It’s no secret that the gaming industry is developing very quickly. New technologies make the gameplay process even more convenient for players. One of the most important technologies in the gaming industry is the porting of games to different platforms. This is not an easy process, it takes a lot of time and effort. After all, it can take months of work to move a game from IOS to PC. 

Porting a video game means taking a game that was originally created for one platform, like Xbox or iPhone, and making it playable on other platforms too. For example, moving a PlayStation game so it can also run on Nintendo Switch and computers.

game porting

Porting to make games work across different devices takes lots of extra coding work. But it reaches many more potential players. There are also financial benefits for game creators.

This article explains porting and why all game developers should do cross-platform porting well. Keep reading to learn the main reasons porting matters and how it helps grow your gaming business.

What Is Game Porting?

Game porting means taking the original game made for one device, like an iPad app or VR console game, and adapting it to run properly on other platforms too. This could be porting:

  • From iPhone to Android phones
  • From PlayStation to Nintendo Switch
  • From Xbox to PC and Mac
  • From Oculus VR headset to HTC Vive VR

It’s like translating the game into other technical languages. All the gameplay code and graphics need conversion to match the specs and capabilities of each device.

Sometimes big changes have to be made for certain platforms. For example, converting controls from a console controller to touchscreen phone swipes.

The goal is making the game seamlessly playable no matter what system the player uses. Someone trying the PC version should feel like nothing changed from the original Nintendo release.

Top 5 Reasons to Port Your Game

Game developers don’t port to other devices just for fun. There are strategic business reasons porting matters if you want your game business to reach its full money-making potential.

The top reasons to allocate budget for cross-platform porting are:

  1. Reach Many More Users
  2. Increase Overall Game Revenue
  3. Please Players with Flexible Options
  4. Improve Chances of Game Success
  5. Allow Focusing Resources on Future Titles

Let’s explore each major benefit in detail…

Reach More Audiences

Porting the game to multiple platforms helps developers gain more popularity and find more potential audiences. Moreover, your game will be available to several playing devices, instead of one. This means that your game can get even more downloads and feedback. And if you want to make your game accessible to everyone, cross-platform game development is the best option for you.

If you are dominating in the console world and everyone wants to play your game, but don’t have an opportunity to play from the console, it is a respectable reason to port your game. In this way, you will increase your income and reach more players all around the world. 

The biggest reason to port is simple – more platforms equal more potential players and fans. By converting one game title for use across Android, iPhone, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC you massively increase possible buyers.

Certain platforms like Nintendo and iPhone have over 50 million active players. And hardcore console gamers probably don’t own both competing systems.

Making your game playable across all devices means it can spread like wildfire between different gamer groups. Friends see friends playing it and want in too. Porting unlocks this viral potential.

More users means more game sales, more revenue channels via advertising or in-app purchases, more merchandising opportunities, and a bigger fan community overall.

It Is Cost-Effective

game porting costs

It is much easier to port the game than develop a completely new title. Creating a new game consists of coming up with a unique idea, a full-fledged concept, and hiring the best specialists. The development of a new title is very time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, you are not able to know if your new project will be successful. If you port your game, there is a list of reasons for cross-platforming. For example, your game is already popular and many people want it to play from their devices.

Platform Play Here’s the reality – porting takes significant development resources and coding effort. Sometimes as much work as building a whole new game.

However, the revenue and profit upside make spending money on porting 100% worth it. More platforms means more digital and physical game sales. But porting also lets developers generate incremental revenue streams through:

  • In-game/In-app purchases – players pay real money to unlock game extras
  • Advertising – get paid to display video/banner ads in free games
  • Subscription models – charge monthly fees for ongoing access

These digital monetization models combined across all platforms add up fast. Anywhere players engage with your game becomes another profit center.ported games make serious bank by stacking the monetization deck across every device possible.

More Revenue 

Cross-platform games are getting more downloads and becoming more popular around the world. This means that with the number of attracted people your income will grow. The only drawback is that the more people play your games, the more time and effort you will need to make the servers less loaded and optimize the game. Constantly fixing bugs and introducing new features into the game is something that can keep players interested and keep them playing for hours. And if the game has internal transactions and interesting offers, you will definitely increase revenue. 

Today’s video game fans don’t play on just one device. Hardcore console gamers also use their iPhone for casual games on the go. Mobile users enjoy firing up in-depth RPG adventures on big-screen PCs too. Different games for different platforms.

By porting your game title, you allow players flexibility to enjoy the experience how and where they prefer:

Play on Xbox in the evenings for rich immersive gameplay on the couch. Continue progress on the bus commute via mobile the next morning. Join online multiplayer matches on laptop later on.

Let friends seamlessly play together despite owning different systems – mobile, console, computer. No one left out of the fun.

Portability between all devices satisfies gamers who want to play anywhere, anytime.

Flexibility for Players

Porting the game offers more options for players. They can enjoy their favorite game from any place and device they want to use at a certain moment. For example, they can shorten their time playing their favorite game on their smartphone or enjoy great gameplay from a PC after a hard day. If people are planning a small party for friends who want to play their favorite game, they can easily use the console and enjoy absorbing gameplay. 

Here’s the cold reality – most new video games fail. High development costs but poor sales lead many titles to commercial failure. Efforts wasted for a flop game fail.

But a new game launching simultaneously across mobile, PC, major consoles etc. has way better market exposure from day one. Even if players on Xbox don’t care much, great traction with PlayStation kids can lead to victory.

Strong response on iPhone might lift sales on Nintendo Switch too. Jumping between connected platforms allows ports to gain sustainable momentum.

There are no guarantees any game will be a hit. But a mega multi-platform release has the best possible shot thanks to built-in audience diversity across devices.

Focus on the Development of Future Games

Fortunately, there are dozens of quality outsourcing game porting services, which offer to make your game cross-platform in the shortest time. These companies offer high-quality services on which the best specialists work together in one team. Agree, it is much more reliable to give your project for porting to companies that are well versed in this. 

All video game developers aim for sustainable long-term success year after year. Not just a one-time fad game that burns bright and fizzles out.

Porting existing titles means dev teams don’t need to start totally from scratch every time. Convert proven games across devices while directing some resources toward building next big things.

Outsource porting work so in-house staff can focus on innovating future concepts, gameplay, and stories. Let porting partners handle technical migrations.

This balance allows sustainable pipelines of exciting new original IP while also keeping top hits evergreen via ongoing ports. Manage release timing between freshest concepts and most popular legacy titles across platforms.

What Does Porting Actually Involve?

The exact porting process varies between game genres, codebase languages, visual assets, and target platforms. But several key steps are common when porting games between devices:

  • Code Conversion – The game software code must be adapted to run properly on each platform based on OS, memory differences, processor speeds etc.
  • UI Redesign – User interfaces for menus, HUDs, controls must be reworked to fit new input methods – touchscreens, controllers, keyboard+mouse etc.
  • Graphics Optimization – 3D models, textures, VFX get compressed for mobile performance or enhanced for PC/consoles.
  • Audio Changes – Sound effects and music might need tweaking based on device speakers or spatial audio differences.
  • Network Adjustments – Multiplayer and server communication protocols need realigning across platforms.
  • Testing and QA – Exhaustive functionality testing across all devices to catch platform-specific bugs.

For the best results, developers aim to make the port seem like it was natively built for each platform. This takes advanced porting skills and resources.

Some studios handle ports fully in-house. Others outsource to specialist third-party porting firms to save costs or accelerate timelines. Both models work when done right.

Should You Port Your Game?

game porting

If you or your company has an existing video game generating decent revenue and fans on one platform already, yes you absolutely should invest in cross-platform porting today.

The potential benefits detailed above vastly outweigh any extra effort required during porting. Jumpstart the technical migration ASAP to start stacking income from more gaming platforms.

For indie studios without breakout hits yet, focus on making great games first before attempting ports. Prove core creative and commercial success on a primary platform before expanding territorially across devices.

Once a game pops off after launch, quickly ride the momentum wave using well-executed porting. Multi-device interest spikes higher while popularity runs hot to maximize sales velocity across platforms.

Choosing the Best Game Platforms to Port To

Porting to the right mix of platforms is key for maximizing players and profits. Blindly porting to every device is wasted effort unless target users are a good fit. Evaluate each platform across three factors when deciding where to expand your game:

Market Size and Usage Factors

Some gaming platforms have enormous active user bases while others remain niche. Study total addressable market scale per platform to estimate sales potential. For example:

  • iOS and Android phones have giant mobile markets with over 1 billion players each
  • PlayStation and Xbox consoles also have 50-150 million users apiece
  • Nintendo Switch around 80 million current generation
  • PC gaming nearly 1 billion regular players.

Compare against smaller emerging platforms. Virtual reality like Oculus Quest is under 10 million headsets globally. Apple TV mobile box gaming lacks critical usage.

Understand nuances within each marketplace too. Mobile patterns differ from console and computer. Asian player habits vary versus western regions. Customize evaluations per territory.

Weigh both current platform footprint today alongside future trajectory. While leading now, PlayStation and Xbox console generations peak and decline over 5-7 year cycles. Compare against mobile, PC, and cloud gaming’s steady ongoing expansion.

Development Cost Estimates Per Platform

Account for the full cost burden adapting a game for each tech ecosystem during porting. Evaluating cost to benefit tradeoffs helps hone platform choices.

Factors influencing porting costs:

  • Codebase and engine language familiarity
  • Hardware performance optimization needs
  • Control input mechanisms requiring redesign
  • Platform provider certification processes.

For example, porting from Xbox console to PlayStation is simpler thanks to shared controller focus and similar technical specs. But migrating a game from PC to mobile requires more effort working within touchscreens and lower power mobile chip capabilities.

Understanding platform port costs lets developers allocate resources properly to highest upside options.

Future Growth Potential

Always consider emerging gaming platform opportunities alongside today’s sure bets. Especially as new generations of hardware and game delivery arrive.

Next generation PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles get announced every 5+ years, spurring renewed platform interest despite big development costs. Or blockchain games leveraging cryptocurrency fintech disruption. Evaluating longer window potential expands options.

The most successful cross-platform game creators balance proven profitable targets today with calculated bets on exciting new frontiers tomorrow. Resource allocation split across both minimizes overall risk while inserting games into potential high growth areas early.

Carefully weighing platform market factors, port costs, and future outlook together informs decisions on the best mix of game devices for expansive and lasting profitability.

Porting for Game Growth

Game porting marks significant extra effort in the development cycle. But perfectly executed ports are absolutely worth their production weight in gold when it comes time to convert kinetic excitement into major revenues.

Direct porting lifts lifetime game profits by double digit percentages or better easily. Unlock the floodgates between isolated platforms for viral player sharing backed by sound digital business models. Porting paves these proven roads to riches.

Plan mobile, console, computer cross-platform support early in release cycles for every title possible. Technically challenging ports underpin lasting success maximizing fans while optimizing earnings across the whole spectrum of video gaming devices.

Fixing Typical Problems When Porting Games

Moving a game from one device to work properly on other platforms has difficulties. Things need to change so players on new devices enjoy the same fun experience. Here are main issues and how to fix them:

Controls Need Different Inputs

Games use controllers, keyboards, touchscreens and more for inputting player actions. These controls are built specifically for Xbox or iPhones originally. They fail feeling natural when ported wrong.

If a shooting game on PlayStation loses quality feel on Switch tablets, players get frustrated and quit. Remapping controls fluidly maintains that game’s expected handling. Make mobile taps make sense instead of console joystick clicks.

The goal is shaping play inputs to keep expectations of genres like racers or platformers consistent. Players on any device get controls they want.

Graphics Power Causes Problems

Fancier platforms like powerful gaming PCs and newest PlayStations render sharp realistic graphics easily. But weak phones can’t handle all those complex visuals well.

When sprawling 3D scenes and particle effects get simply copied to mobiles, the port stutters and lags badly. Too much eye candy crashes meager mobile chipsets.

Downgrade fancy visuals on phones to simpler models and textures. Keep dazzling graphics as is on strong PCs that can handle it. This tailors each version within hardware power limits.

Filesize Bloats on Storage Limited Devices

Games have gigantic art, sound, video assets. Fine on PCs and consoles with 50+ GB hard drives. Not ok for 4 GB iPhone storage after OS and apps.

Removing any extras possible gets install sizes down without hurting too much quality. Careful file trimming ensures ports fit on mobiles easily. Updates can add bits back for consoles and PCs with more disk room.

Testing fixes on real devices all along identifies problems before launch. Port builds to phones directly and try levels hands-on to feel real conditions.

The Bottom Line

When porting a game, it is very important to adhere to all the details that exist in the original version of the game. Textures, sound effects, polygon formats – all of this must be converted correctly so that no one can tell the difference between the ported game and its original version. Of course, all the missing pieces of art resources can be created from scratch. 

As you can see, porting your game into the key platforms and engines can make your game project more popular all around the world and bring a lot of benefits to you. Of course, you should ensure flawless functionality to offer players the best gaming experience. It is not easy and requires a lot of effort. However, rest assured that porting the game will be worth it.