Apple and Google escalate their battle for exclusive mobile games

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Both Apple and Google are aggressively pursuing game developers in hopes of locking down exclusivity on upcoming titles, according to The Wall Street Journal. As a reward for their loyalty, publishers like Electronic Arts, Gameloft, and ZeptoLabs are offered prominent placement on the App Store and Google Play for exclusive content. Neither company offers money or direct financial incentives to sway developers, but they don't really need to; a spot on the landing page of either app store can lead to an enormous sales boost for any game.

Such was the case when Apple and EA reportedly agreed to a three-month exclusivity window for the hotly anticipated Plants vs. Zombies 2. But some developers have resisted Apple's pursuits and enticing offers in favor of launching across both platforms simultaneously— a clear sign of Android's growing influence.

For Apple, this thirst for exclusives has had an impact on its App Store editorial process, the Journal claims. The team that decides which apps and games are highlighted to iPhone and iPad customers has been "factoring in exclusivity to a greater degree" as Android continues to eat up market share. Previously, the App Store editorial team would handpick standout content "without taking business considerations into account." Even Amazon is said to be vying for exclusives to help prop up its custom operating system that runs on Kindle Fire tablets — and likely the company's upcoming smartphone.

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