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Android Still Difficult, If Necessary, For Successful Smartphone Devs
Android Still Difficult, If Necessary, For Successful Smartphone Devs
May 26, 2011 | By Staff

May 26, 2011 | By Staff
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing

Mega Jump developer Get Set Games tells Gamasutra in a new feature about how "it made a lot of sense" to port to Android -- but there are still many challenges unique to such open platforms.

Says Get Set Games co-founder Matt Coombe, "From a business point of view, it's obvious that [Android] is a massive market, and it's growing fast, growing faster than Apple. So it made a lot of sense that we would want to be on more than one platform from a diversity point of view."

Mega Jump was temporarily pulled from the iOS App Store due to an issue with one of its updates -- having Android versions helps because when "your revenue [from other platforms] goes down, then you have other streams of revenue," says Coombe.

Mega Jump is a free-to-play game with in-app purchases -- which have been a problem on Android, says Coombe, as they are not currently as well-supported as on iOS. It's "a real friction area on Android," he says.

The Android version of the game only truly became financially viable once the studio implemented Tapjoy, an alternate payment service that allows users to earn virtual currency for free by installing apps.

However, Tapjoy has run into problems on iOS thanks to Apple's restrictions on the type of incentivizing it relies on -- which could impact it on Android as well.

"We certainly wouldn't have made our money back the way things were going with just in-app purchasing," says Coombe.

The multiple app stores where users can buy Android games each have different rules, and Mega Jump was actually rejected from Amazon's newly launched store because of the inclusion of Tapjoy. Tapjoy directs users to a marketplace outside of Amazon's store, which, as it turns out, is a violation of Amazon's terms of service.

Having to deal with so many different app stores makes Android a much more complicated option compared to its competition.

"It doesn't work like a huge single market," says Coombe. "It works like a ton of little markets. It hasn't turned into a huge part of our revenue."

But while the monetary benefits may not have been all that great initially, Get Set still views its early experiences with Android as being very important.

"Getting our feet wet and understanding it better, being involved in it is really important," says Coombe. "And we're really happy to have done that and know what's going on."

For more insight into the current state of the Android market from developers, companies such as Tapjoy and Amazon, and more, check out Gamasutra's latest feature -- live now.

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Maurício Gomes
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Heh, when I got hired to do iPhone work, I complained a lot about it.

Now that I work with Android, I think iPhone is godsend, and I wish I never had to move from it.

Ben Rice
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This just in; iPhone developer doesn't like Android!

There's one android Market. If you choose to integrate 3rd party APIs and have issues, it's not Google's fault.