Don’t ask a developer, publisher, or investor if Android is a good platform to develop on–they will all give you different answers. During a panel at the Game Developers Conference, PlayJam founder Jasper Smith said he believes only about 26 percent of developers prefer working with Android. The question on everybody’s mind is, why?
In terms of the smartphone market, Android currently has the most marketshare. (Most of the smartphones in the United States are Android devices, and Nielsen estimates that Google’s devices make up 51 percent of the American smartphone market.) Since phones are a huge piece in the gaming world, anyone who has a smartphone is a potential customer. It only makes sense that mobile game developers would want to tap into that. Sadly however, not everyone sees Android as a great opportunity.
“Android is not a great environment — certainly not for graphics. Our programmers loath it,” said Chris Doran, the founder of Geomerics, (which helps developers incorporate light into their games) during the same panel. “We have to do it; it’s pretty dominant. But it’s not good for graphics at all. Google just doesn’t put enough love into it.”
There is still a fair share of problems with graphics capabilities, and for developers that just makes their job even harder. But just like any platform, wrinkles need to be ironed out before it is completely seamless.
People didn’t love developing for iOS at first either.
Michael Ludden, the technical marketing manager of Samsung, was quick to point out that people didn’t love developing for iOS at first either. But as the tools advanced, so did the love for the platform. Tell us, where do you see game development for Android in the future?