There is a lot of fuss around choosing between native and cross-platform game development. Both approaches have their pros and cons and if you are on the threshold of creating your first game you probably question yourself: what’s better for me?
In this article, we’d like to discuss the topic of choosing the right approach to your game’s development – and it’s a choice between native and cross-platform dev.
Let’s start off with figuring out what is native development. Native games are the ones that are written on a platform-specific language with an intention to run on the target platform. Such games meet all the OS’s requirements and are compatible with all its components and built-in applications. It’s important to mention that as 99.6% smartphones run on either Android or iOS when we’re talking about native mobile games it’s mostly about these two platforms.
At first, it may seem like it’s the best option – just make your game native so that you can get the full out of optimization. But to make a conclusion, let’s point out some advantages and disadvantages of this approach.
Pros of Native Development
This is probably the most obvious advantage – since you develop your game using a particular operating system’s SDK, it gets easier access to all the platforms functionalities, therefore, overall app’s performance increases.
- User experience (UX)
High performance leads to fewer bugs and crushes and a much better user experience. When an app is developed for a specific platform, it keeps the platform’s general interface which is familiar to the player.
- App store ranking
This point derives from the previous ones – high performance and great UX make it easier for a game to rank better on app stores. As players will be satisfied with the game’s UX, they will rate it high and leave positive reviews. This will help your app to get more downloads and increased revenues. Isn’t it what any game developer wants?
Cons of Native Development
- Costs and time consumption
Well, if we talk about the negative side of native game development, this is the first thing that comes to our minds – it’s long and expensive. It’s highly doubtful that you’ll choose to create a game only for one platform, either for Android or iOS. Most probably you’ll want to have both versions and the native approach is a very questionable solution in that case. As programming for Android takes more time and money than for iOS, the process of development will be more than twice as long and expensive. You’ll have to write code from a scratch for two different platforms and it obviously will complicate the whole process.
- Short life cycle
If you decide to write a unique code for each operating system you won’t have an opportunity to reuse it later as it will be fully exclusive. On the other hand, if you choose to go cross-platform and write a single universal code you will be able to use it in your next projects by adding some changes to it.