There are some developers who have been successful in monetizing games on the Android operating system, but some developers have not found the same success. This is one of those developers.
Mika Mobile, creator of Battleheart and Zombieville, took to their blog to announce their intentions to drop support for the Android operating system. What led to this decision? It seems to be a combination of the complexity of developing for Android and the lack of revenue from their titles on the operating system.
What many saw as good news with the Android raising the app size limit to 4GB, Mika Mobile doesn’t see it that way. They say that they still have to use old methods of making the installer under 50 MB and then have the app download the game proper afterwards. This is due to the app market downloads being downloaded to what they call a “finite download cache” that is stored on the internal memory.
Mika Mobile says that it would be far easier for them to develop for Android if they could take advantage of SD cards that many Android devices have. Google unfortunately only allows downloads to be first downloaded to the internal memory that varies wildly without any kind of standardization.
The other problem with Android apps is that they make no money for them. While they have seen sales coming from their Android sales, it’s not enough to continue working with the problem. They said that Android sales accounted for only five percent of their revenue while Android development accounted for about 20 percent of their man-hours.
When you have multiple hardware configurations, developers have to take all of those devices into account. This creates more work without the promise of any kind of return. It’s the same problem that’s inherent with PC gaming, but it’s handled much better in that market. There are just far too many Android devices running off of too many hardware and software configurations to get to them all.
It’s this one problem that makes Apple’s hardware much more preferable. Besides the annual hardware revisions, there’s not much keeping these devices at different levels of operating ability.
One developer leaving Android doesn’t signal the end of support for the service or anything, but it does illuminate the problems inherent to the Android platform. Hopefully Google and its hardware partners can reach some kind of solution. Until then, developers are just going to have to keep testing for the numerous devices that exist.