id software is a game developing company known for pushing the hardware of any platform they embrace, starting from their earliest triumphs on the PC with Wolfenstein 3D,
Don’t expect to see id software release their games on Android any time soon, though. It’s just not worth their effort, and it’s all about the benjamins… or at least jacksons.
According to lead programmer and co-founder John Carmack, “Every six months I’d take a look at the scope of the Android, and decide if it was time to start really looking at it… At the last Quakecon I took a show of hands poll, and it was interesting to see how almost as many people there had an Android device as an iOS device. But when I asked how many people had spent 20 bucks on a game in the Android store, there was a big difference.
“You’re just not making money in the Android space as you are in the iOS space,” Carmack concluded.
In the same interview, Carmack went on to describe just how much easier and how much more fun it was to make games for iOS.
“We made more money than people may expect on the Doom RPG stuff. It’s just fun to develop on iOS. We’d show people what we were working on and they’d go ‘Oh, when are you going to ship that? And I’d say “next month” and they’d go ‘Aww, I wanna work on an iPhone title.’ It’s hard to make a rational business decision to say I want to take resources from something else and put them on this. We did actually hire a person to be our Android guy, but it looks like he’s going to get stuck on iOS development!”
It seems fitting to me that a company that got its start in the halcyon days of PC shareware game development — churning out games in six month intervals for years at a time, only to be bogged down by the exponentially increasing resource demands of making a modern game — is now finding a return to its roots in iOS gaming, don’t you think?