Console gamers and PC gamers (much like myself), are more than aware of platform-exclusives. Take the recent multiplayer storm that is Titanfall, it’s not available on the PlayStation and I feel lucky enough that I can play it on the PC. This sort of thing happens all the time, the PS4 launched with Killzone: Shadow Fall and now has Infamous: Second Son, with the Xbox One touting exclusives like Titanfall and Forza. Now, this sort of “exclusive” battleground is coming to our smartphones, and everyone is playing this game. According to a recent article from the Wall Street Journal, exclusive games are going to be the ext big thing that Apple, Amazon and Google all fight over.
Thanks to the explosive growth that Android has enjoyed over the past couple of years, Apple’s App Store is beginning to feel the heat. Sure, it’s still a little more successful right now, but the Play Store is catching up, and fast. To that end, Apple is turning to one of their biggest draws to keep the App Store on the right path; games. According to the WSJ, “Apple’s editorial team has been factoring in exclusivity to a greater degree after it deems an app to be attractive, according to people familiar with the process. The editorial team also will give greater consideration to titles recommended by its developer-relations staff, they said.” This certainly goes to show that Apple is feeling the heat and feels the need to ramp things up.
Amazon is of course, getting in on the act as well, and even have their own game studio in the form of Double Helix. The Fire line of tablets and now TV boxes are all running their own version of Android. When the FireTV was launched, it did so with an exclusive game that no other device would see outside of the Fire family. According to the WSJ, Amazon is offering premium placement in their app store, and offers to push games better if they’re tailored to the Kindle Fire line of devices. With an upcoming Amazon smartphone apparently in the works, it’s hardly surprising that Amazon is pushing things on the gaming front.
As for Google, the custodian of the Play Store is working with developers and publishers to integrate Android services into their games, like Play Games in order to provide a better experience to Android users. Betting on the bigger picture rather than individual games is a good way to keep the vast majority of developers happy, but it leaves your competition open to court other developers. Apparently, there’s no money involved in all of these deals, but we have to sincerely doubt that. After all, a game that runs on the Kindle Fire will run on Android, so what’s really in it for a developer to give Amazon an exclusive few weeks? Prime placement in the Amazon app store wouldn’t be enough for me to write off the Play Store for even a couple of weeks.