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Something for mobile devs to ponder about..

  • http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/15/monume ... -ios-game/

    There's other small indie devs who blog about the topic with similar conclusions.

    Android is a dead weight for developers to make $ with paid apps. 95-99% piracy rate.

    Free titles with Ads also generate very little revenue on Android due to the wide usage of AdBlockers.

    Freemium with IAPs on Android again generate a lot less revenue due to the wide usage of Freedom or other apps which hack/fake IAPs.

    In my own limited experience, I find these points to be true. I make a lot more $ on iOS than Android.

    It now makes a lot of sense why so many studios develop for iOS first then later port to Android, or not even port at all (not worth the $ invested to port). Luckily for C2 devs, porting to Android is straight forward and requires little investment.

  • I did some googling after reading this, and it's not quite as bad as it sounds (pretty close, though).. I would recommend anyone avoiding android because of this do the same..

    One interesting point I came across was that Google Play Store isn't available in China and so that's where a large number of the pirates come from.. Which means you're not losing money, because they wouldn't have been able to buy it anyway.

  • I never see Pirates as you "losing money" or potential lost sales etc. They don't buy it anyway. That's the mentality of the majority of Android gamers.

    That in-availability in China doesn't fly.

    A lot of financial reports released by indie devs on iOS or Steam (both available worldwide), I typically see their break down as such:

    ~50% from USA & Canada

    ~30% from UK & Europe combined

    ~10% from Japan/Korea/China

    ~5% from Australia/NZ

    ~5% from rest of the world

  • Reading article after article on this.. I can't really find any decent information aside from statistics from a single game here and there. It's clear there is definitely a very high piracy rate, but a lot of the devs report similar rates on iOS as well. The only really useful advice I've come across is "don't put all your eggs in one basket"...

    Interesting stuff, though. If you, or anyone knows of a good source for this type of information, I'd definitely be interesting in taking a look at it.

  • The situation of Android would be even worse than I thought, not that I even saw it as a real opportunity anyway (since adverts is the way to go, a market when you don't expect people to pay for what you give them)but still interesting, I wonder what could be done to help with that, I would say antipiracy measures (while they are completely uneffective, people seems to be thinking à paid app cannot sell if it can be illegitimately acquired), but mostly, I would think that it is expected, everyone says à paid app cannot sell on android, so they do not even try and drag down even more the situation, more exploiting à dying market than really "selling" à game IMO.

  • Sounds to me like making it into a Humble Mobile Bundle would be a good way to go - your product needs to be of a certain level of quality, sure, but when you make it it's a some cash money and a very decent chunk of publicity.

    Although in general when you are at a certain level of quality it probably matters a little less - then your game is good to go on multiple platforms, etc. If you just make a "tappy turd" and expect the money to come knocking then failure is predetermined in there somewhere.

    Android's problem is, probably, the huge amount of junk hardware that's distributed among those unable (kids) and/or unwilling (those with the super-budget devices) to ever pay for anything. Apple, with their goofy pricing has already established itself as the product for a slightly different range of customer thus, obviously, purchases are more likely.

    Still, among the billion Android devices there have to be some users willing to use/buy your product... if it's good enough.

  • Aphrodite

    Its a chicken or egg scenario. But the damage was done a long time ago. It's just building as time goes on.

    Google's Android is very weak on security. Any device can instantly install pirated apps (APKs) from any source, there's nothing on Google's side to prevent that. At least on iOS it requires jailbreaking a device which involves a few steps which is enough to deter many users from not doing it. That's all it takes. A few steps where they have to plug their device into their PC, download some crack software and spend a minute or two on it. That is enough to deter many mobile users... because let's face it, a lot of folks can afford a few $ here and there for apps, rather than going through the jailbreak process (ie. not worth their effort!).

    Some interesting insight from a cool indie dev group:

    http://www.butterscotch-shenanigans.com ... art-1.html

    In particular this one is quite brave:

    http://www.butterscotch-shenanigans.com ... emium.html

    http://www.butterscotch-shenanigans.com ... -play.html

    @Somebody

    Yes, piracy rate on Android is insane but sure, there's still some who are willing to reward gamedevs.

    Thats one good thing with C2, porting is so easy. Imagine if you had to pay a studio $20-40K to port your PC game to mobile for example. I wouldn't bother with Android if that were the case.

  • Silverforce

    Mind share the difference you got between IOS and Android revenue ?

    How about

    1)Total downloads

    2)Total IAP purchased

    3)Ads revenue ?

    It would really help us(or just me) to jump to IOS or not. Currently I'm doing game development for Android only since I don't have Mac and my Ipad is damaged. So I'm wondering if I should go all the trouble to jump to IOS or not. Since they will charge us $99 peryear and I do need to buy a Mac and fix my ipad first.

    Thanks.

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  • I think secretly Google doesn't care about Piracy in the same way as Apple doesn't care about jailbreak because they know apps help sell mobiles, or devices on which their os operates. Hardware wise iPhone and Android phones are pretty even now so platform content is important.

  • I think secretly Google doesn't care about Piracy in the same way as Apple doesn't care about jailbreak because they know apps help sell mobiles, or devices on which their os operates. Hardware wise iPhone and Android phones are pretty even now so platform content is important.

    That's a good point. "Buy this device, it plays apps.. for 'FREE'!" is obviously a better selling point than "Buy this device, and then buy more stuff to use with it!"

  • I think secretly Google doesn't care about Piracy in the same way as Apple doesn't care about jailbreak because they know apps help sell mobiles, or devices on which their os operates. Hardware wise iPhone and Android phones are pretty even now so platform content is important.

    That would make sense if Apple or Google didn't take a 30% cut in all transactions on their platforms.

    In fact, app sales, IAPs & app advertisement are the major source of revenue for both companies. When the mobile app market is ~60B per year, 30% is a large chunk.

    Piracy hurts google directly. It hurts Apple less because devs make more money on iOS, in turns, Apple makes more money.

  • Silverforce

    Mind share the difference you got between IOS and Android revenue ?

    So far its 75/25 but that includes a few games which I never launched on iOS, so realistically its around 90/10.

    iOS is where the money is for mobile devs. Android is a joke.

  • > I think secretly Google doesn't care about Piracy in the same way as Apple doesn't care about jailbreak because they know apps help sell mobiles, or devices on which their os operates. Hardware wise iPhone and Android phones are pretty even now so platform content is important.

    >

    That's a good point. "Buy this device, it plays apps.. for 'FREE'!" is obviously a better selling point than "Buy this device, and then buy more stuff to use with it!"

    I hear that comment a lot from Android users, they went with Android so they can watch tv shows or movies downloaded from the net, rather than pay via iTunes. Same for games.

    Its a selling point of Android but it will be a sell out as piracy becomes rampant, IAP hacks become the norm and nearly everyone install AdBlockers. Devs will see how little they earn and unless porting is dirt cheap for them, they won't release games for Android, it'll be iOS exclusive.

  • I agree. Android users don't seem to expect or wish to pay for apps, whereas Apple users are quite happy for fork out less than the price of a coffee on an app. Android development holds no interest for me because of this - I probably sell 30x more of my apps on iOS than I do on android.

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