Apple's take of gaming market suffers due to COVID-19

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2020
Apple has dropped to last place in a ranking of gaming software and services companies due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fornite on iPad mini 5
Fornite on iPad mini 5


Research firm GlobalData announced Apple's plunge in its gaming software thematic scorecard on Monday, with analyst Rupantar Guha saying that the drop "can be attributed to changes the company has made in its gaming revenue channels," as well as the App Store and Apple Arcade during COVID-19.

One example, as pointed out by Guha, is Apple's coronavirus-spurred removal of the "Plague, Inc" game from the Chinese App Store in February. The analyst said that move slowed Apple's growth in China, which is the world's largest gaming market.

Similarly, Guha said it's "unclear" if Apple's 30-day free Apple Arcade trial will be enough to "attract a significant number of new subscribers."

GlobalData's thematic gaming scorecard.
GlobalData's thematic gaming scorecard.


Lastly, the GlobalData analyst says that, unlike rivals like Google and Amazon, Apple hasn't made any inroads in the esports industry, which the firm says caters to a "niche audience" of about 10% of the global online population.

"Despite having the tech capabilities and potential esports titles on the Apple Arcade, Apple has failed to benefit from the thriving esports market during the global lockdown," Guha wrote.

As of June 2019, Apple was the fourth-largest gaming company globally by Newzoo due to the iPhone and the rise of mobile gaming.

The company also launched its $4.99-a-month Apple Arcade gaming service in September 2019, which features more than 100 titles developed exclusively for its various platforms.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    Virtually every single entry on that list above Apple is either a full-focus gaming developer, distributor, or publisher (e.g. Valve), or has a major division devoted to gaming (e.g. Microsoft), while Apple is primarily a general computing product and services company.  While Apple does pay attention to mobile gaming, I've posted before that I think they don't really care about gaming on Mac OS, and I don't see much evidence that they'd be heartbroken if even mobile gaming weren't a runaway record shattering thing.

    Not sure this is an apples to apples, or even oranges, comparison.
    tmayMacQcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 22,823member
    Personally I'm more than a bit surprised, assuming the chart is accurate. I was seeing comments from posters just yesterday on another site about how successful Apple Arcade has been compared to other gaming services. That site doesn't allow links so I've no idea if that had any sources but I assumed they did. 
  • Reply 3 of 13
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,530member
    Virtually every single entry on that list above Apple is either a full-focus gaming developer, distributor, or publisher (e.g. Valve), or has a major division devoted to gaming (e.g. Microsoft), while Apple is primarily a general computing product and services company.  While Apple does pay attention to mobile gaming, I've posted before that I think they don't really care about gaming on Mac OS, and I don't see much evidence that they'd be heartbroken if even mobile gaming weren't a runaway record shattering thing.

    Not sure this is an apples to apples, or even oranges, comparison.
    You are correct.

    This is even less surprising when one takes into account the platforms and marketshare.

    Apple Arcade only runs on Apple devices running the latest version of the operating system. My iPhone XS is on iOS 12.4.1; no Apple Arcade for me. My two Macs are both running Mojave 10.14; no Arcade games there. And I have a third generation Apple TV. So no Apple Arcade in my home.

    Game publishers like Activision Blizzard have titles that run on multiple platforms, almost all of them with more marketshare and penetration than Apple products. iPhones don't dominate the smartphone market, Macs comprise less than 10% of the PC market, and Apple TV is not the dominant force for set-top TV streamers. Plus Activision Blizzard has titles that run on consoles and likely handheld units. There is no Apple console hardware. Only the most recent iPod touch is supported by Apple Arcade. The previous generation iPod touches (like mine) is stuck at iOS 12.4.6, no Arcade there either.

    You add all of this together and there's no plausible argument for Apple to have a dominant stance.

    I don't even play videogames but this analysis is pretty short-sighted.
    edited May 2020 tmayMacQcElCapitanwilliamlondonpscooter63
  • Reply 4 of 13
    genovellegenovelle Posts: 1,116member
    mpantone said:
    Virtually every single entry on that list above Apple is either a full-focus gaming developer, distributor, or publisher (e.g. Valve), or has a major division devoted to gaming (e.g. Microsoft), while Apple is primarily a general computing product and services company.  While Apple does pay attention to mobile gaming, I've posted before that I think they don't really care about gaming on Mac OS, and I don't see much evidence that they'd be heartbroken if even mobile gaming weren't a runaway record shattering thing.

    Not sure this is an apples to apples, or even oranges, comparison.
    You are correct.

    This is even less surprising when one takes into account the platforms and marketshare.

    Apple Arcade only runs on Apple devices running the latest version of the operating system. My iPhone XS is on iOS 12.4.1; no Apple Arcade for me. My two Macs are both running Mojave 10.14; no Arcade games there. And I have a third generation Apple TV. So no Apple Arcade in my home.

    Game publishers like Activision Blizzard have titles that run on multiple platforms, almost all of them with more marketshare and penetration than Apple products. iPhones don't dominate the smartphone market, Macs comprise less than 10% of the PC market, and Apple TV is not the dominant force for set-top TV streamers. Plus Activision Blizzard has titles that run on consoles and likely handheld units. There is no Apple console hardware. Only the most recent iPod touch is supported by Apple Arcade. The previous generation iPod touches (like mine) is stuck at iOS 12.4.6, no Arcade there either.

    You add all of this together and there's no plausible argument for Apple to have a dominant stance.

    I don't even play videogames but this analysis is pretty short-sighted.
    I believe it’s far too soon to see where Apple is headed with arcade. They are a long term planner. They are planning something big and is laying the foundation for it. 
    roundaboutnowwilliamlondonpscooter63watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 13
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,050member
    No, Apple loses because Arcade sucks. Can't blame the pandemic when everyone is forced to stay home and play video games all day.
    razorpitwilliamlondonITGUYINSDpscooter63chemengin1
  • Reply 6 of 13
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 372member
    Apple has taken the same curated approach to Arcade as it has done to ATV, meaning it will only appeal to a small subsection of the market. 

    On macOS Apple has virtually no credibility or reach in gaming at all. With removal of OpenGL support expect it will be dead completely.  
    edited May 2020
  • Reply 7 of 13
    mr lizardmr lizard Posts: 231member
    So this is just a score card made up by someone, and nothing to do with market share, revenue share, or active users? 

    So, unlike the headline, Apple’s take of the gaming market hasn’t suffered due to COVID-19. 
    tmayrazorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    crowleycrowley Posts: 7,614member
    Yeah, headline seems detached from the story.  GlobalData has made an assessment of Apple's position, but that doesn't really relate to Apple's "take" of anything.
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 13
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 1,796member
    Beats said:
    No, Apple loses because Arcade sucks. Can't blame the pandemic when everyone is forced to stay home and play video games all day.
    LOL, thinking the exact same thing. My son and daughter (and truth be told me) have been gaming more because not only are we not allowed to go to the playgrounds or anything else, but the weather has pretty much sucked in the north east. My daughter just learned to ride a bike and has been dying to go out. We do the best we can in between the rain and snow.
    ElCapitan said:
    Apple has taken the same curated approach to Arcade as it has done to ATV, meaning it will only appeal to a small subsection of the market. 

    On macOS Apple has virtually no credibility or reach in gaming at all. With removal of OpenGL support expect it will be dead completely.  
    To be fair it does have Metal which should theoretically offer better performance. I don’t know what’s involved porting a game built for OpenGL. That’s what Apple should focus on. No developer is going to target iOS for a big new release because currently no one looks to Apple for serious gaming.
    mr lizard said:
    So this is just a score card made up by someone, and nothing to do with market share, revenue share, or active users? 

    So, unlike the headline, Apple’s take of the gaming market hasn’t suffered due to COVID-19. 
    Exactly, Maybe I haven’t had enough coffee this morning. I’m having a hard time of seeing how “ Apple's take of gaming market suffers due to COVID-19” from what appears to be nothing more than someone’s score card.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 13
    crowley said:
    Yeah, headline seems detached from the story.  GlobalData has made an assessment of Apple's position, but that doesn't really relate to Apple's "take" of anything.
    AI is using "take" as a synonym for "share" or "portion".  The usage is correct, but the connotation of this usage has always been less than positive for me, e.g. a thief's "take" of the the haul his group made, or a casino's "take" of the door proceeds.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 13
    Not really surprised. Mobile gaming for the most part is a different kind of gaming. You mostly get Runners games, or Gacha hidden under an rpg/beat'em All/Hack'n Slash gameplay. Pubg/fortnite and a few old Final fantasy being the only exception. You don't get immersive games like the Witcher 3 on smartphones.

    Smartphone gaming killed the old mobile gaming because games were free/cheap, while Apple arcade sub fix that, but It's going to be really hard to convince a dev to make an exclusive AAA of a popular license on iOS. 

    Playstation/Xbox being brands with a distinctive communication isn't for nothing.  Gamers need to know that you are all about games, that it's not just a bonus. Microsoft tried to pull the whole " the Xbox one is a media hub, not a console" thing, and they got slapped really hard for that. 

    Nintendo products are more limited when it's comes to power and multimedia, but it's a console, so people are buying them. They sold loads of switch with the quarantine. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 13
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 1,485member
    I've spent five or more minutes trying to decipher the chart and realized that there is nothing to decipher. It's a collection of colours, and numbers and yes Apple is at the bottom, but what it means and how it was put together is missing. It reminds me of charts I've seen over the years in business settings. Invariably they were the result of someone with a preconceived notion who didn't have data to back it up, so they try to bury everyone under BS and hope if they talk fast enough nobody will notice. I see lots of business buzzwords, and dimensionless numbers, but no data. 

    This has all the hallmarks of an analyst with an axe to grind shovelling as fast as they can.

    What DOES coronavirus have to do with gaming?

    That said, do I think Apple is leading the world in Gaming? No, that isn't their primary business, they make no bones about that. What's more, as excited as I was about Apple Arcade a year ago, so far I haven't even tried the free month; I just haven't seen anything on there that interested me enough to start another monthly service. Rather than $5/mo, I'll buy a $5-$10 game on the AppStore every two or three. At the very least I will break even, and the selection is better. 

    But I would not rely on this pile of dung report for anything, Unless your local store is sold out of TP.

    pscooter63randominternetperson
  • Reply 13 of 13
    What a bizarre piece.

    The single biggest factor in the overall weighted score is "Coronavirus" [sic] at 25%.  Really?  And Apple scored a 1 because...?  People aren't playing games on their iphones?  Because they pulled one game from the Chinese market (Plague, Inc.)?  

    Also in terms of the weighting "China" (10%) is twice as important as "Mobile" (5%).  Seriously?  No other region is called out, just China?  And what is "Exports"?  Also 10%.  Funny that the categories that don't make much sense or our clearly overweighted are the ones where Apple scores a 1 or 2.  My theory is that someone had an ax to grind or otherwise knew that "Apple sucks at gaming" would be a good click bait headline.  Note, I'm referring to the original analysis, not AI's story.  AI would have published the story (and we would have clicked on it) so matter where Apple placed in the rankings.
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