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Google Play vs iOS app store: A Dangerous Post-Mortem

08-09-2012, 01:20 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 188
Google Play vs iOS app store: A Dangerous Post-Mortem

Gamasutra posted this blog entry on this on their front page. It's a discussion of our experience with Google Play and the iOS App Store. New developers might find it interesting if they are planning to dip their toes into the Google Play store:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/LinhN...PostMortem.php

Some of our findings: players are willing to spend $7.99 on the Google Play store for a quality game experience which belies the claim that rampant piracy makes it impossible to sell anything other than free or cheap games there.

Helle - 3D fluid physics blocky puzzler - App Store - Google Play
Dangerous HD - Epic 3D space combat RPG - iTunes - Website - Trailer - Soundtrack

Last edited by binaryhelix; 08-09-2012 at 01:27 PM. Reason: added more info
08-09-2012, 01:58 PM
#2
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 200
Thanks for posting that. It was a great and informative read. We're thinking of taking our game and developing it cross platform for android as well as ios. How bad was dealing with device fragmentation? That's a big concern of mine.

08-09-2012, 02:51 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 188
Fragmentation is an issue, but you can control it by listing all your requirements in the manifest. Google Play also lets you add or remove devices from the availability list in the developer control panel.

It's important to let users try the game first before paying. This removes a big chunk of support hassle. So provide a free demo version if you are selling a premium priced game. You'll also notice this in the review scores especially if your game is graphically intensive like Dangerous HD is.

The free version reviews take a beating from the people who couldn't play it even though Google Play said their devices could play it based on the manifest requirements. But our paid version reviews are at 4/5 and 4.5/5 stars for the SD and HD versions.

So fragmentation is an issue, but it's manageable and the opportunity on Android shouldn't be dismissed if the porting costs are minimal as it was in our case using Unity.

Helle - 3D fluid physics blocky puzzler - App Store - Google Play
Dangerous HD - Epic 3D space combat RPG - iTunes - Website - Trailer - Soundtrack
08-09-2012, 03:16 PM
#4
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 200
Thanks for the reply, that was very helpful. I definitely will have a free version of the game. I want people to try it out first before people find out if it works or not.
08-09-2012, 07:23 PM
#5
Joined: Jun 2012
Location: Noosa, Australia
Posts: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharredDirt View Post
Thanks for posting that. It was a great and informative read. We're thinking of taking our game and developing it cross platform for android as well as ios. How bad was dealing with device fragmentation? That's a big concern of mine.
I find that it's much less of a problem than I expected. Even if you don't have a free version (we don't) people can download your game, try it and grab a refund if it doesn't work as expected.

Being able to only release it to specific devices is a big help too. Instead of trying to support every device out there, you can just remove them from the list of devices as you discover which ones aren't compatible.

Jason Stark
Disparity Games
08-09-2012, 10:56 PM
#6
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Stark View Post
I find that it's much less of a problem than I expected. Even if you don't have a free version (we don't) people can download your game, try it and grab a refund if it doesn't work as expected.

Being able to only release it to specific devices is a big help too. Instead of trying to support every device out there, you can just remove them from the list of devices as you discover which ones aren't compatible.
Wow, that's pretty cool. Nice that they can get a refund if it doesn't work.
08-10-2012, 01:43 AM
#7
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Spain
Posts: 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by binaryhelix View Post
Some of our findings: players are willing to spend $7.99 on the Google Play store for a quality game experience which belies the claim that rampant piracy makes it impossible to sell anything other than free or cheap games there.
Thank you for the info binaryhelix,
We are making a utility for Android but we have a problem: piracy.
How are you fighting with piracy?, it's very easy to extract the .apk and upload it in a P2P, or a torrent... are you using any tool or service for prevent piracy?.

Thank you!
08-10-2012, 02:55 AM
#8
An interesting read.

Question - did your android downloads ever go above 70-100 a day?

Plague Inc. - Can you infect the world - over 200 million games played!

Check out the new and very cool cinematic trailer
08-10-2012, 04:13 AM
#9
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Isle of Wight, UK
Posts: 1,509
Interesting read, thanks.

Our experience differs a lot in some areas, but overlaps well in others.

Here's a tip though. Korea might be a worthwhile endeavour for foreign localisations as (I know you shouldn't generalise) they're all mad gamers, fairly rich and tech savvy and have a "you need to buy things" ethic. Plus there's many millions of them, it's a populous place.

However other Eastern markets are pointless. We had our game localised and sold into the rest of the far East by a portal and we made almost no money from it. We got a feature on China Mobile's home page (quarter of a billion potential customers?) and did about $700. If the portal hadn't covered the localistion costs, we would've been out of pocket! We were going to try Russia too, but after that just didn't bother.
08-10-2012, 08:28 AM
#10
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon View Post
Interesting read, thanks.

Our experience differs a lot in some areas, but overlaps well in others.

Here's a tip though. Korea might be a worthwhile endeavour for foreign localisations as (I know you shouldn't generalise) they're all mad gamers, fairly rich and tech savvy and have a "you need to buy things" ethic. Plus there's many millions of them, it's a populous place.

However other Eastern markets are pointless. We had our game localised and sold into the rest of the far East by a portal and we made almost no money from it. We got a feature on China Mobile's home page (quarter of a billion potential customers?) and did about $700. If the portal hadn't covered the localistion costs, we would've been out of pocket! We were going to try Russia too, but after that just didn't bother.
Korea is definitely Android heavy. I doubt an iOS launch would do well over there.