Apple is making big bucks from gaming, putting other brands firmly in the shade, despite not even having made its own dedicated console.
You might think that with PS5 and Xbox Series X consoles flying off the shevles much faster than they can be restocked, Microsoft and Sony must surely be top of the tree when it comes to making profit from video games. However, new research from the Wall Street Journal hands the crown to a different company, and one you perhaps wouldn’t have expected: Apple.
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WSJ reports that Apple made $8.5 billion in operating profits from video games during the 2019 financial year, not just eclipsing each of Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft and Activision’s profit in the sector, but raking in more than all of them combined.
So how has the brand best known for its tech hardware achieved such success in the world of video games, despite its less visible associations with this particular sphere? Well, according to the report, this financial feat was mostly achieved due to the App Store, the digital marketplace available on Apple’s ecosystem of devices from the iPhone 12 to the Apple Watch and more, which takes a 30% cut of sales from third parties.
WSJ forecasts that mobile games will only extend their dominance of the market in the coming years, potentially being worth $103 billion altogether in 2024 while the overall industry is set for a $198 billion valuation. Yet Apple’s privileged position in the market could come under threat from rivals who challenge its dominance, as the Fortnite creator Epic Games has already done in court.
The newly-minted iPhone 13 has made several improvements to the processor and screen which should make gaming on the platform even more of a pleasure than before, so we’re unlikely to see the brand cede much ground in the near future on the grounds of its hardware at least. But whether Apple can continue to demand such high tariffs from app developers will be where the real challenge to its commanding authority could come from.