Apple and Google are offering popular games premium placement in their app stores in order to win exclusivity for their platforms.
Plants Vs Zombies 2 was given a prominent position in the Apple App Store in exchange for a two month exclusivity window on the platform.
According to the Wall Street Journal
, sources close to the matter say promotional boosts are being used to ensure that popular games are appearing on one mobile operating system before the other in an effort to win a larger user base.
Plants Vs Zombies 2 received one such deal, launching in August 2013 on iOS and featuring prominently in the Apple App Store. In exchange for this placement, EA withheld the game from Android devices until October. Cut the Rope 2 also had a similar deal in place which saw it available on iOS for three months before an Android version was released.
Whilst exclusivity deals are nothing new for console games, it is something that has been avoided with mobile games up until now. Historically, however, the pattern of a game appearing on iOS first and then Android later is less surprising as developers have previously found iOS to be a more lucrative platform.
Securing exclusivity on popular mobile games is considered to be a sign of the mobile device war stepping up. Amazon has also tried gaining exclusivity deals in the same manner for its Kindle devices which have access to a different Android app ecosystem.
‘When people love a game, and it's not available on an alternate platform, they'll change platforms,’
head of Kongregate Emily Greer told the Wall Street Journal. ‘The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything.’
For mobile developers, a game gaining a featured spot in the App Store can mean the difference between financial success or failure. Apple has recently been experimenting with new ways of curating gaming content and last month unveiled the Indie Game Showcase section in an attempt to promote more titles.
What do you think of such exclusivity deals? Are they likely to sway you one way or another when it comes to choosing your mobile platform? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.