Android vs. iOS: Revenue gap 'appears to be closing,' claims Racing Rivals developer

Cie's Racing Rivals has players building up their car for head-to-head competitions.

Above: Cie's Racing Rivals has players building up their car for head-to-head competitions.

Image Credit: Cie Games
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It is known that you can’t make as much money on Android as you can on iOS. At least one developer is finding that isn’t necessarily the case.

Racing Rivals developer Cie Games finally unleashed its driving game on the Google Play store, months after it hit iOS. After four weeks on Android, Racing Rivals has already surpassed 5 million installs on Android, which the company notes is a faster adoption rate than it enjoyed on Apple’s mobile devices. Android owners aren’t only downloading the free-to-play app, but they’re also making in-app purchases at a rate that rivals their iOS counterparts — although Cie won’t disclose how much the game is currently generating.

“It’s pretty close,” Cie studio head Matt Nutt told GamesBeat. “When we look at average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU), Android is nearly what we’re seeing on iOS, and the gap appears to be closing.”

While that gap is probably partially due to the traditional spending disparity between iOS and Android owners, the huge number of Racing Rivals players on Google’s platform is likely pulling down the average slightly.

“We saw a massive volume of new installs at launch from the Play Store, but as the more casual players churn out, we’re seeing ARPDAU from Android continue to climb,” said Nutt. “It’s not what we were expecting based on anecdotes shared with us by peers in the industry.”

Cie’s development peers probably weren’t lying, but their information is potentially out of date. The app-tracking firm App Annie recently reported that total revenue on the Google Play store grew around 150 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2014.

Racing Rivals is an example of this growth.

“[Google Play has an] ARPDAU near parity [with iOS], plus we have a bigger DAU from the bigger Android platform,” said Nutt. “This means we’re seeing more revenue coming from Android than iOS — again, that’s not what we were expecting. We couldn’t be happier.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean every iOS game can move to Android and expect these results immediately. Nutt says that he thinks Racing Rivals’ cross-platform multiplayer, which enables iOS and Android folk to play with one another, is helping the Google Play version.

“By launching in the Play Store, we created a bigger universe of players for our racing-MMO,” he said. “That’s something that benefits both platforms. In fact, iOS revenue jumped 80 percent when Android went live. Obviously we’re actively developing ports for other platforms, and we’re keen on finding the right strategies for building audience internationally as well.”

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