In amongst all the reviews, positive messages and Vines of players whipping teatowels off things that we’ve been thoroughly enjoying since Tiny Games launched, we’ve received a number of emails and tweets with a different message. Some were charming and courteous:
Got the news of the tiny app of games, and I got very excited! How awesome is that! Until I realised that it wasn’t available for Android. Oh well. Still, well done for making the iPhone version. Keep up the gaming!
Congratulations on the launch of your app! I’m looking forward to trying it out when you release the Android version.
Some were brief and to the point:
android version plz
Great idea. Any chance of an Android version?
And some were… animated…
Why o why, given that 90% of phones sold are android, are you launching on Apple? Is it snobbery?Licensing ? What?
I think we should be told…
We really understand this frustration – and we love it that you’re keen enough to take the time to write to us and let us know. Rather then respond to everyone in person, we thought it best to put our thinking in a blog post.
It Takes Time To Make A Thing Go Right
We’re a small studio, building our capacity to make our own games while still taking on lots of for-client projects. While we’ve built and shipped several iOS apps in the past, Android development is a new skill-set for us. We’ve developed Tiny Games in such a way as to make porting to Android straightforward, but the honest truth is that we didn’t have the capacity to develop for two platforms at the same time. To add to the difficulty, bear in mind that the QA process (the testing we do at the end to make sure it works on all devices) gets a lot harder when testing for all the different screen sizes and operating systems that Android supports.
Being Lean And Sustainable
The other thing about being a small studio is that we have to be sensible about what we can and can’t afford to do at any time. We would love to serve potential fans of Tiny Games on everything from a Windows Phone to a Nook (we have had requests to put Tiny Games on both of those, btw), but part of the decision comes down to whether we can earn enough from revenues on the platform to cover the costs of the development work. That development work is, unsurprisingly, more expensive for Android than it is for iOS, since there are so many more different handsets.
As you can see from this diagram, revenues are likely to be much lower on Android, even though there are so many more Android phones out there. All of the data around Android revenues (there’s lots more in this post) tells us that we can expect to earn less, against higher development costs. As we start to learn more about how big a market there is for Tiny Games on iOS, we’ll be better able to understand the costs and opportunities on other platforms, and find the right moment to bring the app to Android.
Reid Hoffman the founder of LinkedIn, once said ‘If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late’. Our goal is to reach a point where we have many happy players of Tiny Games on iOS devices, Android devices, and who knows!? maybe even more devices too. We’d love to see Tiny Games everywhere, and we’ve tried to plan the project to make it as easy as possible for us to expand the range of devices we support. Hearing from you about how keen you are to see it on Android really helps us understand what a priority it is. We’ll let you know as soon as there’s any news!