GameFly to publish mobile games, open Android storefront

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Videogame rental service GameFly will begin publishing mobile titles optimized for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS and Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platforms. The company also will open a dedicated Android game storefront later this year.

GameFly will launch a development fund to support the creation of new mobile games, and expects to release its first title this summer. The company said it will seek to work with developers who are in the process of building great games but lack the financial resources necessary to properly publish and promote their efforts. GameFly is currently accepting submissions at GameDev@GameFly.com.

The forthcoming GameFly GameStore, expected to reach Android smartphones and tablets in time for the holiday season, will curate thousands of recommended Android games and offer daily deals. Ratings and reviews from the gaming community will accompany all Android titles sold in GameFly GameStore; GameFly also will leverage its social networking platform to drive discovery via friend recommendations. The firm already offers a Game of the Day spotlight feature within its GameFly App for iOS.

GameFly offers more than 8,000 console games for rental, with no due dates, late fees or shipping charges. Members receive games via first-class mail and return them to GameFly using prepaid mailers. The service also sells new and used games and offers 1,500 PC titles available for immediate download.

GameFly GameStore represents another threat to the Google Play storefront, which sells Android games and apps as well as music, movies and e-books. Google Play's chief rival is the Amazon Appstore for Android, which opened in early 2011. Developers generate substantially greater revenues per user in Amazon Appstore for Android than in Google Play according to recent data published by app store analytics firm Flurry: For every $1 generated by Apple's pace setting App Store for iOS, Amazon Appstore yields an average of $0.89 per user, while Google Play earns developers just $0.23 per user.

Flurry credits Amazon Appstore's success to the company's digital retail expertise, noting that Google's strengths are its search tools and advertising technologies. By the same logic, GameFly's success in marketing to the gamer community could establish GameStore as a more viable retail option for Android game developers.

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