Apple’s iOS has nearly three times more games than previous 25 years of gaming combined

“How big is iOS as a gaming platform? I wondered to myself on an idle rainy afternoon. After all, we hear a lot about how the App Store has passed eleventy gajillion downloads, or how it makes people richer than astronauts, but I wanted some context around these numbers — something to make the abstract mean something,” Richard Gaywood reports for TUAW. “I chose a subject close to my heart: games. And then I compiled the data that lead to the graph you see [below].”

Gaywood reports, “iOS has nearly three times more games than the previous twenty-five years of gaming combined.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Joe Architect” for the heads up.]


  1. That’s a pretty meaningless number.
    Just look back a-ways into the video game crash which ironically happened just before the 25-year timeline set by this article.

    Quantity does not equal quality.

    I find the meritocracy and almost collaborative environment between developers and customers created by the App store itself to be much more compelling talking points against the competition rather than simple counting one-upmanship.

    Said another way (by Dilger among others) is that whereas in the past we have had various individual killer apps, this time the killer app… is Apps.
    The entire ecosystem – which has taken a decade to hone to this point.

    Hence, the MDN Magic Word ‘approach’, as in… no one can approach this ecosystem, no matter how much Monopoly money you throw at it to try and jump the queue.

  2. And most of those games… CRAP!

    Isn’t long ago when Windows people said: “Windows has more apps”

    Mac users said: “Yeah, but only one or two of them are any good. Macs have only a few apps so it’s easy to sift through the crap and get a GOOD app.”

    Victim of its own success.

  3. And yet one console game (Call of Duty: Black OPS) just pulled down 340 MILLION dollars in 3 days … whenever a single iOS game pulls in that kind of bank let me know. Hell that is likely more gross that all these iOS games COMBINED.

    I have yet to find one iOS “game” that keeps me engaged for any length of time. Great for killing time at a doctors office, airport etc but not even at the same level presently.


  4. it’s mobile game. each game is only cost less than $15 or $10 mostly. by the way, console, PC new game costs about $50-$60. in terms of selling number of copies maybe huge for iOS based mobile game. but for real profit, iOS game can’t be compared with real world game market. that jsut doesn’t make any sense to compare with each other. don’t try to show off anything big or good because Apple has done good recently. thisis misleading. and it’s very narrow view for the market.

  5. oh, by the way, I don’t play iOS based games. because it’s very small, crappy, is not exciting at all. I like to play full version of game.
    few months, I just deleted all games on my iphone because I didn’t need to play them anymore. I have PS3, PC games as well. they give me way more fun. you can’t play black ops, or dead space seriously on your damn iphone or ipad because it’s not for gaming yet. maybe very simple game works. but complicated games? NO way.

  6. This graph is true, but also false.
    I am a big supporter of apple, but there is a LOT of shitty games that shouldnt even be on the app store in the first place, not to mention the numerous copycat games.

    So technically yes there is more Games on iDeivces then consoles, but most of which shouldnt even exist, or get a couple hundred downloads and flop, but get counted in this list.

  7. Can Koi Pond or Wobble really be called a game in comparison to Super Mario or GTA, for example?

    Mere lies via bogus statistics aimed at making Mac fanbois feel superior.

    I love my Macs and iPhone, etc, but gaming platforms they are not.

  8. There may be a percentage of iOS games that are not very good and a percentage that are not really “games” but more like software toys. However, there are many games that are excellent and uniquely well-suited for iOS, whether it uses touch or motion control or both. And that total volume is staggering, however you play it off as statistically “bogus.”

    A current favorite of mine is Osmos by Hemisphere Games. In one of its modes, it teaches the player about orbital mechanics without the player even knowing it. I also have the Mac version (through Steam) and it’s the same concept, but playing it on an iPhone using touch is more compelling and fun, even though the visible playing area is much bigger on my Mac screen.

    iOS is a mobile platform, so obviously, you’re not going to get any games that put 100+ GBs of game data on your hard drive, needs 2GB of RAM minimum, or requires some zippy 256mb graphics card. As a “casual” gamer, I think the level of iOS gaming is ideal, and it’s probably ideal for most iOS users.

  9. Wow, the esoteric console fans are out.
    This is not a end all be all list, but a list of the “most popular” past game platforms and all the games they have available compared to the IOS list.

    It is just to show how crazy fast the software growth has been for IOS.

    Yes, there are plenty of crap games, just as there are plenty of crap games on all those consoles too.

    Just try to wrap your head around the simple fact he was trying to convey.

    “IOS has almost 3 times as many games as those listed.”

    If you are a developer, that should get your attention.

  10. Hmm, yes. Not everyone has the same kind of ‘lifestyle’ that allows them to sit in front of a game console for six hours a day.

    Many of us do appreciate the occasional opportunity to play a GAME once in awhile tho’.

    You are not better than me because you are a ‘real’ gamer. You are different.

    Ya know, chess is a pretty rudimentary game. But, without a clock, it can take a couple of hours to get thru’ the ‘challenge’ of one sitting.

    You come of as these knot-heads that insist that non-chefs make scratch-made puff pastry and beef stock.

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