While Android and iOS battle it out for dominance in the mobile market, another battle rages for a distant third place between established mobile operating systems like Blackberry and Windows Phone as well as newcomers such as Mozilla‘s Firefox OS and Samsung/Intel‘s Tizen.
Tizen isn’t officially out yet, but that’s not stopping Samsung and Intel from enlisting the help of GameSalad to boost the number of games in its app store.
GameSalad, the company responsible for the visual game-creation tools of the same name, is running an incentive program to encourage developers to release their products on the new OS. Over 700,000 developers use the GameSalad platform, and now the company wants to point the best of them toward Samsung and Intel.
The incentive program has a $500,000 fund that will award developers that release Tizen games. Studios that participate in the program will also get three free months of GameSalad Pro, which includes advanced development features and publishing options for Windows 8 and Android. A Pro license typically costs $300 annually.
“The Tizen incentive program is open to all 700,000 GameSalad developers,” GameSalad chief executive Steve Felter told GamesBeat. “The program is particularly compelling for top GameSalad developers who have built high quality apps for the iOS and Android stores. The Tizen team is committed to bringing the best apps to the new platform and is willing to pay top dollar for games with the highest appscores.”
GameSalad works with mobile-analytics firm Appbackr to find games that will have a wide appeal. Appbackr applies “appscores” to releases based on quality and customer ratings.
“Many games qualify for hundreds of dollars in incentives and the highest scoring apps can each earn up to $1,800,” said Felter. “This is a great deal for developers and a great way for Tizen to ensure it has the highest quality apps available at launch.”
Tizen, like Android, is an open-source OS built on top of a Linux infrastructure. Samsung and Intel have not set a firm release date for the first Tizen devices, but the initial wave will likely hit in 2014.
When Tizen does go live, it will need games to help draw in customers. Mobile games play a big part in the success of iOS and Android, and it’s unlikely other mobile operating systems could compete for attention without offering a wide library of fun diversions.
“GameSalad and Appbackr together are helping to reset the value proposition for independent developers looking to bring their apps to new platforms by providing calibrated incentives for the best apps,” Intel managing director for software and services Christopher Croteau said in a statement. “Intel is proud to support this bold initiative and in turn, to help bring great developers and apps to Tizen.”
This program will run continuously until GameSalad fully exhausts the $500,000 fund, and Tizen welcomes ports of iOS and Android games.
“We anticipate that most apps will be ports of successful games on the Apple and Google app stores,” said Felter. “Our developer community has published more than 30,000 games to the Apple Store and the majority of the highest scoring games are currently still available there. One of the benefits of GameSalad is its ability to rapidly develop for all the major platforms. With a few minor tweaks, a developer can take an existing iOS or Android app and convert it into an HTML5 app that is optimized for Tizen.”
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