The App Store has made Apple a giant in the video game market: In fiscal 2019, the company generated around $ 8.5 billion in profits from its 30 percent commission on in-app purchases, like that Wall Street Journal reported with reference to figures that came to light in the antitrust dispute between Epic Games and Apple. That is a higher profit than the big console manufacturers and gaming giants Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony and Electronic Arts combined with their gaming business over the same period.
Apple does not report app store profit individually
Apple itself does not publish any detailed figures on its sales through the commission on app and in-app purchases. Only the turnover of the entire services division, which also includes the App Store, is mentioned: it brought the company a turnover of over 53 billion US dollars in the last fiscal year – it is Apple’s second-largest business division after the iPhone.
Compared to the Wall Street Journal Apple explained that the figures on app store profits published in the legal dispute could contain errors because the costs incurred were not sufficiently taken into account – such profit calculations would therefore be too high.
Few put a lot of money into in-app purchases
It has long been recognized that the majority of app store sales come from games. According to estimates by app market researchers, players spent around 45 billion US dollars on the App Store and on the iPhone and iPad games available there in 2020. According to this, players in China and the USA bring more than half of the sales.
A very small part of the users obviously invest massive amounts of money in games, mostly presumably for the purchase of in-app currencies such as jewel boxes and the like in free-to-play titles. Only six percent of App Store customers generated 90 percent of sales in 2017, it writes Wall Street Journal with reference to court documents. One percent of gamers sink an average of several thousand US dollars a year into games – these “major publishers” alone brought in over 60 percent of sales.
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