What would Android have to do to be viable for gaming?

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TinyGrasshopper

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#1  Edited By TinyGrasshopper

By viable gaming platform, I mean mainly to break through that perception that iOS users and the general mobile gaming audience has. The perception that Android users are cheap and don't spend money on games, and therefore don't make a game for Android your priority because it's not going to make as much money as iOS on launch.

I think they should make a second play store just for games. It'll just be a place to just showcase the good stuff, that's mainly paid. And make a requirement to get Google certified.

The second thing they should do is to make a gratis value add service with features along the lines of gamecenter/xbox live/steam where games can have cloud saves, achievements, messaging etc. (They already have messaging through google talk), they should make the effort to pull it all together.

It would be nice if they could have a best-in-breed device, but that is basically the Nexus 7 + Nexus 10.

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FistGrenade

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#2  Edited By FistGrenade

I agree with a lot of what you said. Really though what they need is a killer app. A big exclusive game that brings people in.

I've had my Galaxy 3 for 4 months and still haven't bought more than 5 games. I just haven't seen anything of interest.

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TruthTellah

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#3  Edited By TruthTellah

The Android marketplace should combine both having an open market and a curated market for presenting the best that's out there. One of the biggest problems for devs is how their games are just placed alongside trash or imitations, and if the Android marketplace could make a real push for showing the best legitimate games and apps rather than just the top selling or most popular, it would help the image of selling in that marketplace.

And game devs should be able to have more price control. Even have Free weekends and stuff like that. The iOS platform has done a good job allowing devs to get games out there with big temporary promotions, but that simply isn't possible in the Android marketplace. If you take your game from $.99 to Free, it has to stay at Free. You can't go back from it. Which is just indicative of a larger problem of devs having less ability to really get their quality games and apps shown, promoted, and sold in the way they'd like on Android.

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Clonedzero

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#4  Edited By Clonedzero

i dont really wanna play games on my phone is all.

i have an iphone and the only game ive ever played on it is when i was pressured into playing that drawing game and scrabble with my friend. oh and jetpack joyride :x

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espm400

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#5  Edited By espm400

I'm sorry, but ever since I got 'Snake' on my old Fido Nokia back in highschool, I don't think I've ever paid for a game on my cell, nor will I ever. Mobile gaming is a niche that for me is easily filled by games that don't cost me anything right now, and I don't see that changing anytime in the future. Frankly, if I want to play games, I use my laptop. If that's not a viable option, then simple time-killers like solitare or angry birds, and if even those aren't enough, I have a bunch of mirco SD cards with movies, simple as that. So yeah, maybe I'm a 'cheap' Android user, but the way I figure it, I dump enough money into my phone just to pay for the whole 'phone' thing, I don't think I could justify dumping more into a platform that I don't find particularly enjoyable to play.

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MikkaQ

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When a game comes out that works on every android device regardless of version available from a storefront on every android device, regardless of version.

So basically never. iOS' entire advantage is that every device has the same store and can almost play all the same apps, unless you're on a REALLY old device.

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SlashDance

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I only play puzzle games on my phone, because that's the only thing that's not complete shit. So Android is fine for me.

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Dagbiker

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Standardize their screen size and pixel colors. Right now If you develop on an Iphone you have 2-3 different screen sizes and color profiles. With android you have who knows how many. This would not be a problem if people didn't need to develop touch interfaces for them.

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Irishdoom

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I don't care for gaming on my phone. I thought I would, before I got the thing. I saw people playing neato little games that looked like fun, but once I tried them myself, I got 5 minutes in and had enough. Touchscreen controls just are not adequate for the kind of games that draw me in.

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EquitasInvictus

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#11  Edited By EquitasInvictus

The Moga controller is definitely making me a little more comfortable about playing on my Android phone. It actually mounts your phone/tablet to it and it connects via bluetooth. I basically played everything between a free FPS (Dead Trigger), Sonic CD, Pac Man, and even Chrono Trigger on my Android with my Moga, so that's pretty cool.

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Zekhariah

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#12  Edited By Zekhariah

Android needs to reduce the fragmentation through either abstracting the hardware, or supporting a specific pool of it. Software status would also be consistent, as new versions of android come out frequently while many phones are abandoned for updates the week of release.

Google would need to have more direct control if they wanted to force the updates as an issue (less customizability for the manufacturer), and hardware support is tricky when you are multi platform. So interesting, but if google ever stepped up to do those items you would probably see those vendors opt for a custom OS instead of having to follow another companies specifications (eg. Samsung -> Tizen, LG -> WebOS - bought from HP recently, etc).

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TinyGrasshopper

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#14  Edited By TinyGrasshopper

I think a lot of what everyone here is saying are problems that exist but aren't that bad on Android anymore. According to the Android numbers from off their dev site, Most phones are on one of two versions of Android, either Gingerbread or Ice Cream Sandwich. And about 50% of devices have a similar size and screen density.

The store is just not very good, that's the main problem, I think.

This seems like an opportunity for Steam to step in and fix this. They have almost all the infrastructure already in place. They already know how online games retail should work. And they know what value added services gamers want.

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roulette1986

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The fragmentation argument is just lazy, PC video game developers have had to deal with that for decades and have been fine. Google Play Store being a bag of bollocks is where I would look if you want anwsers.

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Bollard

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I don't know, I think the Galaxy S3 has seen the biggest shift away from iOS since the iPhone 3 came out. People I know who probably didn't even know what an Android was were seeing their friends with S3's and going, shit, I need to get in on that. If that continues with the S4 I don't see why Android can't continue to grow. The Play store already has a lot of the same apps that are on iOS.

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QuistisTrepe

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#17  Edited By QuistisTrepe

@tinygrasshopper said:

The perception that Android users are cheap and don't spend money on games, and therefore don't make a game for Android your priority because it's not going to make as much money as iOS on launch.

Who's been saying that? And how is it not getting any good games? Rockstar has ported two GTA games and even Max Payne onto Android. Square Enix has put out three original games for the platform as well. Seems a bit odd to put that kind of effort in for something that isn't going to make a lot of money.

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Ben_H

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#18  Edited By Ben_H

@quististrepe said:

@tinygrasshopper said:

The perception that Android users are cheap and don't spend money on games, and therefore don't make a game for Android your priority because it's not going to make as much money as iOS on launch.

Who's been saying that? And how is it not getting any good games? Rockstar has ported two GTA games and even Max Payne onto Android. Square Enix has put out three original games for the platform as well. Seems a bit odd to put that kind of effort in for something that isn't going to make a lot of money.

It was an older perception from developers. That is why a lot of older Android games are free-to-play and ad-supported, because app piracy used to be huge on Android (it may still be. I'm not sure) and they made more money with F2P and ads than actually selling the game. They may have locked it down now but it used to be ridiculously easy to pirate apps (in some cases, you would basically just have to download a file and install it. I did this with all the emulators after they all got pulled from the Market back in 2011). I use an iPhone now so I am a bit out of date but it definitely used to be the case that piracy was a big issue.

What Android really needs is Ridiculous Fishing. That game is quite amusing. I play it a ton. On a bigger screen it would be even better.

They do already have one up on iOS in that there are way more Kairosoft games on Android. I kept my old Galaxy Nexus solely to play Kairosoft games. They are starting to add all the games to iOS but last I checked there were at least a few (like Sushi Spinnery) that were only on Android.

Edit: One of the biggest issues is the Google Play store. It has always been terrible. The old Android Market app was way better but they made the Play Store update mandatory to use some apps. It is to messy and difficult to find things on there. The iOS App Store isn't much better but at least they do a better job featuring new stuff and not just plastering the cover page with a bunch of movies and books. The Play Store should have been broken up into separate categories so it isn't so mixed up.

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TinyGrasshopper

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#19  Edited By TinyGrasshopper
@quististrepe said:

@tinygrasshopper said:

The perception that Android users are cheap and don't spend money on games, and therefore don't make a game for Android your priority because it's not going to make as much money as iOS on launch.

Who's been saying that? And how is it not getting any good games? Rockstar has ported two GTA games and even Max Payne onto Android. Square Enix has put out three original games for the platform as well. Seems a bit odd to put that kind of effort in for something that isn't going to make a lot of money.

According to these bootcamp slides, for a presentation which happened last week, 80% of all mobile app purchases are iOS app purchases, so there is some truth to it. I don't subscribe to it, since I have no problem buying stuff once I've heard of it, but I almost never go to any app store, iOS or Android, looking for stuff to buy.

And it's not that you can't make money, you'll just make less. And you don't get popular when you do an Android release first, unless you don't have a choice, because Apple declined your app (cuz then you can garner headlines), or unless you're bootlegging an iOS app's idea.

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TinyGrasshopper

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It doesn't look there are any game-specific stuff in the recent redesign, but maybe there's gonna be some kinda piggyback effect for games. http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/9/4203236/google-launches-play-store-redesign-on-android

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Cameron

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I was reading a story earlier today (sorry I can't remember where, it was through Flipboard) and it mentioned that the iOS app store accounts for 70+% of app revenue, even though Google Play has recently surpassed it in terms of download numbers. That's a pretty good indication that Android users just don't pay for stuff as much as iOS users. I have a GS3 and I buy way more stuff for my iPad just because there are usually better sales on iOS and games tend to come our first there.

I'm not sure what Google can do to make that situation better. Certainly being more selective in what they show on the store would help. There's just so much noise compared to good apps. There is some great stuff worth paying for that you just can't do on iOS (not games so much as cool apps), but good luck finding it without looking on tech sites.

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Ben_H

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@cameron said:

I was reading a story earlier today (sorry I can't remember where, it was through Flipboard) and it mentioned that the iOS app store accounts for 70+% of app revenue, even though Google Play has recently surpassed it in terms of download numbers. That's a pretty good indication that Android users just don't pay for stuff as much as iOS users. I have a GS3 and I buy way more stuff for my iPad just because there are usually better sales on iOS and games tend to come our first there.

I'm not sure what Google can do to make that situation better. Certainly being more selective in what they show on the store would help. There's just so much noise compared to good apps. There is some great stuff worth paying for that you just can't do on iOS (not games so much as cool apps), but good luck finding it without looking on tech sites.

Your point is similar to what I said in my post but I definitely agree with what you added. There is simply too much "garbage" in the Play Store. For every app you actually want there are ten or twelve knockoffs plugging up all the top app lists, and it makes it very difficult to find things. Simply put, they need to control the content on their store more. They also need to advertise sales more. Apple doesn't exactly do the best job of this either but at least they show some of the sale items, along with their free app they have each week.

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eskimo

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A more secure market place.

Clearly the devices themselves are up to the task. I bought the Humble Android Bundle recently and it runs great on my 2 year old Transformer.

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BestUsernameEver

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This doesn't just go for android, it's an issue on iPhone and windows phone too, and it's a simple complaint, I hate touchscreen buttons. Make a phone with buttons, and not the slide out kind because that adds way too much bulk, just near the top and bottom of the screen have a little dpad and a and b, that's it.

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EXTomar

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The fragmentation argument is just lazy, PC video game developers have had to deal with that for decades and have been fine. Google Play Store being a bag of bollocks is where I would look if you want anwsers.

But PC is a general computing platform with often excess computing power for most tasks at hand. For Android it is often hard to figure out if an app will run at all unlike PC where it is more a problem if it can run smoothly.

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BlatantNinja23

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#26  Edited By BlatantNinja23

People actually downloading and buying apps. Until then apps will remain iOS only or first. If android users were downloading just as much, companies would be flocking to it just as much.