Citing people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reports that both Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOGL) are trying to get top game makers to release exclusive games for their platforms by offering prominent placement to these games on their app store sections and lists.
Rumors of these type of deals surfaced last year, with reports highlighting an arrangement between Apple and publisher Electronic Arts for “Plants vs Zombies 2”, a highly anticipated sequel to a popular zombie-survival strategy game, where the app was launched on iOS first in exchange for premium placement on the App Store.
“Last August, for the launch of “Plants Vs. Zombies 2,”…..publisher Electronic Arts Inc. struck a deal with Apple, which promoted the game prominently in its App Store,” the daily said, adding that in exchange, “EA agreed to give Apple about a two-month window of exclusivity for the title, which wasn’t released on Google’s Android software until October.”
The report also claims that Apple had a similar arrangement with developer ZeptoLab to promote “Cut the Rope 2”, another sequel to a hot-selling game, which was released in December as an iOS exclusive for approximately three months.
Alongside Apple and Google, e-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) also seems to be negotiating similar agreements, exchanging high placement in the Amazon App Store in return for platform exclusivity.
GameStop Corp’s Emily Greer likened the contest to an “arms race” for the best content.
“When people love a game, and it’s not available on an alternate platform, they’ll change platforms,” she told the Journal. “The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything.”
Nearly 80% of more than one billion smartphones shipped around the globe in 2013 used the Google’s Android platform, according to research firm IDC. At the same time, Apple’s market share has declined to 15%.