A long running war between Google Inc. and Apple Inc. for gaining mobile dominance is now spreading to videogames, one of the most lucrative genres of apps. Game developers have been and are being wooed by the two Silicon Valley giants for ensuring that the top game titles come first on devices that are powered by their own operating systems according to people who are close to the matter. Google and Apple are offering to give these games a publicity boost in exchange by giving them the premium positions in the features list and home page of their app stores, as per these people.
People familiar with the matter said that last August, Apple Inc. had struck a deal with Electronic Arts Inc. when it was launching its Plants VS Zombies II, which was a highly awaited sequel of a popular strategy game and the iPhone maker had undertaken prominent promotion of the game in its App Store. One of these people added that in exchange, Electronics Arts had given the company a two month window of exclusivity for the game, which was released on the Android OS of Google Inc. in October. A similar pattern had been reflected in the launch of the sequel of the popular puzzle game Cut The Rope by ZeptoLab in December.
The company had agreed to give a three month window of exclusivity for the App Store of Apple Inc. and it has provided the game with lots of heavy promotion in return, according to someone with the information. An Android version of the game had been launched by ZeptoLab in March. The particulars of their exclusivity offers were not discussed by representatives of either Apple or Google. As far as videogame consoles are concerned, exclusive titles have been considered a common marketing strategy, but it is a new one where mobile apps are considered.
The rise in the exclusive titles is simply an escalation of the battle between the two companies for mobile device consumers, with Apple especially determined for countering the popularity of Google’s free Android OS. According to an expert, this battle between the two is simply an ‘arms race’ because people usually tend to switch between platforms when they want a game, but it is available on an alternate one. This is because people seem to have a huge attachment to games. After the introduction of the first iPhone in 2007, Apple had become the market leader in the smartphone market, but has had to grapple with the rising success of Android powered phones by Samsung Electronics and other manufacturers.
According to the data garnered by research firm IDC, the Google developed software powered about 80% of the one billion smartphones that were shipped all over the globe in 2013. During this time, the market share of the Cupertino-California based Apple has dwindled to 15%. For years, new apps were released on Apple because its iOS software was easy to adjust to while Android had several variants, but the latter has gained ground in the recent years.