Apple, Google Face Off for Exclusive Video Game Titles

Apr 21, 2014 11:29 AM EDT | Jordan Ecarma

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Two Silicon Valley heavyweights are facing off in the ring to dominate video game apps.

Apple and Google have been in talks with game developers to win exclusivity on sought-after game titles, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The tech giants have been bargaining with game developers by offering prime spots for the games on their app pages and other promotional advantages, industry sources told WSJ.

Publisher Electronic Arts made a deal with Apple in the late summer prior to the launch of "Plants vs. Zombies 2," the sequel to a strategy game featuring zombies. Apple put the spotlight on "Plants vs. Zombies 2" in its App Store, the sources told WSJ.

The developer gave Apple two months of exclusivity in return for the promotional plug, and the "Plants vs. Zombies" title didn't come to Android until October.

Creator ZeptoLab seemed to use the same tactic, striking a deal with Apple to give the Cupertino, Calif.-based company three months of exclusivity for its "Cut the Rope" puzzle game sequel.

In exchange, the App Store gave the title prime promotion during its exclusive run after it launched last December. The Android version of the "Cut the Rope" sequel came in late March.

Apple and Google declined to comment to WSJ on these deals, which are similar to how video game console makers bargain for exclusive titles.

Developers generally seem to choose Apple's iOS platform over Android when it comes to launching video games, despite the fact that Android accounts for a larger market share worldwide, BGR reported.

Putting Amazon in the ring as well, BGR noted that exclusive games are a tempting incentive for people to switch phones.

"When people love a game, and it's not available on an alternate platform, they'll change platforms," Emily Greer, head of Gamestop's Kongregate game hosting website, told BGR. "The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything."

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