Yesterday a story popped up Giant Bomb claiming that EA executive Frank Gibeau said Apple had paid the company a “truckload of money” to launch PopCap’s much anticipated Plants vs Zombies 2 title as an iOS exclusive. Apple quickly denied the comments in a brief statement following the story and said that no money was exchanged with the publisher. As if that wasn’t enough, EA representatives today issued an official statement on the matter saying that the comment was taken out of context (via PocketGamer):
“A comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding,” says EA’s statement.
“Reports of a paid relationship between Apple and EA are factually inaccurate, and we apologise for any confusion.”
Gibeau’s comments were clearly taken out of context, and we tend to believe that Apple didn’t offer up any cash in exchange for Plants vs Zombies 2 landing on iOS before Android. But what did he really mean with his “truckload of money” comment? Perhaps EA knew it would receive favorable placement in the App Store as a much hyped iOS exclusive?
There are a lot of unanswered questions about how Apple goes about featuring and ranking apps on the App Store, but it’s big money for developers who often see enormous boost in revenue and downloads when featured on the store.
Last month a report from Fiksu noted changes in how Apple ranks apps and seems to be incorporating user ratings and other new metrics, but this is the first we’ve heard of Apple possibly working with developers to have apps launch exclusively on iOS.