While Namco jumped headfirst into the Android Market by giving away Pac-Man, EA Games is going to sit out for the time being, at least until there's a billing system in place for apps in the Android Market: "EA will support the Android platform...but has elected to wait for the launch of a content billing solution to bring their premier IP to market." Right now, the anything-goes Android Market only supports free apps, but that should change right around the G1's launch, at least if Google is serious about having premiere apps populate the store from the start, like high end games. There's a lot of fantastic freeness to be had—like out of the Android Developer Challenge or as Apple's App Store shows—but some developers want some hard coin for their code, and not just evil corporations like EA. On the other hand, EA has experience with digital distribution and you can sideload apps without going through the Android Market, so why don't they sell them straight through EA's site? [Pocket Gamer via Crave]
Sure they can "side load" games, but if that's the position they're put in for any amount of time by Google than this phone will be relegated to the pockets of geeks and gaget lovers - not the wider population.
The App store is, overnight, the centre of interest for the iPhone. Living in a market where the iPhone 3G was the first iPhone to market, all I hear is the buzz around the app store... people are quite surprisingly really into it, and it seems to justify such a ludicrous up front cost for what would other wise just be an over-featured phone.
If you lock out developers who want to charge for their apps - many of which are top rate and are real draw cards for a platform, far beyond EA games - then you're putting the phone / platform well on the back foot. If drab hardware and an 18 month head start by the competition weren't enough.