In the week since Apple’s iPhone (AAPL) App Store opened, one thing has become clear: People are playing lots of games on their gadgets. Seven of the top 10 paid apps and three of the top 10 free apps are games.
Google — whose Android operating system will compete with the iPhone later this year — should take note. Only one of the 50 apps that Google chose to feature from its first Android developer contest was a game. It might be a good idea for Google to stir up some more game developer interest.
Why aren’t there more games already? Two reasons:
First, nobody knows what the first Android phone will look like, what sort of controls it will have, how big its screen will be, etc. Steve Demeter, developer of the iPhone puzzle game Trism, said he’s not even thinking about developing for Android: “Well I think the big thing is [developers] like to know what they’re getting. Android is a platform rather than a device.”
Second, even if Google published detailed specs of the first Android handset, there still isn’t a market there yet — whereas Apple has sold some 7 million iPhones. A top iPhone game developer tells us he’ll consider developing for Android later this year, but it’s not worth any effort now. The iPhone platform is where the buzz is, he says. And he can already offer games to iPhone and iPod touch owners — he won’t be able to do that with Android for months, at the earliest.