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Apple made more profits in video games than Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo combined

Apple made $8.5 billion from games in 2019, and they didn’t have to develop any of them.

Apple store selling iphone in new york
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When we think of Apple, most of us think of the iPhone and the massive hardware network that the company has created. Gaming is probably an afterthought. Still, the company known for its innovative phones and devices has become one of the most successful gaming companies in the world.

But you may say, “Alex, Apple doesn’t even make games,” and you would be absolutely correct. Apple doesn’t actually develop any video games itself, but it has worked its way into the market to become extremely profitable off of other people’s games.

The key to Apple’s success in the gaming market is the App Store. Mobile gaming has become extremely popular over the last few years, and so far, Apple has been able to capitalize on that growth.

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Apple was able to rake in $8.5 billion in 2019 from the 30% of all sales that it garnishes from gaming developers on the App Store. That’s more than four of the biggest gaming companies (Nintendo, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, and Sony) in the world combined.

READ MORE: New study shows that video games can make some kids smarter

But Apple’s ability to leach profits off of developers who use its platform is now in danger. The company has been involved in a massive lawsuit with Epic Games which just saw a judge rule that Apple requiring developers to use its payment system, and subsequently paying a 30% fee, was illegal.

Apple also faces resistance from other governments across the world. The Chinese government just passed a new law limiting the amount of time that kids can spend gaming online every day, and that will also likely cut into the company’s profitability in that region.

Still, that doesn’t mean it’s the end for Apple profiting off of games on its platforms. Kids in China only make up a small portion of Apple’s gaming revenue, and the Epic Games lawsuit is still ongoing. It’s pretty safe to say that Apple will be okay in terms of profit, even if its gaming division takes a hit.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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