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Developers: Despite Difficulties, Smartphone Ports Worth It

Developing a successful iPhone game is hard enough, so why not hedge your bets? That's what analysts and developers porting to Android and beyond say in a new Gamas
Developing a successful game for the iPhone is hard enough, so why not hedge your bets? That's the advice of Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter and developers who work on bringing their iPhone games to Android and beyond. "Developers ought to take advantage of the fact that the barriers to entry are low – you can create an iPhone game and then port it inexpensively for $5,000 to $10,000 or less per platform," says Pachter. "If you're developing from scratch, the only platform that makes sense right now is the iPhone," says Kyu Lee, president of Gamevil USA (Zenonia). However, Area/Code (Drop 7) co-founder and creative director Frank Lantz says, "I don't think there's anything inherently easier in going from the iPhone to the Android than from, say, the PC to the Mac or from one console to another. It's definitely a different language and requires a different code base." Industry professionals discuss this issue in Gamasutra's latest feature, Smartphone Advice: Keep On Porting! by Paul Hyman. It's further complicated by issues like audience and piracy concerns. "Each platform has a distinctly different audience, which, at the moment, can only be determined by gut feel," says Lee. And, he adds, "At least you have to jailbreak the [iPhone] to pirate; on the others, jailbreaking isn't necessary... you can just download the game files off the internet and install them." Somehow, though, the consensus appears to be: go for it! To find out more, read the full feature, Smartphone Advice: Keep On Porting!, live now on Gamasutra.

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