The first thing that you need to realize with Android publishing is that there
is a lot of choice. Many different systems use the Android OS, so you can
publish on Android phones, Kindle Fire, Nook, OUYA, GameStick and more.
Right now it seems a new Android powered device is announced every
Like the iOS, the Android marketplaces can often be heavily over- saturated.
Additionally, as Android is so open, piracy is a big problem. It can be very
difficult to earn decent revenue on Android, although as with iOS, if you do
get a hit the numbers can be very good indeed.
Let’s start with the various Android stores that are available:
Registration fee: $25
Revenue split: 70% (developer) / 30% (Google)
Google Play is the primary App Store for Android. This will most likely be
your first port of call when publishing an Android title.
Amazon App Store
Registration is free
Revenue split: 70% (developer) / 30 (Amazon)
the Amazon App Store is the next largest App Store for Android after
Google Play. If you develop an Android title, you definitely need to release
on Amazon in addition to Google Play.
Registration is free
Revenue split: 70% (developer) / 30% (SlideME)
For most developers SlideME is either second behind the official Android
Market for global distribution or third for US distribution behind Amazon
App Store. It is also slightly different from either in that it is a community
and content driven marketplace, uniting developers and users. Many
developers, particularly smaller ones, have actually reported better sales on
SlideME than on Google Play, so you should certainly consider releasing
your Android games on SlideME.
What they Say
“SlideME offers products, services and experience that help promote small
Android developers and their creative efforts, without locking them into any closed standards. We are focused on addressing and helping developers gain quality assurance and financial rewards in this exciting multi-billion dollar industry.
Have an application that you wish to distribute to more than 50% of Android devices without Google Play or Google prevents you from stoing in Google Play, leaving you and your app stranded? Are there users desperate to buy your application but they don’t have access to Google Checkout or Google Play? Do you want to show off your app but feel limited by not having what you need in the Google Play Marketplace?”
System price: Various
Revenue split: 70% (developer) /30% (Amazon)
There are now several Amazon Fire devices available, include the Kindle Fire tablet, Fire smartphone and Fire TV set-top box. These are Android powered devices, and the good news is that 75% of Android apps tested just work as-is on Kindle Fire. You can also distribute HTML5 apps on Kindle, so you have various options available for Fire app creation.
Amazon are really keen to get new game content onto their devices, and are
running various promotions to encourage this, including free Amazon coins
to qualifying apps.
The Amazon developer console is a big plus point for Fire development, it is
one of the most fully featured consoles around and it allows easy access to
your stats, analytics and promotions.
Below I have highlighted a few of the key features available to developers on Amazon:
Appstore Developer Select
Appstore Developer Select helps get your qualifying mobile and HTML5
web apps discovered and gives you more opportunities to boost your sales
and revenue. As a developer with one or more qualifying apps, you will
receive the following benefits:
▶ Enhanced Merchandising to Improve Discovery: We’ll provide enhanced
merchandising for your apps that are live in the US, UK, Germany,
France and Spain via dedicated Amazon Appstore home page
placements in each of these countries and consider your apps for
advertising on Kindle Fire. Additionally, your qualifying apps that are
live in the US Amazon Appstore will receive 500,000 free mobile ad
impressions across the Amazon Mobile Ad Network.
▶ Amazon Coins Rewards to Customers to Improve Conversion: Consumers
purchasing your app or in-app items in your app will receive up to 30%
of the purchase price back in Amazon Coins.
▶ 25% off Amazon Web Services to Help You Scale: You will earn 25% credit
back on qualifying purchases of Amazon Web Services (AWS) products,
up to a maximum $500 credit per year.
Free App of the Day Program
The Free App of the Day (FAD) is a curated promotional opportunity, where
Amazon offers one paid app to customers free each day. Participation in
FAD helps you gain greater exposure and drives significant traffic to your
app. The apps we select are featured in some of our most visible marketing
placements, including placements on mobile devices, Kindle Fire, and the
Amazon Gold Box Best Deals page, and are complemented by social media
exposure including a Facebook post and Twitter tweet. These placements
and the exposure they provide drive significant traffic to the featured apps
and allow the developers to grow their installed base quickly.
Developer Promotions Console
Want to run a 24-hour special holiday sale or discount all of your mobile
apps to celebrate the launch of a new game? It’s easy! Developer Promotion
Console gives you a quick and easy way to create temporary discounts for
your mobile app and mobile in-app items.
As you can see, Amazon are taking indie game development very seriously,
and it is definitely one of the best Android options right now.
System price: $99
Revenue split: 70% (developer) / 30% (OUYA)
Since its 2012 Kickstarter campaign, OUYA has generated a lot of interest
from indie developers. It has a low barrier of entry and cost- effective kits and offers mobile gaming in the living room.
OUYA is an open platform with very good developer support. The storefront
has an easy to use interface and is curated well, with various logical product categories and special spotlight categories. There are not too many games on the OUYA site (500 at the time of writing), so visibility for your game can be very good.
Unfortunately not many OUYA users actually bother to buy games, they
tend to just play the free versions. Emulation is also very popular on OUYA,
with many OUYA owners playing games via emulation as opposed to
buying the store games.
System price: $79
Revenue split: 70% (developer) / 30% (GameStick)
GameStick is another Kickstarter success story, but differs from OUYA in
that it takes the form of a HDMI stick with a separate controller. You simply
plug the stick into an HDMI port on your TV—minimal wires—and go.
What they Say
“Portable, Dynamic, Revolutionary: Introducing the world’s most portable
TV games console. Launch your favourite Android games in full HD and
rediscover your love of play!”
An open system with a very low hardware price. At $79, GameStick is $20
less than OUYA and offers unrivalled portability. Unlike OUYA, players can
buy games directly from the storefront. GameStick has no free component
requirement, although you can still release freemium titles if you wish.
There are certain basic standards that GameStick games need to follow, such as specific resolutions/aspect ratios, an average framerate of 25 fps, and soon.
Registration is free
Revenue split: 70% (developer) / 30% (Barnes & Noble)
NOOK’s singular approach to merchandising unlocks the potential of high-quality apps that go underserved in other stores. Apparently, if you release
on NOOK they will deliver unmatched opportunities for discovery, exposure
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