Apple has been a leader in the mobile gaming revolution hosting a wide range of exciting multitouch innovation game applications on its iOS platform. Some games have stood out weathering the competition to record significant daily installs and revenue.
Data presented by Stock Apps indicates that as of September 23, 2020, the top ten games apps on iOS in the United States recorded an estimated 190,385 cumulative daily installs. Clash of Clans ranks top with about 21,667 daily installs. Out of the sampled games, Toon Blast ranks the lowest with an estimated 16,864 daily installs.
The research also reviewed data on the gross revenue for the day, including in-app purchases and purchase price of the game. The ten games apps have registered a cumulative revenue of $9.75 million. Roblox has the highest-grossing revenue at $2.49 million while Among Us recorded the least revenues at $227,807.
The daily installs and revenue can be considered high having built on the moment established during the coronavirus pandemic. At the peak of the health crisis, most people were in lockdown and shifted to mobile games as a means of passing time. Notably, before the pandemic, mobile gaming on iOS and other platforms was growing rapidly. iOS game developer companies have been investing more resources into creating new games and mobile versions of well-known stationary games.
Apple’s war with mobile game developers
The highlighted iOS games apps could have featured Fortnite. Apple removed Fortnite from the App store after the game developers offered a discount on its virtual currency for purchases made outside of the app. Through such purchases, Apple earns revenue of 30%. The removal has been termed unfair by Epic games leading to a lawsuit that is still ongoing. Fortnite was among the most popular games on the iOS platform in terms of installs and revenue generated.
For years, mobile games app usually tend to have a limited scope compared to PC and Console games. The main challenge has been storage and memory limitations. However, with the increasing penetration of mobile devices, developers are now releasing PC and Console games for mobile. Notably, cloud-based mobile gaming has been viewed as a solution to such constraints. Initially, Apple had maintained that cloud-based gaming services are in violation of App Store guidelines and cannot exist on iOS. According to Apple, they provide access to apps Apple can’t individually review.
However, early this month, Apple changed the tough stand and ruled that game apps like Google Stadia and Microsoft’s xCloud can be available on iOS devices. In line with the new guidelines, Apple imposed strict regulations like requiring each game update to be submitted for review. Additionally, developers must provide appropriate metadata for search and games must use in-app purchases to unlock features or functionality. Despite the stringent rules in place, the development will surely impact iOS game installs and revenue.
The future of iOS mobile games
As highlighted, Apple has been a leader in the mobile games revolution but experts consider its rules too stringent for the future. Ironically, Apple has been pushing the iPhone as an open platform. Following the Epic debacle, critics have called on the company to be more open to innovation and ideas especially those outside the Apple environment. It is worth mentioning that Apple has a history of frequently altering its rules in relation to the app. The unpredictability of Apple rules is seen as a barrier to mobile game development.
The United States mobile gaming industry is among the leading sectors expected to drive future trends. The general US mobile market share is projected to increase. The growth will be mainly propelled by the rapid development of mobile games and the stagnation of big games. Analysts further believe that the penetration of mobile games into the daily life of Americans is a key factor in the sector’s growth.
Like other platforms, iOS games developers make money through several measures like advertising purchased downloads and in-app purchases. Despite the highlighted apps recording high revenue, they still face fierce competition. Market opinion leaders believe that days of quick money through mobile games are over. The competition is elevated through high customer demand.