Holiday sales bring cheap, free Android games

by Kristen Nicole

Android has plenty of reasons to celebrate this time of year. Their app Market has reached 10 billion downloads, prompting Google to run a 10-day sale on popular apps. It’s also the holiday season, and Sony Ericsson is taking full advantage of people’s urge to buy new gadgets. Look for the Xperia PLAY to hit C Spire stores this week.

Google’s Android app sale is offering up to 100 of its most popular apps for just ten cents each, adding ten new apps daily, from now until December 16. And if you know anything about the Android Market, games are some of the most popular apps of all time. Great Little War Game, a 3-D turn-based military strategy game, went on sale yesterday, as did Fieldrunners HD, the fast-paced tower defense game. Today is bringing discounts on games like Fruit Ninja and Flick Golf!

Glu Mobile is also in the celebratory spirit, having been selected to participate in the “10 Billion App Downloads Promotion.” There’s more than 30 Glu games available for Android, and several of them will be included in the 10-cent deal. Glu is offering up its top titles including Deer Hunter 3D and Super KO Boxing! 2. It’s a great opportunity for publishers like Glu to market their entire collection, even beyond those titles included in the sale. With a focus on social gaming, Glu can leverage this Google team-up to grow its sub-market of mobile gamers.

Broadening access to gamers is an important strategy for publishers going the mobile route, and Sony Ericsson is already far down this path. Extending its Xperia PLAY phone to C Spire Wireless customers, Sony Ericsson is saturating the market with its early mobile gaming device. The Xperia PLAY gained popularity with its launch earlier this year, creating a mobile portal for Sony’s PlayStation Network and a distribution platform for high quality games. As part of the promo for C Spire customers, you’ll get five free games from the EA Games site when you purchase the Xperia Play, including Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Battlefield: Bad Company and FIFA 12.