Microsoft is reportedly contacting iPhone developers and offering them cash to port their games to the new Windows Phone 7 platform.
According to PocketGamer.biz, amounts are said to be “substantial,” but not enough to “tempt” the developers in question.
“With Windows Phone 7 seen as Microsoft’s last gasp attempt to compete with the likes of Apple and Google in the smartphone space, the company is apparently splashing the cash to ensure its autumn launch is well populated with content,” explained Jon Jordan of PocketGamer.biz.
“[But] because Windows Phone 7 is limited to Silverlight or XNA Framework (C#) development, the cost of reworking its games from C++ remains too high.”
Nevertheless, Jordan noted that Microsoft could theoretically “tweak” the development environment to facilitate easier porting from C++.
“[Still], as to the likely success of such strategy, history suggests that the results are patchy.
“Sony similarly encouraged iPhone developers to support its PSP Minis program…[However], the presence of Fieldrunners and Bloons failed to set the platform alight.”
Meanwhile, Daniel Eran Dilger of AppleInsider predicted that attempts to “cherry-pick” successful iOS apps for WP7 in exchange for cash would likely result in the creation of a “small number” of unprofitable games.
“The success of Apple’s iOS App Store platform is based largely upon its being a large, cohesive installed base of iPhone and iPod touch users who readily buy new, low cost apps as they become available,” wrote Dilger.
“With Windows Phone 7, Microsoft is starting from scratch and an installed base of zero, making its efforts to attract developers to its Silverlight-based platform much more difficult.”