If you’re still a Samsung fanboy(even after the Note 7 fiasco), then you would have definitely heard of something called ‘Tizen’. It is Samsung’s secondary multi-platform OS that powers sub $100 budget smartphones and Gear smartwatches, but it never really took off as the company might have expected.
Last year, Samsung launched a global Tizen store in 182 countries to accompany the same, but it also seems to be lacking in relevant apps and games for people to jump onto the platform. Thus, the company has announced a ‘Tizen app challenge’ to push developers to launch their games on Tizen in exchange of monetary rewards.
The Tizen challenge is open to all global developers who’ve built a moderately popular Android or iOS game, based on the Unity game engine. The developers also need to have over 10,000 downloads on their awesome creation. Samsung now wants the developers to port their existing mobile games — as many as they want — to their multi-platform OS and start selling them on the Tizen store.
In terms of monetary gains, Samsung is ready to offer $3,000 each to first fifty developers who enlist their apps on the global Tizen Store. The most popular game, which receives highest installations, will be the recipient of a grand prize of $20,000, while the second and third place winners would each grab $10,000 and $5,000 respectively. This, in short, means that a total of $185,000 in prizes is up for grabs for Unity game devs.
Samsung has always pitched the linux-based mobile operating system as an alternative to Android and iOS, but those platforms have built a robust app store to accompany the platform. And that’s the primary problem that the Korean giant wants to solve with this challenge, but can they? Microsoft and Blackberry have already failed at this mammoth task of one upping two of the largest mobile ecosystems in the world.
The company has previously launched a couple budget Tizen-powered smartphones in India, and the numbers depict that sales and app downloads are largest in the country. India is also an emerging market with smartphones and Internet becoming a part of each and every household. Thus, Samsung is probably focusing their time on the extensive excercise to top up their app store for the Indian masses.
In conversation with Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat, Global partner manager Ravi Belwal says,
We think the market is ripe for games in India and we’d like to prove it. It’s an emerging market. This is the first time for us in trying to start a new market this way. Samsung has half the market in smartphones in India, and our growth rate is good.