Game developers love iOS and Android, but WP surprises

Game developers love iOS and Android, but WP surprises
Mobile gaming is huge business and it's no longer just in the hands of Nintendo and Sony. Smartphones have brought mobile gaming to everyone, and a new survey is showing just where developers want to target their efforts. Not surprisingly, developers are overwhelmingly choosing to work on the iOS and Android platforms, but Windows Phone is making a pretty solid showing itself. 

The survey is courtesy of Game Developer magazine and as you might expect nearly all (94.6%) of the developers questioned are working on or have games for iOS. Although, an interesting note for iOS is that only 30.7% of developers were building for iOS 5, with 39.4% targeting iOS 4.1+, 16.5% aiming for 4.0+, and 13.4% developing for version 3.0+. Perhaps iOS isn't as unified a platform as Apple wants us to believe?

Android comes in second with 70.7% of developers working on the platform, and it's hard to say exactly why the number would be that low. It could be partially that app revenue can be lower with Android, or it could be the difficulties associated with supporting such a vast ecosystem of devices, or it may just be a matter of marketing. Apple markets its products better than Android, and Apple has the brand recognition among casual users. 

The big surprise for us was actually with Windows Phone, where 8.8% of developers said they were working on the platform. Given that WP7 holds less than 2% market share in the US, and only around 6% worldwide, that's not such a bad number. Microsoft has obviously been pushing hard to get developers to work on the platform, and it seems to be working. 

BlackBerry (2.7%), Symbian (2%), and bada (1.4%) round out the survey, but none garners any real interest among developers. 

source: Gamasutra



1. PhoneArenaUser

Posts: 5498; Member since: Aug 05, 2011

" could be the difficulties associated with supporting such a vast ecosystem of devices..." I think it maybe a case.

18. haseebzahid

Posts: 1853; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

he means fregmentation :P

2. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

aww, is that more of that iOS fragmentation that always gets swept under the rug? I wonder if thats the cause of so many apps force closing in iOS5. :) 8% is a start. I bet with the launch of W8 it goes to 20% quickly and starts its slow rise. XBL compatibility and stronger processors make gaming ports a bit easier.

3. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

Of course, iOS platform spread just proves that the word "fragmentation" is pointless to use. Every platform on Earth has multiple versions in the wild. That's why I'm not using "fragmentation" ever again.

4. ehas423

Posts: 18; Member since: May 24, 2012

Well, tell that to TROLL.ISAHA. That kid has been screaming about fragmentation in every windows phone article he can find.

5. MichaelHeller

Posts: 2734; Member since: May 26, 2011

working on it

11. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Amen to both of you!! :D

16. ardent1

Posts: 2000; Member since: Apr 16, 2011

Michael, it's clear remix doesn't understand sound logic and it looks like you fell for the same trap. Then you came to your non sequitur (basically flawed conclusion) regarding fragmentation. In statistics, people (especially remix) don't understand the difference between mutual exclusive versus independent events. remix takes the wrong position that these iOS developers are mutually exclusive when they are in fact independent of each other. If you take the original statistics, "interesting note for iOS is that only 30.7% of developers were building for iOS 5, with 39.4% targeting iOS 4.1+, 16.5% aiming for 4.0+, and 13.4% developing for version 3.0+" -- IT IS ABOUT DEVELOPERS, not APPLE. Assuming you could do basic addition, then the developers working on iOS5 is 100% (30.7% + 39.4%, + 16.5% + 13.4%). Those that work on 4.1 is 69.3% (39.4% + 16.5% + 13.4%). Those that work on 4.0 is 29.9% (16.5% + 13.4%). Those that work on 3.0 is simply 13.4% The reason smart people know this is because these numbers are ADDITIVE due to the independent events. If you understand LOGIC, if a developer working on a 3.0+ version, it also works on 4.0, 4.1 AND 5.0. Next, let's address the issue why some developers would work on 3.0 while some just concentrate on 5.0. The simpliest answer is some developers have worked developing games longer than other developers. If you started developing games for 3.0, it's may not be a lot of work to make the game compliant for 4.0, 4.1 or 5.0. It may have to do with the simplicity of the game and the reach the developer wants to target. Again, THIS IS NOT ABOUT APPLE, it is something the DEVELOPERS does on his own. In summary, don't fall for the same trap that remix fell for -- it is not about fragmentation. In contrast, Android's fragmentation is real and games that run on 2.2+ (say Froyo) may not work on all handsets that have the same 2.2, etc. Fragmentation on android is a real and serious problem -- certain handsets can't get ICS, etc.

19. amazinghorse

Posts: 38; Member since: Dec 14, 2009

I don't mean to sound like a d**k here, and I may just not be smart enough to follow your "logic". It seems to me that your fifth paragraph refutes the "logic" and "additive" magic of your "independent events"(?) of paragraph four. Then your last sentence speak to the non upgrade ability of certain hardware. Um....did the first 3 iPhones get iOS 5? I guess I am just not smart enough to make sense of your comment. Maybe its the new math.

6. Tips_y

Posts: 31; Member since: Mar 19, 2012

As a fan of WP, yes I'm pleasantly surprised they're paying that much attention to It. Not that I play much games in my phone other than things like Wordament and Blocked In while waiting for my flight, or train, or (ugh!) my dental appointment. LOL! I much prefer to play games in the 24" screen of my PC!

12. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

not sure why anyone thumbs down that comment....

20. amazinghorse

Posts: 38; Member since: Dec 14, 2009

I thumbed you down because of the candy like appearance of the thumb down icon. It was unavoidable. I am truly sorry for my weakness.

7. x7black7x

Posts: 118; Member since: Feb 19, 2012

yes its a great platform......:-P i loved it but does it have free apps like android or free version of paid apps or just trail version in which you can play the game limited no. of times

8. Bluesky02

Posts: 1439; Member since: Dec 05, 2011

8% when there's no big sales, i'm glad developers are aware of WP potential. Imagine when Windows (Phone) 8 took off.

10. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

which is why now is the perfect time to get into WP7. There isnt much competition. One stand out game like Angry Birds will end up being on everybody's phones, since there isnt a whole lot of choice. If I had a good game idea (and knew how to make it), I'd actually make it for windows phone first for that reason. There is quite a few million handsets out there just waiting for that killer game. Port it to iOS and Android after where competition is much much higher.

9. strikercho

Posts: 156; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

Dear phonearena, as I previously told you multiple times - please, stop thinking. You only make a laughing stock of you. You can do well one thing - show phones and make some decent comparisons. Do not analyse, do not give predictions, do not make financial forecasts - your team is well undereducated for this. If you were at least a little prepared, you would not be ''surprised'' to see that more and more developers are acquiring Windows Phone. It is absolutely logical and normal, for those who know what is going on out there. Please stop, thinking, please. This is a really friendly advice.

15. jjbinkes

Posts: 6; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

Stop giving advice, please, stop.

13. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

WP is a surprise in a BAD way, if you ask me. this basically says that MORE THAN NINETY PERCENT of game devs are not making games for it! so lets say the biggest downside of WP is it's weak ecosystem(all other issues aside) - from the above statistics we can see that in the near future things will ONLY GET WORSE, in comparison with IOS an Android. roughly, in the given upcoming period, for every 14 new games on iOS, 10 new games on android, you will get only ONE new game on WP

14. 7thspaceman

Posts: 1597; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

yoo devlopers it's time to start making metro style Apps for Windows 8 tablets and Window 8 smart phones Microsoft will be supporting theses products for years to come because they have finally began making a unified Operating system that runs on Desktop/laptop and Windows server computers which core is also used on Windows Smart phones and Windows tablets. I donot think Microisoft will ever again have a fragmented soft ware system like they did before.this is a new ERA for them

17. thedarkside

Posts: 654; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

punctuation, please.

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