Tech giants compete for video-game apps

WASHINGTON — Video games can get intense, but it turns out the real competition may be between the companies that offer the apps that let you play on your phone.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple and Google have been offering game developers promotional perks in order to get games on their respective app stores’ home pages first.

The Journal says that both tech giants have offered premium placement in their app stores and features lists for a window of exclusivity.

Last August, for example, Apple promoted the Electronic Arts game “Plants vs. Zombies 2″ in its App Store in return for a two-month window before it was made available on Google’s Android software in October. A similar deal was reached in December for ZeptoLab’s game “Cut the Rope.”

The Journal says that such deals are common in the world of video game consoles, but they’re a new development in the world of mobile. They say that Apple dominated the market until recently because it was easier to create games for its system.

But the technology gap, and the gap in the market, has closed in recent years.

The deal helps game developers, too. Prime placement in an app marketplace can increase downloads tenfold, according to the Journal.

About $16 billion was spent on mobile apps in 2013, the Journal says, with more than 70 percent going to games.

Follow @WTOP and @WTOPtech on Twitter and and WTOP on Facebook.

Advertiser Content