Game developers still not sold on Android; ports to Google’s OS remain an afterthought

“Though we’re constantly buffeted by stories about new Android-powered game consoles and the continued growth of the Google Play Store, the fact still stands: An Android port seems to remain a footnote in development process, an afterthought, a thing that has to be done as opposed to the thing to do,” Cassandra Khaw reports for TechHive. “Even today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a game that’s exclusive to the Linux-based platform, or a developer willing to profess an undying affection for Android. People might make Android games, but they don’t seem like it.”

Pocket Tactics editor Owen Faraday, who expounded on Android gaming for Wired sometime ago, called the marketplace ‘a desolate wasteland,'” Khaw reports. “Faraday went on to cite a variety of developers, many of whom seem to see Android as a necessary evil that’s plagued by digital pirates. Piracy is a particularly vicious issue. Sports Interactive’s studio director, Miles Jacobson, once reported a staggering 9-to-1 piracy rate for Football Manager Handheld. And while still determined to provide support for Android users, Madfinger Games’ Anna Porizkova previously divulged to Gamasutra that the piracy rate for Shadowgun had, at one point, reached 90 percent before eventually dwindling to a still-striking 78 percent.”

Khaw reports, “Telltale Games blew away both the press and the public with its Walking Dead point-and-click adventure game. Like the comic book series and the TV show before it, the game gathered an awe-inspiring number of accolades: In total, the game, which is split into five episodes, has won over 80 ‘Game of the Year’ awards. With so much going for the game, an Android port should have been inevitable, a guarantee for even more success. To the dismay of Android users everywhere, however, that much-anticipated port never happened… In an interview with the PA Report, Telltale Games [said], ‘The disparate hardware specs, piracy concerns and state of the Android equivalent of the App Store make it very hard to bring our games over to the Android OS. To counteract these issues with the Android platform, and ignoring for a minute the huge issue of widely varied specs of Android devices, our games would need to be built and/or sold distinctly different than we do today on all other platforms.'”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Android. “Open” in all the wrong ways.

Smart developers focus on iOS. Fragmandroid is an afterthought, if it’s bothered with at all.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “boecherer” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
iOS apps are better than their Android counterparts – January 30, 2013
Security researcher labels nearly 300,000 Google Play Android apps as ‘high-risk’ – November 1, 2012
Here’s why iOS Apps look better than Android apps – April 30, 2012
Starbucks exec: Android apps often ‘watered down’ – May 16, 2011


  1. [Smart] developers, or no one for that matter, wants to go through the hassle and headeache of developing for something that’s not uniform or consistent.

    Plus, these are no times where the last thing you want is to be tourbleshooting your software applications/products.

  2. The author of X-Plane recently stated very emphatically that he’ll not develop any further Android apps. A patent troll sued them for using a Google-provided API and Google hung them out to dry by refusing to intervene on their and other sued developers’ behalf the way Apple backed theirs from a different troll, so on mobile it’s iOS all the way for them.

    It’s not that you merely don’t make money developing for Android, you run a very real risk getting your pants sued off for doing so, and end up *losing* lots of money.

    1. That’s a brilliant observation and Apple should quietly encourage them to evangelize to other app developers. Apple should also aggressively pursue legislation to prevent patent trolls from being able to directly sue developers on their platform.

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