Microsoft paying iPhone devs to make Windows Phone 7 games

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
As it prepares to relaunch Windows Mobile 6.x as the new Windows Phone 7 platform later this winter, Microsoft hopes to woo Apple's iOS developers into porting their games to its new phones, and is backing up its hopes with cash incentives.



A report by PocketGamer said that an iOS developer informed the site that Microsoft was offering upfront cash to developers of successful iOS apps if they would translate their games to the new Windows Phone 7 platform.



The site says the costs of reworking games "remains too high," as it involves moving native iOS apps from C/C++/Objective-C code to the Mobile Silverlight/XNA development frameworks that Windows Phone 7 uses.



iOS app portability



Many iOS games make use of game engines such as Unity3D, which could facilitate porting them to other platforms. Apple created an exception for such titles in its revised SDK section 3.3.2 rules designed to outlaw app development using middleware meta-platforms such as Flash and Silverlight.



Top games and applications for Apple's iOS platform rapidly change as new titles emerge and users' interest shift. That makes paying developers to support another platform an expensive gamble, as Sony discovered in its efforts to woo iOS developers into crafting PSP Mini games for its portable gaming system.



The success of Apple's iOS App Store platform is based largely upon its being a large, cohesive installed base of iPhone and iPod touch users who readily buy new, low cost apps as they become available. This strong economic inducement for developers is much more powerful that any portability barriers, as is obvious from the fact that App Store sales have attracted many developers to Objective-C and Apple's Cocoa Touch frameworks.



Difficult to cheat the market



Attempts to cherry-pick successful iOS apps for Windows Phone 7 in exchange for money will likely result in a small number of games for WP7 that don't make much money for their developers, just as Apple's efforts to woo certain game developers such as EA to make games for the Mac haven't resulted in the Mac being a viable competitor in the serious gaming market.



However, Apple and PC game developers have worked together to make it easier to port PC games to Mac users, resulting in a shifting tide that has brought enough new titles, including Valve's Steam gaming platform, to prevent a lack of Mac games from being an impediment to Mac sales. Apple also supports running Windows natively via Boot Camp.



With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is starting from scratch and an installed base of zero, making its efforts to attract developers to its Silverlight-based platform much more difficult. Scant sales of the Zune HD, which runs the same mobile XNA gaming platform as the forthcoming WP7, have also done nothing to attract serious development. And of course, no Windows Phone 7 devices will be able to alternatively boot Apple's iOS.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 61
    mebbertmebbert Posts: 56member
    Surprise, surprise. Microsoft has to pay people to develop for its platform.
  • Reply 2 of 61
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mebbert View Post


    Surprise, surprise. Microsoft has to pay people to develop for its platform.



    My thoughts exactly!
  • Reply 3 of 61
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    I like that strategy... I like that strategy a lot!
  • Reply 4 of 61
    alandailalandail Posts: 703member
    I'm not sure how well it will work. Unless it's a lot of money, these same developers could make more money creating another successful iPhone game than they'd make from being paid to make a windows 7 game.
  • Reply 5 of 61
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Poor Microsoft, I feel bad for them sometimes, why are they trying to compete in the mobile space though, don't they have office and windows operating system cash cows??
  • Reply 6 of 61
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,326member
    So now the Windows Phone 7 users will have to suffer with half-hearted ported apps just like Mac users used to. But there's still the crappy Quicken effort from Intuit isn't there, and Adobe's sort-of support for the Mac. Still, the irony is quite satisfying.
  • Reply 7 of 61
    I just don't see this panning out. While MS is starting to "get it" when it comes to creating a mobile platform that both the Zune and WinMobile share that also leverages some of their key desktop technologies (although I would argue they "copied it" from Apple, iOS and OS X), it won't matter. WinMobile is already so far behind that their efforts to woo a few iPhone game developers won't gain them much ground. There just isn't a demand for WinMobile products. And the one segment they do have a strong penetration in - business users - probably aren't going to be spending a lot of money on games (even if they are allowed to installed by their employers).
  • Reply 8 of 61
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    Once again, the Seattle copy-cats are at it again.



    My advice to any developer contacted by Microsoft is this; take the money and run!



    Microsoft is into game business. The have XBox and they are coming out with another game system to compete with Wii. Let them make their own games.
  • Reply 9 of 61
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    The next logical step is to pay people to buy the phones.
  • Reply 10 of 61
    stevetimstevetim Posts: 482member
    wait?



    you mean the development platform will not be visual studio? wow. that's news to me.
  • Reply 11 of 61
    zindakozindako Posts: 468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    The next logical step is to pay people to buy the phones.



    Or alternatively, give them away for free
  • Reply 12 of 61
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,337member
    I hope Microsoft doesn't pull a Microsoft on Apple.

    In other words, I hope Microsoft doesn't pull a Google on Apple.

    \
  • Reply 13 of 61
    user23user23 Posts: 199member
    why innovate when you can imitate?
  • Reply 14 of 61
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mebbert View Post


    Surprise, surprise. Microsoft has to pay people to develop for its platform.



    You seem to lack any understanding of how the game industry works. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have been paying for some games to come to their platforms all the time, and have always done so. The bigger the game, the higher the fee.
  • Reply 15 of 61
    chronsterchronster Posts: 1,894member
    MS understands the power of playing games on your phone while sitting on the can getting ready to wipe your ass with the new windows 7 phone...
  • Reply 16 of 61
    hezetationhezetation Posts: 674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    The next logical step is to pay people to buy the phones.



    Actually don't be surprised if they buy some of the big game titles for iPhone & then halt future versions for iPhone, what they did with Halo.



    Difference this time is that people love the Apple hardware about as much as the apps themselves so they aren't just gonna switch platforms cause one of their favorite games left.
  • Reply 17 of 61
    istudistud Posts: 193member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    You seem to lack any understanding of how the game industry works. Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have been paying for some games to come to their platforms all the time, and have always done so. The bigger the game, the higher the fee.



    The problem is that this is not the case for the iOS platform. If what you say is true (I don't know anything about the gaming industry) it appears to me that Apple changed the rules of the game for the portable game market and MS is still applying the console platform rules to the mobile game new industry. And I have the impression developers have a complete different set of expectations here.
  • Reply 18 of 61
    dr millmossdr millmoss Posts: 5,403member
    To quote Steve Ballmer himself, "if the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."



    For a company with so much cash coming in, everything looks like a place to spend it.
  • Reply 19 of 61
    ghostface147ghostface147 Posts: 1,629member
    I'll gladly port my app to any platform that wants to pay me, as long as they don't ask for exclusivity.
  • Reply 20 of 61
    aurchonaurchon Posts: 18member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    And of course, no Windows Phone 7 devices will be able to alternatively boot Apple's iOS.



    Wouldn't that be ironic, to have a Microsoft device able to dual boot to an Apple OS...



    If that day comes, when that days comes, I will be LMAO.
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