May 14, 2012
The report came out recently that Apple was making 84% of all mobile gaming revenue in the US, according to Newzoo. The iPad alone accounted for 30% of all mobile gaming revenue, compared to Android’s 16%. Other platforms were either so small that they were just rounding errors, or were not considered in this study.
Of course, the idea that Android is not as big of a player in mobile gmaing is a recurring one. I’m just curious in particular, what causes this attitude to persist?
Personally, when discussing the iOS and Android question, I often say that for those who think gaming is an important factor on the mobile device, they need to go iOS. The platform still isn’t entirely optimized for gaming (I would like better save game handling), and the App Store is still a mess, but just in the sheer number of quality releases on a weekly basis, and the undiscovered gems that keep popping up, iOS and the App Store are winning. It’s not just in the battle for money â€“ it’s a battle for attitude.
For this attitude to change, Google is going to have to take steps toward improving gaming on Android. This may mean trying to push new releases in a similar way to Apple; curating content and featuring the best, rotating their features regularly may be a big step toward making this more possible. After all, if Google starts to show that new content exists, then it might just help spur things along.
The other problem may be users just aren’t as attached to Google Play as they are the App Store. This may be in part due to the way Android is laid out. The App Store is ever-present on a user’s device. They have to visit it and see the featured page often. It can be buried in a folder, but it’s still always there. The Play Store can easily be hidden, and it’s possible to rarely visit the storefront because of the ability to be notified automatically if updates are ready. It’s easy to not wind up looking at the front page of the store for a while.
Google needs to make the Google Play more important to users, and visiting it more. Otherwise, only the big players will be able to succeed on Android, and they’re not the ones that need the help.