98 Percent of Apple App Store Games Revenue Comes from Game Publishers Earning Over $1 Million Annually

Apple recently announced that game publishers who earned less than $1 million annually would be entitled to an 85% share of the revenue. This is definitely a good move since publishers that earn less definitely need a bit more of a boost in this department, but with all of that having been said and now out of the way it is important to note that publishers earning less than $1 million per year comprise a tiny portion of the total game revenue that the app store tends to see on an annual basis.

In a study conducted by SensorTower, about 29,000 game publishers that had earned revenue from at least one game and found a lot of interesting facts. About half of all of these publishers earned less than $1,000 each per year based on player spending and the like. Another quarter earned less than $10,000. Just under 90% of all of these publishers earned under $100,000 per year, and if you look at publishers earning under $1,000,000 per year they comprise about 96.7% of the total number of publishers out there.

The total revenue earned by 96.7% of publishers all of whom earned less than $1,000,000 per year came up to around $834 million. This accounts for less than 2% of the total game revenue that Apple earned from its app store.

On the other hand, there is a select group of about 940 publishers, comprising 3.3% of the total number of revenue earning publishers out there, who earn more than a million a year. These publishers combined ended up earning well over $38 billion in 2020, or about 98% of the revenue earned by app store games.

One thing that should really be noted here is that the number of developers earning less than a million is shrinking. This is not because of the fact that more developers are earning more money, rather it is because of the fact that larger publishers are starting to absorb the smaller competition. This is clearly not a good thing if you look at the competitiveness of the industry and the various benefits that it has the potential to end up bringing to the table.

Now, Apple’s decision to reduce their revenue share from 30% to 15% for smaller companies is definitely great since these companies earn the least money and need more from their revenue split. However, it really doesn’t impact the amount of money that Apple is able to earn either since they are earning a lower revenue split on less than 2% of the revenue that their app store is earning in general.

Chances are that other platforms are going to end up following suit as well because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing more games to be made. However, some are arguing that concessions should be made for some of the higher earning developers as well so that they have more of an incentive to continue making games and remain competitive rather than dreading the sudden increase in revenue split that would occur once they start earning more than $1 million per year.
Read next: Amazon, Apple, Google or Microsoft - Who Has the Most Successful App Store?
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