Gaming guru John Carmack says iOS better for game developing than Android, Epic Games founder agrees

Gaming guru John Carmack says iOS better for game developing than Android, Epic Games founder agrees
Gaming guru John Carmack, known as the driving force behind a few notable titles like the Doom, Wolfenstein and Quake games, among others, expressed his opinion that iOS is a more profitable and, in fact, better gaming platform than Android, and thus he plans to focus more on Apple's mobile OS than Google's one.

Speaking to NowGamer, Carmack pointed out some reasons why he favors iOS over Android when it comes to game developing. Besides the overall impression iUsers are more likely to spend real bucks on a mobile game than their green robot counterparts, he says Android fragmentation is a major factor - not only on software level, but also because of the differences in hardware between high-end and low-end devices powered by Google's mobile OS - a problem that's almost non-existent in Apple's universe. Moreover, he simply says "it's just fun to develop on iOS".

Don't get the wrong impression though - Mr. Carmack is not an Apple fanboy. Far from it. As a matter of fact, he has hired an "Android guy", who is developing exclusively for this platform, although the gaming icon says he may have to change sides and join the iOS team. id Software's co-founder is also occasionally checking the state of things, just to be sure he knows which way the wind blows:

"Every six months, I'd take a look at the scope of the Android and decide if it was time to start really looking into it."

Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney is sharing this sentiment. According to him, the main downfalls of Android are the issues with "reliable memory, optimization of graphics, and fragmentation". He cites these problems as reasons why the impressive Infinity Blade is available for iOS but not for Google's mobile OS.

source: NowGamer and Mobiledia and Electricpig UK

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30 Comments

1. dan_md

Posts: 66; Member since: Oct 19, 2010

Gaming guru or not, Mr. Carmack should go for less words and more action. His sentiments are valid; he has probably reached his financial "quota" and doesn't mind stagnating on one OS alone. Otherwise, he would be working on new games or coding existing games for other platforms. Fragmentation? Look at Angry Birds, it's no Infinity Blade but it makes more money embracing the "fragmentation" and the different platforms: iOS, Android, Symbian, and soon Windows phone. Cross-platform versatility.

2. fsjon

Posts: 120; Member since: Sep 03, 2009

I think the market should just filter their list of application based on your device...so the general consumer will not purchase an app/game is not optimized for that hardware. They already has a data base of running android device, just it is just on the developer's part to fill out the min. spec. require and let google handle the rest.

4. IHatePhones

Posts: 99; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

Well the market already does this for devices running a lesser version of Android than an app was designed for. Maybe they simply need to place hardware requirements in the app description ala PC games...

5. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

actually the android market can filter though specific devices when people develop they can choose the specs needed if im not wrong

10. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

yep, you're right. Its able to filter the flash player only to devices that support it. Fragmentation is just an excuse for them to remain Apple fanboys rather than make their product available to another range of devices.

3. IHatePhones

Posts: 99; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

Well Rovio did it right and developed Angry Birds for Android 2.1 and above. I believe that any device incapable of receiving the update to 2.1 or above is incapable of playing it anyway. So devs just need to pick a version that is guaranteed to have devices with enough horsepower to run the games. I think that Android 2.3 is really going to get more attention from devs when it becomes more available. The Android updates aren't coming out at (relatevely) breakneck speeds anymore and hopefully the fragmentation will cease to be an issue due to this. But I really don't mind getting a new Android device if it means I can play better games and watch Netflix.

7. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

2.3 and Icecream are going to be important updated when it comes to gaming development.... I wont miss infinity blade anyways when the Play station suite hits the android market this summer

15. JeffdaBeat unregistered

But when you're a developer and you want your app to get maximum exposure, it's rough to scale it to every single Android size and power. That's why there is a problem. For most of us, if we get an Android phone, it's going to be a high end one...but nerds are pretty low in buying power...they want to go after average consumers and a lot of them may want to save money because to them, Android is Android.

17. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

the most popular android screen sizes are 3.7, 4.0, and 4.3 Any phone with the horsepower for a good game is going to have those sizes and 2.2 or higher at this point. Fragmentation??? Not that big of a problem.

6. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

Let's be honest the android platform is tough to develope high speed games, because its less profitable and they have a max data of 50 mb. They defiantly could do it but iOS is more profitable and why would they spend time on a platform that has problems like piracy and data cap. Plus the game they're talking about requires a lot more power than angry birds, I know you guys knew that but I would think it would be a bit more difficult. I bet the next 6 months when Carmack does look into android he will change his mind.

11. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

there is definitely no 50MB cap, that might be for the size of the app download but they can have installers that download much more. I have the Sims 3 on my phone, its definitely beyond 50MB, its about 100ish MB that it downloaded after a pretty small download through the market.

14. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

There is a 50 MB cap for an app to be placed in the market, but obviously you can download data after downloading the app.

18. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

ya, dungeon defenders has a 211mb download after you get it. there may be less over all profits in the android marketspace at this time for great games, but if you give me a high quality app, im ok with paying a high quality app price. maybe the issue is that there just isnt that "killer app" out there to prove it to these yahoos. Maybe they should quit whining and produce this killer app.

8. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

a sad day to see that guys like John Carmack, which are strong supporters of the Open Source movement (since they open source their previous engine when the new engine's out, also they used Open APIs like OpenGL for their graphics instead of DirectX) have changed their focus and became Apple fanboys.

9. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

also, Tim Sweeney is clearly an Apple fanboy. The reason Infinity Blade is on iOS and not Android is because of this. Using the "Fragmentation" excuse is a joke, there are TONS of Android phones as powerful or more powerful than Iphone 4 out there, certainly enough to make for a profitable development experience, but instead they purposely keep their products out in order to shift focus towards Apple.

13. 530gemini

Posts: 2198; Member since: Sep 09, 2010

And then come all the bitter commenta from fandroids, lol. What a bunch of losers. I've been right all along. There's more money for developers in iOS than in android. Like he said, iOS users have the $$$ to spend. Android has the bigger market share over iOS, but what good will that be with developers if android users are a bunch of cheap, low income users who want everything for free? Hahahaha. Same will happen with music labels. They will support itunes more. Why? Because all ios users will buy their own songs, while with android users, all it takes is one android user to download a song, and then it gets bluetoothed to all the rest of them, hahahaha. And then what will bitter fandroids say? "Those record labels are iOS fanboys", or, "Apple paid those records labels", hahahahaha. iOS = high quality apps by top of the class developers Android = low to medium quality apps from the blackmarket and hackers, hahahahaha

16. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

No one has ever said App developers make more money on android. You are claiming that Android fan boys said all of this incorrect information that they never said. Grow up You are making up stereotypes for Android users where you are wrong. FACT more Android users are employed than iPhone users (Japanese survey). No one wants you here little boy, go back to school.

19. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

its a waist of time... god knows where gemini got kicked off... 4chan maybe? just report its coments and phonearena will do the magic

21. aruegas

Posts: 9; Member since: Mar 04, 2011

I agree with gemini. Android users always complain about the AppStore having to charge users for apps. So it does give an impression that android users are cheapstakes. As for kjayhawk on the number of employed users between android and ios users, of course android would have a higher number. There are more android users than ios, so naturally, android would have more users employed than ios. It's like saying, there are more Honda drivers who are employed than Bentley owners. Well maybe because Bentley owners don't have to work.

23. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

well if it an app like quickoffice many are paying https://market.android.com/details?id=com.qo.android.tablet.am&feature=search_result for a game like ZENONIA many are paying https://market.android.com/details?id=com.gamevil.zenonia2&feature=search_result for social tool like flow many are payinghttps://market.android.com/details?id=uk.co.senab.blueNotify&feature=search_result yet who want to pay 99 cents to change the color and skin of your virtual zippo lighter?https://market.android.com/details?id=com.moderati.zippo2 I don't think android users are cheap.... just look into the real vauable things.... just check the market and you will see the top seller are all apps that either really entertain your or are actually usefulhttp://www.appbrain.com/apps/popular/paid/

24. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

and also must be added that most paid apps are aviable on US and few markets only witch reduced the number of downloads those apps could be getting

25. Kjayhawk

Posts: 294; Member since: Oct 07, 2010

Incorrect the test took an even amount of both users..

30. jgcaap

Posts: 42; Member since: Feb 22, 2011

Cheapstakes? Maybe the word would be, dont have the money for it x) I was an android user and i usualy went for the free apps. But even in IOS there must be lots of Cheapstakes, people buy the phone, jailbreak and then have access to lots of apps for free =P I have now a windows phone, and i cant go for those directions, but till now i stucked on the free market, maybe when i have more $$ available, i'll manage buy some apps =D

20. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

more android users bought their own devices.. not asking mommy for a new christmas present. teenage tool.. lol.

22. arena

Posts: 18; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

Developers would always prefer Apple's walled garden platform. It's less convoluted compared to android's more open platform. There's an up side and down side to every approach. In this matter, Apple's strict, uniformed, and straightforward standard guidelines do give the upperhand to ios over android.

27. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

tactually devs are more interested in android, phonearena reported that

28. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

sorry couldn't find the article... this will do hopefully (if you read the whole thing of course) http://www.droid-life.com/2011/04/04/more-on-android-fragmentation-86-of-developers-think-its-a-prob lem/

26. IHatePhones

Posts: 99; Member since: Aug 12, 2009

The irony of all of this is that many game developers stayed away from all Apple os's because of the walled garden platform for many many years. This is almost a PC vs Mac gaming thing but in reverse. No one ever really cited "fragmentation" on PC gaming, but Mac was just not good for gaming. Now, at least in the mobile world, Apple owns the game market. Apparently mobile devs are getting lazy, or don't care about market share or really even profit. You'd think they'd want to use a platform that'd get more exposure and potential clients.

29. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

all those who want to maximize their sales will end up getting on all OS they can chew on... the hobbist may find a harder problem with it but those who work enough will succeed, anyways will see what Google real plans on its next IO

31. r2212xx

Posts: 41; Member since: Apr 18, 2011

Yes that is true. There is really a large level of fragmentation in the Android OS with two Android devices running same version being very different from each other on the hardware front and also many times the interface front. I guess the open source nature of Android can be blamed for this. But i am quite sure it is this nature that gives freedom and helps many game developers to be more flexible with their gaming titles. This is because an open source OS doesn't restrict the developer in any form.

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