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.