Recently, Mika Mobile released their first Android game, a port of the iOS RPG Battleheart, which was well-received here on Android Rundown. Mika Mobile have traditionally been iOS developers, with releases such as Zombieville USA released on iOS. Mika Mobile’s posted a blog post talking about the experience of Battleheart on Android, and there are 5 things from their post and Twitter account that we have learned about the Android Market and userbase, especially in comparison to iOS.
While Battleheart for iOS is still outpacing the Android version in many ways (especially thanks to Battleheart being featured by Apple as “Game of the Week” at one point), right now the Android version is generating 80% of the revenue of the iOS version, something that Mika Mobile claims is “a meaningful source of revenue.” It appears that the paid app market is smaller on Android, as Battleheart is in the top 50 on Android, while the iOS version has fallen out of the top 200 and is still outselling the Android version. However, this shows that the moneymaking potential for Android may be stronger than thought.
Even with Amazon pushing their store with free daily apps, it appears as if few people are using it to buy apps from, as they revealed in a tweet: “We’re in the top 10 games with [less than] 50 sales daily.” Battleheart even has an advantage to being bought on the Amazon App Store for some device owners who can’t buy the game from the Android Market due to technical incompatibilities that do not exist when just installed via APK. This may be significant evidence that secondary app markets either pose no threat to Google, or users have no interest in them.
The lack of an approval process is seen as a plus to Mika Mobile: “If I get reports of a bug or incompatibility, I can often fix it right away and push out an immediate update, rather than having to wait a week for a trivial bug fix to be approved.” This is something that other developers, like PewPew developer Jean-Francois Geyelin and Legends of Yore developer Coke & Code Software have taken advantage of; the latter developer has even commented that some users are annoyed by the frequent updates that Android provides.
4. Android users want quality games and applications.
The relative success of Battleheart on Android has been in spite of a lack of marketing on Mika Mobile’s part – beyond a feature from Google on the tablet side of the Market, there has been little promotion for the game. The success of the game has been largely thanks to the game’s positive reputation and word of mouth from Android users. The game has been more highly rated on the Android Market, and rated at a higher rate than on iOS, as well. The Android user base does exist and is passionate about the platform; this is an example of something that the user base is picking up on.
5. Android users are a pain when it comes to tech support
While Android users tend to be more savvy with their devices than iOS users, as Mika Mobile has noted on their Twitter account before. However, with the wide array of devices available, tech support issues have arisen, and users haven’t been shy about emailing the developer about them, which Mika Mobile estimates is about 1-2% of their user base in total, which equates to a lot of support email.
Thanks to Mika Mobile’s experience with iOS and now with Android, there’s a lot of insight to be gleaned from their experiences.