id Software’s John Carmack, the man responsible for videogames as we know them today (also, Doom) has spoken out once again on the state of mobile gaming. In an interview with Now Gamer, he mentions that while Android devices are as abundant as iOS devices, the platform isn’t as financially viable. Android users are more hesitant to spend money on apps than iOS users—a point illustrated by Rovio when they made the Android version of Angry Birds free (though ad-supported).
He notes that iOS is “fun” to develop for, and confessed that id Software’s “Android guy” is now stuck developing for iOS. Google’s mobile OS may have a larger market share than Apple, but they still have a long way to go before the apps are iOS-quality.
With Rage HD on iOS do you see yourself ever working on Android?
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. 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.
We made more money than people may expect on the Doom RPG stuff. It’s just fun to develop on iOS. We’d show people what we were working on and they’d go “Oh, when are you going to ship that? And I’d say ‘next month’ and they’d go “Aww, I wanna work on an iPhone title.”
It’s hard to make a rational business decision to say I want to take resources from something else and put them on this. We did actually hire a person to be our Android guy, but it looks like he’s going to get stuck on iOS development!