Yikes. We knew apps in Android Market weren't exactly selling like hotcakes but with newfound buzz and interest in Android from the recent releases of the DROID, DROID Eris, HTC Hero, etc. we figured developers would continue to plug in and eventually reap the benefits. Unfortunately, Gameloft thinks differently. They've chosen to cut back on Android development due to the 'weakness' of Android Market. To quote:

We have significantly cut our investment in Android platform, just like … many others. [The Android Market] is not as neatly done as on the iPhone. Google has not been very good to entice customers to actually buy products. On Android nobody is making significant revenue.”

According to Gameloft, one of the biggest mobile game publishers around, they're selling '400 times more games on iPhone than on Android'. That's an astounding difference but could probably be explained. Perhaps Android users aren't purchasing apps because of the relatively miniscule available memory for apps on Android devices. Or maybe looking at 400x sales isn't fair considering Android phones have yet to take off like the iPhone has (but in time, surely will). Either way, we think there's still a lot more to be said about the success of Android Apps than what Gameloft is saying. Cutting back investment in Android right now may be a little too rash.

[via the iPhone blog]


Reader comments

Gameloft Says Nobody Making Money on Android


Well 2 things
1. 3 years and 3 device iterations
2. Apple runs commercials Google doesn't, first non carrier marketing has been by HTC.

Add also the fact that gfx performance on Android is really on the low side compared to the iPhone (I own both, so it's really my end user experience).
As far as I'm concerned, I'll drop my iPhone and stick to Android only from the moment there is an Android smartphone with CPU>1Ghz and with real HW gfx acceleration.

A CPU > 1Ghz dosent even even exist yet and is for more powerful than the iphone. The new droid can handle anything the iphone (3gs)can because they use the same CPU.

I think gamlofts biggest problem is their android games are bearly playable.
I bout a few of their games and even UNO was so laggy it wasnt playable. I thought it was android but then i play speedforg 3d and it was flawless with 3d.
You cant sell crap and get mad that people are not buying it.

The Motorola Droid, the first phone to really be even remotely comparable to the iPhone, only came out 2 weeks ago.

Keep in mind "The Droid" is a brand applied to Android phones from different OEMs sold under Verizon. It is not a single phone.

While Droid is a line of android phones on Verizon, each one has its own name. The HTC droid phone is the Droid Eris, the Motorola droid phone is the Motorola Droid. "The Droid" refers to the Motorola Droid, not the entire line of droid phones.

Sure, put your games on the overpriced platform; of course, people are happy to pay you an arm and a leg. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Anyone expecting the Android market to resemble Apple's is not a good businessman. The average Android user is much more sophisticated than the average iphone user, and thus is less likely to pay for "tinker" applications. Android's market will always be somewhere in between Apple's and RIM's.

My thoughts exactly. I think most Android users aren't mouth breathers like many of the iPhone crowd are. Sorry folks, I've got better things to spend my green on than fart apps and tic-tac-toe...

Gameloft would rather develop more games for a company who has to approve ever app submitted instead of to an open source company. Every company will always have a platform they sell more products on and one that sells very little. It. Would be more benifital to support both platforms as to one that is already loosing people to develop apps, because of its approval policies

I purchase a few games from gameloft (waste of money) for mytouch and I can say that gameloft didn't well built their apps for android as they did with iphone. Their apps sucks & that is the true reason android lovers don't bother to purchase worthless apps!

I do have to say that I disagree with how apps are being sold in the android market. There are very few apps that are worth more than .99₵ and seeing as how a lot of the the apps in the app store are going for more than $2 is a disappointment. And I understand that right now cheap dollar apps wont fly because they can be returned before 24 hours. I wouldn't mind seeing the return policy go away if it would drop the prices and ultimately bring in more customers and more app designers.

I see it from both sides. Gameloft's game selection on Android is admirable, however they ARE laggy and unplayable after testing out their "lite" versions. Those same games run flawlessly on my iPod touch.

However, Google is not doing them any favors by having such a disorganized and lackluster app store that does not highlight any new software for shoppers or allow for any real preview of the app you are purchasing before download.

Then again, if Google attempted to build a more robust Android Market, developers might spend more time making these apps good.

Let it put me this way:

Nobody makes money with the crap Gameloft is putting into the market. Their games are so low quality on Android, no wonder they don't make money.

Maybe iPhone users are buying all the crap, or Gameloft ist doing a better job there, but on Android, you have to produce QUALITY to earn money.

Also... there's a huge difference in audience.

The iphone audience buys games.

Blackberry audience buys productivity.

Android audience buys...?

Hard to say this early, but somehow I'd wager the android apps will end up being a combination of the two, plus tons of geek apps.


Maybe the same game are good on iPhone and crappy on Android because for the same internal RAM memory, android system use way too much and leave too few to run applications:
--> iPhone 3GS with 256mb of Ram has 148 available for sofware
--> Moto Droid (Android 2.X) with 256mb of Ram has only 48 Mb availaible for software.
Source: http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/11/21/inside_googles_android_and...

If you have 48mb of ram or 148 available, that is a huge difference, which enable to run much better the sofwares.

What do you think?

You'll notice the original iPhone and 3G both have only 32 MB available for software. Therefore, we can assume any game that plays on the first two generations of iPhone (in this case, all iPhone games I'm aware of) would not be held back by RAM limitations on the Android platform, which has 16MB more available RAM.

I know I sure would have bought a hell of a lot more Google apps if there were any way for me to charge it to my T-Mobile account...

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