GameRefinery: Mobile game publishers bypass app store fees


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Apparently, Epic Games isn’t the only one trying to figure out ways to circumvent exorbitant fees on mobile app stores. According to mobile game analysts GameRefinery, there is a trend of mobile game studios using their own online stores to circumvent fees on in-app purchases.

Games like Clash of Clans, Star Trek: Fleet Command, Game of Thrones: Conquest, and Marvel Strike Force all have online stores. These online shops allow you to buy in-game currency and upgradable items. Some of them even offer online store-exclusive offers and discounts to incentivize purchases outside of the actual games.

“The vast majority of mobile games are free-to-play titles and generate the majority of their revenue through in-app purchases,” GameRefinery’s Kalle Heikkinen said in a statement to GamesBeat. “Given that many of the most popular mobile games gross over $100,000 a day, it’s no surprise that studios are looking to shift their in-app purchases to channels outside of where Apple and Google can take fees, especially as large studios still have to pay a 30% fee, instead of the reduced rate of 15% for indie developers and small businesses.

GameRefinery has the details

Data from GameRefinery shows that Marvel Strike Force made $4 million in in-app purchases over the past month. Clash of Clans, one of the most popular mobile games of all time, grossed $6.7 million over the same period.

It’s not pocket change we’re talking about here. Developers and publishers looking for ways to avoid losing millions to Google and Apple aren’t exactly a shock. Later, it would not be surprising to see online stores become an expected part of any new mobile game.

“We expect to see more mobile game publishers follow in the footsteps of Warner Bros. and Supercell by creating their own online stores, which could encourage Apple and Google to reconsider their pricing for major studios,” Heikkinen said. . “But since Apple and Google do not allow advertising of these online stores in the app, mobile game publishers still face challenges related to the accessibility and visibility of these online stores, especially since the process of purchasing items within the app is such a streamlined experience.

Progress does not wait for trials

Law firm Hausfield’s recent win over Google for a $90 million settlement probably doesn’t change much. The lawsuit was on behalf of developers who earn less than $2 million in annual sales.

Games like Clash of Clans go way beyond that. Google’s changes, like its 2021 program that offered reduced fees on a developer’s first million dollars, aren’t much of a factor. There is very little incentive for huge successes not to turn to online stores.

For a game to become popular enough to make a lot of money means app stores get a bigger share is strange. Although a game may not advertise the existence of an online store, every game will eventually have one. You don’t need to advertise something that is accepted as a base component.

And you don’t have to wait for a trial to make things fairer. You can build a way around all the clutter.

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