Apple’s strategy of leveraging its mobile device ecosystem to become a major player in the gaming industry has seen massive success. Apple’s well-known partnerships with developers such as Epic Games, Unity, and others have made Apple’s platforms increasingly attractive to developers, gamers, and third-party services.
In this article, we’ll break down what Apple needs to do to continue its success in the gaming industry:
Apple Doesn’t Make Video Games. But It’s the Hottest Player in Gaming
Apple has had a presence in the gaming industry for over a decade, but only recently have they become more serious about entering this market. In 2013, Apple launched the App Store and finally made gaming a major business strategy focus. Since then, Apple has steadily grown its share of the video game industry, going from about 0.4% in 2013 to 4.7% in 2020.
However, Apple is still far behind its leading competitors: Nintendo and Sony control over 45% of the market and Microsoft holds nearly 20%. Therefore, to be successful in gaming, Apple must remain an attractive option for developers which means it needs to make a series of strategic decisions to maintain and build upon its current success.
- Offering incentives and resources to independent developers to make games exclusively for App Store.
- Partnering with existing gaming platforms like Xbox.
- Making investments in streaming technology or cloud gaming.
- Developing fewer new games but ensuring those available are high-quality offerings.
Ultimately, each decision should be made to enhance customer experience and create an environment that is accessible and rewarding for both developers and gamers alike.
How Apple can capitalise on the gaming market
The gaming industry continues to grow in both its reach and success, and Apple has put itself in a great position to take advantage of this trend. In recent years, Apple has made waves with their App Store and its suite of games for iOS – but the company still needs to make the right moves if it wants to successfully compete with some of the biggest names in gaming.
Apple needs a broader range of games that reach a wider gaming audience. They should also focus on investments in niche markets like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Additionally, they must establish relationships with AAA developers like Sony or Activision, who produce games for consoles or PCs.
Apple also needs to focus on developing their product line which could allow them to compete with Xbox One or PS4. Furthermore, expanding their digital content services like iCloud would create a great launchpad for gamers on Mac computers and iPads, who are already growing accustomed to downloading apps from the iTunes store. The challenge lies in providing pricing structures that appeal to the average customer while remaining competitively priced against the existing consoles and PCs.
Finally, Apple must promote collaborations between game developers and game-style app creators which will open up new opportunities in gaming that don’t currently exist elsewhere – such as interactive fiction, multimedia experiences etc. By embracing partnerships, exploring certain niches, and further strengthening their existing services and product lineups; they can effectively position themselves as a serious contender in the gaming market – giving big players like PlayStation something to look out for!
Apple’s Current Gaming Landscape
Apple has become a major player in the gaming market, even though it doesn’t make any video games. Instead, it offers developers the tools and infrastructure to create and distribute their creations on Apple’s platforms, such as the App Store and Apple Arcade.
In this section, we will explore the current gaming landscape for Apple and how it’s impacting the gaming industry.
Apple Arcade is a subscription-based gaming platform that offers an extensive library of over 100 exclusive titles designed specifically for Apple devices, including iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple TVs. The emphasis is on providing easy access to premium experiences without microtransactions or in-app purchases. In addition, every game on the service supports family sharing and can be played offline.
Apple Arcade has certainly made waves among gamers, garnering much-deserved praise for its unique approach to the gaming world. So far the service has proven popular with those seeking top-tier quality titles which prioritise fun gameplay over profit generation. However, Arcade lacks depth in certain genres like strategy and sim games; additionally, some significant titles are missing from their catalogue that were previously part of Apple’s App Store offerings.
Given these shortcomings, it’s clear that for Apple to succeed as a major player in the realm of console quality gaming experiences they will need to find ways to expand their offering of genres and titles with top-of-the-line quality exclusive content if they hope to compete with other big hitters like Microsoft Game Pass or Google Stadia.
The Apple Store is one of the main ways for Apple to sell its products and games. The App Store is the main platform for distributing gaming apps on iOS devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and the Apple TV. In 2020, downloads on the App Store increased by 13%, while spending per user climbed 9%. As the first point of contact with consumers, the App Store experience must be optimised to support a positive and engaging gaming experience.
Discoverability is important—how people will find games on Apple Store to increase downloads. Apple relies heavily on algorithmic curation and marketing efforts like PR stories or banners. But to improve discoverability of games—particularly indie titles—Apple needs to invest more in game curation initiatives that go beyond algorithmic recommendations and explore ways for users to find new content and developers through search or other methods.
Apple also needs to provide additional support for developers who create titles available through Apple Arcade (the company’s subscription-based gaming service) and individual app purchases. Developers currently have access to a range of exclusive features within the App Review Guidelines that can increase their chances of success in getting their apps approved and promoted on the App Store. This includes enhanced premiumization tools like 3D Touch, ReplayKit Live video recording feature, Picture in Picture mode integration with Videos SDK, Storyboards for Promotional Screenshots support for String Localization files for App store product descriptions, Search Ads campaigns etc. Improving these features can help both indie and large studios better market their titles and boost engagement with consumers over time.
Apple TV has had a long road over the years and it appears that the company is starting to make substantial headway in this sector. As the fourth generation of Apple TV was released, developers have been enticed by the possibilities of taking advantage of Apple’s 4K content delivery system. As well as this, advances in gaming software for iOS devices has meant that Apple TV ownership has almost become a must for current gen gamers.
The company’s focus on creating content specific to their platforms, such as games collaborating with some big-name franchises, along with new streaming services such as Apple Arcade being fully integrated and included alongside TVOS, shows that the demand is there within their expanding user base.
To capitalise on this interest and to get gamers even more interested in their products, Apple have recently revealed their plans to launch a dedicated hardware set-up specifically based around playing games. Combining their latest hardware with all its new powerful innards should have made them appealing to gamers. Still, Apple hasn’t yet pushed exclusive titles or franchises, potentially due to lack of focus rather than preparation. This lack of focus means they cannot compete with other companies utilising existing franchises such as Microsoft’s HALO or Sony’s Uncharted series.
What we can see from these examples are the types of moves that may be necessary going forward if Apple wants to make an impact within gaming and how dedicating resources towards these projects could easily pay off if done correctly.
Apple’s Opportunities in Gaming
Apple may not make video games, but it is on the verge of becoming a major player in the gaming industry. With the launch of Apple Arcade – its gaming subscription service – and the success of games like Fortnite and Minecraft, the company has piqued gamers’ interest.
To capitalise on this opportunity, Apple needs to know its strengths and weaknesses, and what it must do to succeed in gaming.
Create an Apple-branded console
Apple already has the constituent parts to become a major player in the gaming industry: it has years of experience developing hardware, cutting edge technology like its A12 Bionic processor, and deep relationships with game developers. But one piece that is still missing is an Apple-branded console.
Creating an Apple-branded console could artificially create a demand for Apple products in the gaming industry and attract additional game development companies. Developing an attractive and innovative package could help boost sales, too. Indeed, by packaging the strength of its technology into a dedicated console, Apple would be taking on some of its biggest rivals who enjoy strong market share in gaming hardware – such as Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox.
In addition to creating a physical console, Apple should consider developing proprietary games. Businesses often utilise products like video games to engage potential customers with their brand – think Sonic or Super Mario – and this strategy could also be effective for Apple. Furthermore, having exclusive titles on its platform may inspire gamers to choose the hardware itself should they be interested in these designated games as well.
Ultimately, these steps could make a big difference towards helping establish Apple’s presence within the gaming industry – something that may have seemed impossible just years ago given their limited involvement. However, given their recent AR/VR technology advancements, this move seems possible and probable within the coming years. The move would no doubt come with various risks. Still, further capitalising on their dominance in device design and development may prove beneficial in reaching audiences across multiple platforms beyond gaming, which could offer lucrative opportunities that extend far beyond that realm alone.
Invest in exclusive gaming content
As gaming continues to expand, creating exclusive content will play a key role in Apple’s success. This means investing in game studios that create titles only available on the platform and buying out successful existing franchises. Apple has already moved in this direction, acquiring mobile game developer Gakkai and purchasing Unreal Engine from Epic Games. However, more investments could help them draw from existing popular games and create new ones.
Developing partnerships with game developers is also beneficial since most game creators need to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technology advancements. In addition, this will enable Apple to better understand what content the gaming public is looking for and how to deliver it effectively.
Additionally, it would give developers incentives to produce exclusive content for their platform, thus increasing its overall appeal:
- Better understand what content the gaming public is looking for and how to deliver it effectively.
- Incentives to produce exclusive content for their platform.
- Increased overall appeal.
Expand Apple Arcade to other platforms
The introduction of Apple Arcade in September 2019 marked an important step for Apple into the gaming market. Although the service provides access to over 100 exclusive titles from a range of third-party developers, it is currently only available on iOS, macOS and tvOS platforms. For Apple to make a success of its gaming ambitions, it needs to extend the arcade’s reach beyond these platforms.
One opportunity for expansion is via gaming consoles. Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox are key players in this sector, with around 50 million and 40 million users respectively as of 2019. It could be advantageous for Apple to partner up with one or both companies so that users can access Arcade on their home consoles. This would give gamers access to an even wider selection of titles from independent developers and increase the number of people playing them.
Another option would be for Apple to open up its back catalogue of games via the cloud streaming technique used by services such as Google Stadia and NVIDIA GeForce Now. This could allow players worldwide to try out Archie’s games without needing hardware other than a compatible device – increasing global reach dramatically compared to focusing solely on hardware-based solutions such as iOS devices.
Cloud streaming also offers lower cost entry points than buying a console or discrete graphics card – something that can only benefit content providers like Apple Arcade as they seek to maximise their audience size to return sensible revenues from their investment in gaming software development.
Challenges Facing Apple
With Apple’s foray into the gaming market, there are certain challenges that Apple needs to address to succeed. The lack of established gaming studios, the difficulty of creating high-quality games and the need to differentiate from other competitors in the space are all challenges that Apple will need to overcome if it wants to compete in the gaming space.
Let’s explore the challenges that Apple needs to overcome to succeed in the gaming market:
- Lack of established gaming studios.
- Difficulty of creating high-quality games.
- Need to differentiate from other competitors in the space.
Establishing a foothold in the console market
The global console gaming market was worth an estimated $47.9 billion in 2018, and is projected to exceed $60 billion by 2021, according to market research firm Newzoo. As one of the biggest names in the tech world, Apple has much to gain from establishing itself as a major player in the console market.
Apple’s biggest challenge, however, is taking on established rivals such as Sony and Microsoft, who command a large majority of the market share between them. These companies have had years to build brand recognition among core gamers – a key demographic for hardware purchases – while Apple has been lagging with its limited selection of device options such as the Apple TV set-top box and iOS devices.
To make a successful foray into the console space and take on its more established rivals, Apple must establish an attractive proposition for gamers that will provide unique features and experiences that can’t be found elsewhere. This could involve expanding upon existing features such as improved motion controls for playing games on iOS devices or introducing new technologies like VR or streaming capabilities for accessing games on any device. Whatever steps it takes, it’s clear that Apple needs to invest heavily in marketing and advertising efforts if it wants to build up its user base among hardcore gamers quickly enough to make an impact on this rapidly growing sector of the tech industry.
Developing exclusive gaming content
For Apple to successfully become a major gaming player in the gaming space, it must develop its exclusive gaming content. To date, most of the games available on Apple devices have been ports from other platforms available to anyone with them. This is far short of what could be achieved with an Apple-exclusive system.
Apple needs to create a gaming ecosystem that is truly unique and stands out from other platforms. Players should feel like they’re playing something special on Apple devices; something different than games on other platforms, whether console or PC.
Creating exclusive content is not easy and takes time, money, talent and resources; but it’s something Apple can do – and critically needs to – if it wants to gain any real ground in the gaming space. This includes:
- Investing in their existing studios or buying existing ones.
- Creating new IPs from scratch that only exist within the Apple ecosystem.
- Running large-scale marketing campaigns.
- Offering rewards for playing certain games or within certain App Store categories.
- Investing more resources into creating better developer tools for building higher quality iOS titles.
- Encouraging third party developers to invest more heavily in iOS-exclusive titles, etc.
These are just some things Apple can do to develop unique gaming content exclusive to their platform.
Competing with existing gaming platforms
Apple faces an uphill battle competing with existing gaming platforms such as the Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo Switch. These platforms have been around for years and have established relationships with game developers. This means that Apple will need to not only provide the hardware necessary to run the games but also entice game developers to prioritize the Apple platform over their existing ones.
In addition, console gamers tend to be loyal customers who have invested time and money into particular systems. This could make them resistant to switching from their preferred platform, reducing Apple’s potential market share even further. To succeed in this highly competitive industry, Apple must develop a clear strategy for competing with these established players and finding ways to differentiate themselves from their competition to gain customer loyalty.