Apple, Google offering game developers special incentives for exclusivity

App Store iOS 6

Competition between Apple and Google not only covers smartphones and mobile operating systems, but the App Store and Google Play app marketplaces, as well. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday the two companies have been working to sway game developers over to their own platforms exclusively with special incentives.

Having an exclusive game title on an app marketplace could help smartphone users feel as if they’re on the best platform, a task Apple and Google have been working hard at since 2008. Both companies have reportedly offered game developers premium placement on the App Store and Google Play, for exclusivity in return.

The Wall Street Journal found that Apple struck a deal with game publisher Electronic Arts in August 2013 for the App Store to have exclusive rights to Plants vs Zombies 2, two months before Google Play had the title. In return, Electronic Arts saw Plants vs Zombies 2 marketing in multiple spots across the App Store.

Cut the Rope, a popular puzzle game from ZeptoLab, saw a similar agreement with Apple. These type of exclusive game titles remind us of what has taken place on Xbox and PlayStation game consoles, but are a first for the mobile industry. Neither Google nor Apple are offering money for the game exclusives, rather just crucial marketing that can make or break a game.

Research website App Annie found in a report earlier this month that the App Store still holds the lead when it comes to worldwide revenue compared to Google Play, generating about 85 percent more revenue than its competitor. This gap narrowed over the last quarter though, as Google Play revenue increased in the US and UK.

Apple and Google couldn’t be reached for comment, but an Electronic Arts spokesperson said it “works closely with both Apple and Google.”