Apple becomes world’s fourth-largest gaming company

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Fortnite iPhone X
That’s not much of a fix.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is now the world’s fourth-largest gaming company, according to a new report.

It is ranked higher than gaming giants like Nintendo, EA, and Activision — thanks mostly to the popularity of mobile gaming on iPhone. Apple is estimated to have earned $9.453 billion from games during 2018 alone.

Apple isn’t a name you might typically consider when you think about gaming. Many gamers won’t accept the iPhone or iPad as real gaming devices, and the Mac is famously bad at being a gaming PC.

But whether you like it or not, Apple has become a behemoth in the gaming industry. The rise of the App Store and the increasing popularity of iOS games means the iPhone-maker is now the fourth-largest gaming company.

Apple tops Nintendo in gaming revenue

Only Tencent, Sony, and Microsoft are ranked bigger than Apple in Newzoo’s latest Global Games Market Report. Apple narrowly beat out Call of Duty publisher Activision Blizzard to secure fourth place in the top 35.

Google was ranked sixth, Netease seventh, and EA eighth. Nintendo and Bandai Namco rounded out the top 10, while GTA publisher TakeTwo Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros., and Konami all placed outside the top 10.

Newzoo estimates Apple earned $9.453 billion from games during 2018 — 32% more than it earned in 2017. Tencent made $19.733 billion, Sony made $14.218 billion, and Microsoft just beat Apple with $9.754 billion.

Nintendo is estimated to have earned just $4.288 billion, despite the incredible success of the Switch and many first-party games. But that’s still an impressive increase of 36% over 2017 earnings.

Mobile gaming on top

With Tencent at the top of the list and Apple, Google, and Netease in the top ten, it’s no surprise that mobile gaming is the largest segment in the industry. It is expected to hold onto that title in 2019, earning 45% of global gaming revenue.

More and more PC players will switch to mobile gaming this year, Newzoo predict, causing PC game revenues to fall by around 15%. The Nintendo Switch is expected to see a boost from “upcoming new models.”