Mobile Monday 050321

Mobile Monday: Apple Rolls Out Suggested Apps, Most Developers Are Working on PC and Mobile Games

Posted May 2, 2021

Research surrounding mobile games is often focused on who plays them. But what about the people that make them? A recent survey asked thousands of game developers about trends in the industry and most of them said their current or next projects are for mobile platforms. They also gave their opinions on digital stores’ revenue share. Meanwhile, Apple will soon launch Suggested Apps, a new feature to advertise apps in the App Store’s Search tab. Learn all about these stories in this week’s Mobile Monday!

Apple to Release Suggested App Ad Format

In a report from the Financial Times, it was revealed that Apple will soon be adding a new advertising feature. Apple Suggested App ads will be located in the Search tab similar to Google search ads. The ad will appear on the main page of the App Store’s Search tab, before the user has entered a search query. Apple has been testing the new ads since the beginning of 2021 during the iOS 14.5 beta stage.

The timing of the release of Suggested Apps coincides with the enforcement of App Tracking Transparency where a permission dialog will be required to be shown before an app can display user-targeted advertising. This will give app developers another option to gain new users and increase downloads. App Store Search Ads were launched in 2016 as a way to diversify revenue streams for Apple. Most of Apple services revenue comes from through the 15-30% commission Apple takes on in-app purchases. Search Ads generate around $1 billion each year.

Only 3% of Developers said a 30% Revenue Share is Justifiable

The Game Developers Conference (GDC) recently published their 2021 State of the Game Industry Report in which they surveyed more than 3,000 game developers on current and future gaming industry trends. When asked about the platforms developers are creating their current and next projects for, mobile still remains among the top of the list. PC came out on top with more than half of respondents saying their current or next project would be on that platform. iOS and Android were next on the list at just over 31% each. Among consoles, 30% of developers are creating their next projects for  PS5 and while 25% said Xbox Series X/S and 19% said Nintendo Switch. PC, iOS, and Android typically lead in these surveys because of their accessibility. These platforms do not require a dev kit or have a strict certification process. They are also much easier to publish and distribute than console games. 

GDC’s report also touched on what game devs think about digital storefronts’ revenue share. According to the survey, only 3% of those polled think the 30/70 revenue share on digital storefronts is justified. Almost half (46%) of respondents find a 10-15% cut justifiable. Game developers heavily rely on third-party storefronts to sell their games. For some time, the standard share has been 30% for the platform holder and 70% for the developer but there have been some changes. Apple reduced its cut to 15% for developers who sell under $1 million in a year and Google Play will soon employ that same rule.

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