The path to Android for a “very successful iOS game development shop” might be “skipping the Android Market entirely” in favour of deals to be bundled on select handsets, according to John Gruber. Is the Android ecosystem that ugly?
What that developer’s considering is pretty wild, if you think about it. The consensus is that Android is the top-selling smartphone platform in the US now. That’s due in no small part to the fact that there’s a ton of Android devices, available on every major carrier. And Android’s just going to get bigger. But this developer is considering intentionally limiting themselves to just a small fraction of the number of Android phones out there—limiting the number of copies they could sell.
Why? Because it would allow to them to develop their titles without worrying about gaps in OS updates from certain manufacturers (which could limit future functionality), dealing with lower-powered handsets, and—perhaps most notably—without wondering where the money would come from. Though the meme is perhaps self-perpetuating at this point, it seems to be the case that, on the whole, Android users are less willing to pay for apps. (Consider: Angry Birds has managed to sell millions upon millions of copies on iOS for 99 cents a pop, but the developers went the ad-supported route on Android.)
Doesn’t it strike you as a little crazy that an already successful developer is taking their time to figure out how to best launch on the fastest-selling smartphone platform in the US—and potentially foregoing a lot of business—because of potential issues with the platform? (A sad but necessary note: I don’t hate Android. But I am asking a serious question about it.) [Daring Fireball]