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Apple and Google battling for exclusive games

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Apple and Google are engaged in a fight to obtain exclusive games for their mobile platforms, according to a new report.

In a move that mirrors the state of play on home consoles, Apple and Google are currently wooing games publishers into exclusivity deals in a bid to gain an edge.

That’s the state of play according to a recent Wall Street Journal report, at least.

Unlike those aforementioned home console wars, which see Sony and Microsoft shelling out millions for exclusive rights on major games (Titanfall being the biggest recent example), Apple and Google are said to be offering something arguably more precious than money.

One of the biggest problems for any app developer on both the App Store and the Google Play Store is visibility. It can be very hard to stand out on each app store’s home page without a push from Apple or Google respectively.

And it’s visibility that the two tech giants are offering to game developers in place of currency. Premium placement on a major app store invariably leads to a massive spike in sales.

According to the report, EA struck just such a deal with Apple over Plants vs. Zombies 2 last August. In exchange for prime positioning on the App Store, EA granted Apple a two month exclusivity window. Sure enough, it arrived on Android in October.

Likewise ZeptoLab, the developer of the popular Cut the Rope series, agreed to give Apple first dibs in return for a major App Store push. The exclusivity window on this occasion is said to have been three months.

Gameloft, which develops and publishes a number of high profile mobile games such as the Asphalt series and a number of Marvel film tie-ins, reportedly rejected a similar proposal from Apple. It opted to launch simultaneously on both iOS and Android.

The report doesn’t give any specific examples of Google making similar moves in the gaming space, but with Amazon also pursuing such deals with its custom Amazon Appstore, it’s a safe bet that it’s involved in similar negotiations.

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