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Apple and Google battling for mobile game exclusives, report claims

Sources say both firms are offering promotion in return

Apple and Google are offering mobile game developers extra promotion in exchange for pledging a period of exclusivity to iOS or Android, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Anonymous sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal confirmed that games like Plants vs. Zombies 2, which stayed an iOS exclusive for two months after its release in August 2013, were given prominent placement in the App Store in exchange.

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Cut the Rope 2, another popular mobile game, remained iOS exclusive for three months while Apple promoted the title, according to the anonymous sources. Unspoken Tales CEO Patrick Mork said prominent display in an app marketplace can increase daily sales tenfold.

Exclusivity windows are familiar for console gamers, who frequently find games and DLC like that of Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 delayed by months or more across platforms. However, the arrangements are relatively new in the mobile space, where many developers release their games on numerous platforms simultaneously.

Locking down on lucrative and popular games is an effective brand-retention strategy, Kongregate head Emily Greer told the publication.

"When people love a game, and it's not available on an alternate platform, they'll change platforms," Greer said. "The level of attachment a person has to a game can exceed almost anything."

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