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Revisiting Android

May 28, 2013 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 10 Next

How have your games sold on Android?

Our games have performed well on Android, and many of them have appeared in the Top 100 or even the Top 10 charts. Some of our apps, like Pretty Pet Salon and Star Girl, have reached the Top 10 of the Top-Grossing Apps list, so we are pleased. In total, our apps have been downloaded more than 120 million times. We had high expectations for what Android could deliver because we are big believers in open systems, but when we entered the market Android was definitely playing second fiddle to Apple's iOS. I'd have to say that changed dramatically in 2012: Last year Android really came into its own.

Which app stores do you support? How do your Android sales compare to your sales on other platforms?

Our Android games can be found on Google Play, Amazon's Appstore, the NOOK Store, Samsung Apps, and across many alternatives including carrier-specific app stores. Some stores do drive more installs than others, but in general we've found it beneficial to be in as many as possible.

Typically we have found that Android apps monetize slightly lower on a per-user basis than iOS, but this is a very complex matter. The Apple product spectrum is more expensive than Android, and most studies have shown that Apple users tend to be financially better off than Android users. That means that iOS users are more likely to have greater disposable income and as a result are more likely to spend more on their devices, compared with Android users.

This is not surprising, because Android offers a remarkable number of "budget" hardware options catering to the less wealthy, and the platform is (after all) a few years behind iOS in terms of in-app purchasing and the associated culture. Android also tends to be much more popular in poorer emerging markets like India or China, where several barriers to payment exist (culture, comparatively lower purchasing power, lack of easy payment options, etc.)

Pretty Pet Salon HD

But all that is changing very fast: The Android high end is becoming slicker and flashier with every new phone released, which drives up device cost and grants Android developers access to a wealthier user base. And the sheer number of Android users today and projected over the next couple of years will lead to correspondingly huge opportunities. The popular view that Android monetization is automatically inferior to iOS is rather myopic, especially in the medium- to long-term when you factor in the scale of the Android audience.

Overall, have you found Android dev to be worth the extra work? Are you looking into other mobile platforms?

Yes, Android development is absolutely worth the slight amount of extra work it requires to manage fragmentation, and we do recommend it to other developers because right now this is definitely a forward-looking platform. Android is our primary focus right now, but our DNA is very much cross-platform and we wouldn't want to tie ourselves exclusively to one platform. Windows 8 is a beautiful system that already has some great hardware, and Blackberry is making an interesting case for the BlackBerry 10.

Article Start Previous Page 4 of 10 Next

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