Apple Inc. is apparently fighting an interesting war with Google regarding game titles.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, there is increasing competition between Apple and Google to secure exclusive game titles for their respective Mobile Operating Systems. Game developers have been approached with special incentives in lieu of ensuring they develop and distribute games via Apple’s iOS platform instead of Google’s Android.
However, Apple won’t offer any money to the developers to ensure iOS users get the first release. Instead, the perks are limited to premium placement on their respective app store home pages. In other words, developers who agree to release games on iOS first, will get their titles listed prominently in categories and will also get premium positioning in App Stores. These tactics greatly help with the initial exposure of the app or game and greatly influence the adoption rate.
Both Apple and Google have observed that whichever app or game is strategically placed in a prominent position in the App Store is readily installed. Thereafter, social linking features within the App help in further sharing and usage.
This development doesn’t come as a surprise since Apple, who does not offer monetary subsidies for exclusive titles has always relied on the promise of exposure to iOS’ massive user base as an effective collateral in deal–making. Still, the process infringes on Apple’s policy to promote apps through an editorial team, which in theory, makes its decisions based on content and not business agreements.
But it is now clear. Apple’s Editorial team now factors in exclusivity and input from developer-relations staff when considering a title for special promotion across its App Store.
Game title exclusivity has been a very common phenomenon in dedicated gaming consoles for a long time. By ensuring popular titles appear first on their devices; makers have effectively enhanced their marketing efforts to sell many more consoles than their competitor. Once the physical hardware has landed in the living room, half the battle is won.
The same might be true even in case of Apple (despite the fact that Google’s Android dominates the smartphone segment) because promotion in the App Store with banner ads and inclusion in featured game lists can lead to a significant increase in downloads, which directly translates into dollars.