Android gamers need to loosen the purse strings: Carmack

Android gamers need to loosen the purse strings: Carmack

Gaming is big business – Call of Duty: Black Ops, for instance, now ranks as the highest grossing entertainment title of any kind ever.

But while the iPhone is well established as a mature gaming platform in the mobile space, it's a different story with Android. And the reason, according to games guru John Carmack, is that Android owners just don't spend money.

Carmack co-founded iD Software – they of Doom and Quake fame – and is widely respected as one of the leading lights in the world of gaming. So it's no surprise that in a lengthy interview with NowGamer, Carmack covered a lot of ground.

However, when it came to mobile gaming, Carmack dismissed Android is a serious gaming platform, saying it was a simple matter of economics.

“Every six months I’d take a look at the scope of the Android, and decide if it was time to start really looking at it,” Carmack revealed. “At the last Quakecon I took a show of hands poll, and it was interesting to see how almost as many people there had an Android device as an iOS device.

“But when I asked how many peple had spent 20 bucks on a game in the Android store, there was a big difference. You’re just not making money in the Android space as you are in the iOS space.”

Of course, there's an element of the chicken and the egg here, as if the big-budget titles aren't being created for Android in the first place, there's not a lot there for people to spend serious money on.

But it's a pretty strong indictment nonetheless. So what do you think – are Android gamers tight-fisted, or is that just a stereotype with no real basis in fact? Give us your thoughts in the Comments...

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mrew42  Apr. 15, 2011 at 09:38

Android is an alternative to iOS for smartphone tech right?
It's cheaper to own and run Android handset than an iPhone. As feature of this 'cheapness' is the plain and simple fact that people really don't want to spend a lot on Apps*. I can't imagine why anyone would want to spend the sort of money mentioned here on such a game.
I don't quite know what this means for the likes of the Xperia play where PSP games are obviously more expensive.... i think perhaps Android users need to be educated as to the possibilities of the Gaming platform beying Angry Birds :)
*Non platform specific App to avoid any unnecessary litigation :p

JanSt / MOD  Apr. 15, 2011 at 09:56

well, mrew, the 'cheapness' is relative - considering, well, all things. And why the surge in dual-core processors with dedicated graphics chips etc etc IF NOT to run heavy apps; and nothing heavier than a power game. Sorry, but when I had my HTC Desire I never once thought, "not bad; I just wish it had a dual-core 1.5GHz processor" (although, soon Sense will probably need that as a minimum requirement just to load the Peep widget :p )Gaming is BIG money on the iOS, and by the way, a study published last week shows that Android users actually make more money than iPhone owners, and they spend more money on phones, too ;)
Personally, I'd need a tunnelling microscope to find my interest in mobile gaming, but I'm quite certain, every single Android handset maker and Google want a slice of the pie!

morpheus  Apr. 15, 2011 at 10:26

The reason Android users won't spend money on games, is because until recently games for Android have been dog sh*t awful...
I recently got an LG Optimus 2X and have played Shrek Karting HD and Spiderman HD and they are great games that I would pay for... but before that there are very few games I would have paid for.. Angry Birds maybe, but all the other games were rubbish.

Now that better gaming is available, people will pay for it. With the better hardware that is now available (dual core) then it will be possible to make the better games...

trevormarinahayes  Apr. 15, 2011 at 19:28

Like it matters

I have Doom 1 Doom 2, Wolfenstein, Quake 1,2 and 3, Final Doom, Doom 64, and prolly a couple others of their games already up and running on my Android.

Altogether I probably paid $20 for that which included emulators with access to ALL N64, SNES, PS1 and Game Boy Advance games.

willc75  Apr. 16, 2011 at 14:13

The problem is for me. That Android is fragmented and not everyone is running the same FW so why buy a game if it is not going to work


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