One Brave Developer Puts Android FirstBy: Zach Walton - January 17, 2012
It’s a tough market out there for social and mobile games, even tougher for Android-based games. One developer is aiming to bypass that and make Android development profitable.
TechCrunch is reporting that Bionic Panda Games, a new Android-focused game developer, is making waves in the Android device game development field. The company chose Android not because of its position as a superior platform, but because it has the highest number of users.
Their first game, Aqua Pets, is similar to the countless fish raising games that were around even before Facebook. These things have been around since the days of Shockwave and they’re still popular. The game has managed to snag 3 million downloads on Android, and is one of the platforms top 100 grossing apps.
The company has hit its stride when it announced it has received funding from numerous sources including Google Ventures and 500 Startups.
Bionic Panda’s founder, Charles Hudson, said that the developer is focusing on the casual market. “The nice thing is that these games tend to have big mass market hits — which gives you the ability to benefit from volume and scale on the Android platform.”
Aqua Pets, like other freemium games, relies on a monetization method that attracts players with a free game and then introduces micro-payments to unlock new features and items in-game. It’s an incredibly effective method, just look at Zynga and their “Ville” games.
Hudson finds the biggest issue with the Android platform is the payment system. Hudson told TechCrunch that he is a believer in Google Wallet, but it has lower monetization rates than games on the iOS platform.
The problem lies in the fact that Google Wallet has far less credit cards on file. Apple had been in a superior position from the start since they tied existing iTunes accounts into their iOS App store on iDevices. Users on both devices can make one click purchases, but Android users have to set up an account first. This small obstacle is apparently a deterrent to setting up a Google Wallet account.
Hudson finally said that his company is not just solely focused on Google. They are interested in developing for Amazon’s version of Droid for Kindle and they may make the jump to iOS one day. All in due time though as the company has two new games on the horizon: Poker Farm Pets and Angry Zombies.