Games – iPhone Apps and Digital Distribution

Sega and Apple has squashed any doubts over the iPhone’s viability as a platform to make games for – the two have revealed that over 300,000 people bought the Monkey Ball game for the device in just 20 days.

At $9.99 each, that works out to $3m revenue in less than a month – figures which legitimise the iPhone as a development platform, Sega’s US boss says.

“That’s a substantial business,” Simon Jeffery, president of Sega America, told the Wall Street Journal. “It gives iPhone a justifiable claim to being a viable gaming platform.”

The details come as part of a larger report which shows the AppStore has generated a huge $30m in sales in its first month. Much of the money goes into the pocket of content creators, not Apple, thanks to the 70/30 revenue split which sees developers take home 70 per cent of the profits made from the sale of their iPhone/iPod Touch applications.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has launched the Marketplace for its PC-based Games for Windows Live service – and clearly stated that it plans to enter the digital game distribution market, reports MCV.

The service, which will be fully operational within the coming weeks, will initially offer players trailers, demos and downloadable content for titles – but Games for Windows Live general manager Chris Early has said that full game downloads are “clearly on our road map”. Microsoft has already enjoyed significant success in digital distribution of games via X-Box Live, the online community and marketplace, which has exceeded $1bn in sales (£680m) since its launch in 2005.

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