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drwuro

would you create an Android-only game

10 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

I am currently working on a game for Android, because I have an Android phone. After a while of developing, I heard that iOS is a much better gaming platform, sales-wise. However, I don't want to do everything from scratch now, so I'd like to finish the Android version and who knows, in the future I might create an iOS port.

 

I'm just wondering if someone here has some experience with developing only for Android; is it also possible to earn money there*, or would you definitely recommend making an iOS version as soon as possible?

 

* the game will not have ads, it will only have an unlockable full version

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I think it's reasonable to expect to be able to make something like 2x to 5x the amount of money on iOS than you do on Android.

 

Does that mean you should switch to iOS right now? Not necessarily, iOS might be the bigger market sales-wise, but you can get pretty good download numbers on Android (it's converting them to paid that's harder). You can always see Android as an extended soft launch, so that when you come to release on iOS, you've fixed all the bugs and smoothed out any difficulty spikes and optimised your up-sell, etc.

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No, since there are a few frameworks that enable you to target multiple platforms without too much effort. Marmalade (c, c++, or lua) and Cocoonjs are decent.
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Does that mean you should switch to iOS right now? Not necessarily, iOS might be the bigger market sales-wise, but you can get pretty good download numbers on Android (it's converting them to paid that's harder). You can always see Android as an extended soft launch, so that when you come to release on iOS, you've fixed all the bugs and smoothed out any difficulty spikes and optimised your up-sell, etc.

 

On top of this, there are also a few costs involved to adding iOS support - the cost of an iPhone/iPad, a Mac, and the developer's licence.  Android is considerably cheaper to develop on.

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@ smr: I know, but as I mentioned in my original post, I would have to re-write the whole engine now, and I'd prefer to finish the Android version soon instead of re-starting from scratch

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It is a business decision, just like all the other decisions.

I would certainly finish whatever you are doing now. Statistically your first several projects are going to fail, so get those all out of the way as quickly as possible.
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I'd consider moving to a multi-platform environment.

The general idea behind making a game on Android is to increase revenues from a successful iOS title.

Games sell better on iOS, and assuming the right tech, the port can be pretty straightforward, so netting an extra 20% sales really helps recouping investment.

 

Going straight for an Android game and netting less than 1/4 the sales does not appear advisable, unless you have a means to have a lot of exposure on Android, or your intent isn't profitability itself.

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Honestly from the sound of it, I guess that releasing the game just for Android (at least initially) may make sense, it'd be better than having nothing. Just be warned that the single payment method on Android is unlikely to be successful (in fact it's pretty much a hard sell on iOS too, mobile is pretty much free-to-play or ad-based territory).

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Android has by far the biggest market share, but yes that doesn't necessarily mean more downloads or sales, as there's more competition, and more available for free.

If you want to maximise sales, then use cross-platform tools (which would be recommended even for just Android and IOS) and port to all mobile platforms (no need to stop at just two). If you want to pick one platform, it's probably better to do that sooner rather than later - though there're a lot of guesses in this thread and it's hard to really use any of that as a basis. If you've already got an Android-specific version, then stick with that - I agree with the other comments, it's far better to keep with what you're doing, then to completely switch platform on a hunch.

When comparing costs, also consider things like revenue from ads (which Android would benefit from the much larger market share) - you've said your game won't have ads, but why not consider that, if you're after the best way to make most money?

I don't think making money is easy on any platform - a lot of the success stories you hear are either the ones who got lucky and now get loads of publicity for it, or the ones backed by a massive advertising campaign.

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well the reason why i don't want to use ads is simply that i don't like them myself, and though it might sound like it in this thread, money and profit is not the single thing i am focusing on. i want to create the game exactly like i imagine it to be, without compromises. but after that, of course i'd still like to make it sell considerably well. i don't know if it will work out, of course :)

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be aware that the amount of needed testing and possible issues with different devices is much higher on Android than iOS.

 

How many generations of IOS devices are normally in use? Normally you have 1 or 2 device of the same category per generation on the iOS side. On the Android side you can multiply that with the amount of Producers of Android devices (10? 20? 30?), and the miriad of variants per generation some producers flood the market with (samsung comes to mind).

 

Not saying delopment for Android is a bad idea... just that, if you really want to go commercial, you might face much higher costs for testing devices and fixing device related differences than on the iOS side.

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