Tech

Apps beat games on iOS, a bad sign?

Since its debut, back in 2008, the income of the iOS App Store, in its division between those originated by games and other types of apps, the ranking had always been headed by the first. Whether it was with greater or lesser difference, but in general, users seemed more inclined to take out the wallet with the games than with the rest of the types of applications that, from the first day, we have been able to find in the Apple store for the iPhone.

At this point, yes, it is important to clarify that, when speaking of income, obviously I am not only referring to the purchase price of the app or game, tTransactions within the apps and subscriptions of all kinds are also includedtwo fields in which the smartphone video game industry has been able to exploit much better, and since long before, the new monetization models that, unfortunately (at least in my opinion) are gradually imposing themselves in the world of software, as well as in other sectors.

Although the app market is very dynamic, trends can be identified over time. In this case, we have been seeing for some time how the revenue from the apps was approaching that of the games and, according to the consulting firm SensorTower, during the second quarter of 2022 the change has been made official, as it is the first quarter in which revenue generated by apps has surpassed that generated by games on the US App Store.

Is this data only applicable to the United States? At least at a first analysis it does not seem so. Although Apple does not provide these types of numbers, and even less segregated by local markets, what happens with the App Store is usually quickly portable to other local instances of the app storeso we can infer that the situation in Europe may not be identical, but it is quite similar, with the same market evolution.

A quick reading that we could make of this data is that users are increasingly interested in apps, and that could seem positive. However, and seeing the trends in the software market that I was talking about earlier, the conclusion points in a very different direction and that, unfortunately, seems to be the one that really explains it. And it is that app developers are learning from game developers.

Just take a quick look at the apps in the App Store to see that in-app purchases have proliferated in applications like mushrooms in a pine forest after a rainy day. Purchases that can be micro transactions to unlock features (such as free versions that offer the jump to the “pro” version) or subscriptions to use the app for a certain time. The cheating and greedy implementation that we have been seeing on PC for a long time.

We are therefore moving towards a pay-per-use model that in some cases is fully justified, but in others it is no more than a disgraceful and embarrassing move by some developers. He will be successful? The problem is that, looking at these numbers, it seems so, at least in the short term.

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