal with Apple, who then promoted the game heavily in its App store in exchange for being the first to offer the game. According to insiders, EA agreed to give Apple a two-month lead time of exclusivity – which put the game on Google’s Android software in October. Similarly, ZeptoLab’s sequel to “Cut the Rope” was also given to Apple exclusively with a three-month window.
Platform exclusivity. Although platform exclusivity is common with console gaming, this is a new trend for mobile apps. Its part of an overall escalation in the battle for mobile-device customers and many see the drive toward gaming content as an “arms race” for the best offerings. Gaming is one of the few app types that may cause someone to switch platforms.
Apple was the initial leader in the smartphone marketing with its 2007 introduction of the iPhone, but Android-based devices have grown in popularity over the last several years. Nearly 80% of the one billion smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013 used Google’s Android platform, and app developers say that it’s getting easier to create for the platform. All of this could level the playing field and make competition stiffer between Apple and Google – which means that we could see more and more exclusive game apps in the years to come.