Rumour: Apple and Google Both Using Sly Tricks to Secure App Store Exclusives

By Gary Cutlack on at

Both of the world's major app shippers are offering key slots in their stores to developers, in return for short windows of exclusivity, it's said. Visible slots equals greater sales and more installs, so everyone's a winner. Apart from us clueless consumers, who are being tricked into thinking some crappy app has to be good if it's on the front page of everything.

The rumour comes via the WSJ, which claims Apple and Google are both offering game developers the money slots across their app stores in return for short periods of exclusivity. The WSJ's spies claim the two-month delay in releasing the Android version of Plants Vs. Zombies 2 last year was one such deal brokered using the currency of publicity, with the iOS version landing first because Apple agreed to heavily promote it inside the app store in return.

If true, the news is bound to frustrate the indie developers who already struggle to win any visibility for their titles in the crowded app stores. If a publisher like EA can just bag all the top-left spots for its games with money or mere bargaining power, it means the smaller teams are getting scrolled away into oblivion simply because they don't have the firepower to compete. [WSJ]