Apr 20, 2012
I’ve been writing a lot about the ways that the Amazon Appstore has been outperforming Google Play in terms of making money for developers. TinyCo, makers of a bunch of social games with the word “Tiny” in their title, such as provide some interesting evidence as to what these revenue splits mean â€“ and why it may just be possible to make money on Android by actually focusing on it as a platform.
In particular with their title Tiny Village, TinyCo is outperforming the average on Google Play, with revenues on there representing 65% of their total on the iOS App Store. Compared to Flurry’s quoted 23% number, this is a marked improvement. But the real stunner comes from TinyCo’s revenues on the Amazon Appstore: 180% of the revenue that they get on the App Store. As a more apples-to-apples comparison, the game makes 143% of the revenue on the Kindle Fire as it does on the iPad.
So what does TinyCo credit their dramatically above-average success on Android to? They actually focused on Android as a release platform. They claimed that at one point in time, “80-90% of our time and resource was focused on iOS leaving little for Android, our games worked perfectly on iOS but crashed on Android, and our Android version lacked many of the features found on iOS.”
However, they have begun to equalize the time they spend on each platform. In particular, they’ve build a cross-platform engine named Griffin that they claim “that enables us to write code once, then deploy and make content updates on iOS and Android simultaneously.” They also claim that as it runs natively on each device, they get “top-notch performance on both platforms.”
The ability to deliver content simultaneously to each OS is a huge boon â€“ even now, games like Death Rally release long after their iOS counterparts and ship with fewer features on Android, meaning the platform’s players get second-class experiences.
Now, remember that TinyCo is a well-funded developer, and not a smaller studio that can’t ship content and support multiple platforms because they just don’t make the revenue to have the manpower to support it. However, with the rise of the Amazon Appstore and with many more cross-platform tools coming out, it may just be getting easier to actually make money on Android. The end of its time as a second-class citizen for gaming may just be on the horizon.