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DISCOVERABILITY // MARMALADE AND MICROSOFT | BETA


Opening Windows


A new partnership between Microsoft and Marmalade Technologies is making it easier for developers to bring games to Windows platforms, a marketplace considerably less crowded than its rivals. James Batchelor fi nds out more


TO SAY THE app stores of the world are a little crowded is something of an understatement. The costs of running a studio and creating a game have dictated that many developers can only aff ord to make mobile games, and yet the chances of success are slim thanks to the oversaturation of Apple and Google’s marketplaces. However, Marmalade Technologies – creators of the cross-platform development kit of the same name – is quick to point out an arguably overlooked alternative. “Microsoft has been invigorated by its new CEO,” explains Marmalade COO Donald Beatson. “It has become a serious mobile company by acquiring Nokia, and its latest Windows 8.1 platforms are very competitive. “We’ve just fi nished upgrading our feature set for developers wanting to publish to the Windows Store, and with our recently announced Marmalade Free, all Marmalade developers can now publish to both the Windows Phone Store and Windows Store.” The middleware fi rm has also struck a deal with Microsoft to publish ten games made with Marmalade, and plans to use that as a


springboard to encourage more of its clients to publish for Windows using the Marmalade SDK. It’s a good fi t for Microsoft, which is going to great lengths to reach more studios, indies and students to grow its platforms.


Microsoft wants developers to


expand their skills by innovating games on out platforms.


Andrew Webber, Microsoft


As these make up the majority of Marmalade’s customer base, Microsoft UK’s indie game dev marketing lead Andrew Webber is confi dent that more apps will be ported to Windows. “Microsoft wants developers to expand their skills by innovating and diff erentiating games on our platforms,” he says. “Through initiatives such as Greenshoots, Ventures and BizSpark, we aim to help businesses grow and prosper. Their success is our success.


“We are currently in talks to host Marmalade porting labs. Marmalade has been extremely supportive in off ering to provide training materials and resources. It will also be collating all details on a dedicated Microsoft landing page on madewithmarmalade.com. This should be a one-stop shop for all developers interested in porting their games over to Windows.”


BEING SEEN


The partnership is already paying dividends for some of Marmalade’s customers and developers, who are relishing the chance to quickly and eff ortlessly bring their games to a more promising market.


“Probably the biggest opportunities for games on the Windows platforms is the increased chance of being discovered as they aren’t as crowded as other app stores,” says Sports Director CEO Roger Womack. “For premium apps like Football Director there is also trial mode, which allows users to play the game for a short period before buying.“ Paul Norris, creative director at Mad Fellows, adds: “Although the current install


From top to bottom: Microsoft’s Andrew Webber and Marmalade’s Donald Beatson


AUGUST 2014 | 43


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