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Gameloft sells 400X more iPhone games than Android

updated 08:30 am EST, Fri November 20, 2009

Gameloft cutting back Android game work

Gameloft today revealed that it has scaled back development of games for Android phones. The French software house made the move as just a fraction of its sales come from the Google platform: it sells 400 times more iPhone games than Android titles, the company's financial head Alexandre de Rochefort said.

He blames the reduction primarily on the poor design and promotion of Android Market. Without a design that exposes apps or which encourages downloading paid apps, customers aren't as likely to embrace commercial software as they are on the App Store.

"It is not as neatly done as on the iPhone," de Rochefort explained. "Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products."

Android 1.6 was released partly to address this issue with a more polished Market layout and longer, more detailed previews, but critics have pointed out unusual limits that have persisted for Android app sales to this day. It still demands use of the at times inconvenient Google Checkout for payment and typically gives free apps a disproportionate amount of attention.

Most Android phones also don't have high-end mobile graphics like on the iPhone, particularly advanced devices like the iPhone 3GS. Google has at least partly addressed this with Android 2.0, which provides better OpenGL graphics acceleration, and by spurring on development of faster phones like the Motorola Droid.

by MacNN Staff



    Comment buried. Show
  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Apple FanBoy 1998: We don't need games, we're too busy being productive.

    Apple FanBoy 2009: The Android sucks became it lacks all the cool games my iPhone has.

    We've come full circle.

  1. kdogg73

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Competition is a good thing

    My first thought about Gameloft's decision to pull back is rather early in the Android game. iPhone has 16 months on Android for smartphone market share. But if that's what they want to do...

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969



    On the other hand, the iPhone market share is not 400x that of Android sales - there is a gap between the smartphone market share, and the software market on those phones.

    Hence the iPhone software market rapidly becoming larger than the market on devices with an already existing larger install base.

    Of course, you may be right - that they are pulling out just as Android is about to shift from early adopters (many of whom were interested in Android as an 'open' platform and have little interest in commercial software) to a mainstream one.

    But I think there is no doubt that Google are expressing a bias towards free apps - this will be both philosophical - their well-paid developers mostly believe in free software - but also business related - commercial free apps tend to be ad-subsidised.

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Android soon to be known as hemorrhoid.

    The Android eco pile will suffer the same mismatch in interface documents that the Microsoft/PC world does. But it is not the work starved IT staffs that do the purchasing for the 86 Percent of the bell curve that cannot use computers anyway. This time it is the consumer, including the 14 percent that knows how it works, that just wants it to work. They will be doing the deciding.

  1. c4rlob

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Still waiting

    For a year now, I've been hearing talk about how everyone is going to be using Android and how easily it was going to be everywhere "as soon as it catches on". Well most people eventually will get sick of waiting for everyone to do something that everyone is required for to make something a good alternative.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969



    As much as I love my iPhone, I never want to discourage competition. It's their company, but I say scaling back other platform development is a bad idea. You never know when the other platform will suddenly take off. If any other mobile platform has a good chance, it's Android.

    This is just as foolish as companies who concentrate only on Windows software and neglect Mac (and to some extent Linux). Now Apple is surging in popularity, and Mac sales are brisk, and there is a ton of potential profit there - and the companies who foolishly dropped Mac development are now missing out (too bad for them).

    I predict the developers who concentrate only on iPhone/Touch software and neglect Android, will come to regret that decision.

  1. wingdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Bad argument

    For how many years have we bitched and moaned about PC apps being late to the Mac market or never developing for the Mac at all? We claim that just because one has x times more market share is no reason to halt development on OUR systems.

    But now that a company is pulling out of a market which competes against an Apple product, we say "it's all good, the other platform is deficient". Good lord you cannot have it both ways. Don't be a basher of a device with lower market share unless you are willing to take it from PC people bashing Macs for their low market share.

    Mr Pot, I'd like you to meet Ms. Kettle.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This is not only a smaller user base but it's also harder to write for Android, different models, screen sizes and proc speed make it harder and more expensive.

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