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Mac App Store Turns One Year Old, Aspyr Shares Numbers

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Mac App Store, Apple's attempt to remake software distribution by offering an easy-to-use digital download store for Mac apps linked to the company's existing iTunes Store infrastructure.

The Mac App Store gained prominence throughout the year as Apple added more and more of its own software to the marketplace, even opting to use the Mac App Store as the primary method of distribution for OS X Lion. Less than a year after the store's launch, Apple announced that the Mac App Store had seen over 100 million downloads, not including purchases of OS X Lion, app updates, or multiple downloads from a single transaction.

In an effort to assess the impact of the Mac App Store on established Mac software companies, we chatted with Aspyr, which offers over a dozen games through the store including the current top-grossing game and Mac App Store Game of the Year Civilization V: Campaign Edition [Mac App Store]. Other major titles from Aspyr include Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Call of Duty 4, and DOOM 3.

Aspyr is in a relatively unique position among Mac App Store developers in that it already offered a significant digital distribution platform of its own through its GameAgent marketplace. But the Mac App Store has still been able to attract a significant amount of business from Aspyr customers, with Aspyr telling us that the Mac App Store accounted for sales of roughly 500,000 units across all of Aspyr's titles in 2011, representing 50-60% of the company's digital distribution business.

In particular, Aspyr credits the Mac App Store with breathing new life into older titles, bringing them to the attention of more casual gamers who would not have otherwise sought out the games. Unsurprisingly, games that receive featured treatment from Apple in the form of banners and other promotional mentions are the strongest performers for Aspyr.

Even beyond the Mac App Store, Aspyr cites general growth of the Mac platform as another driver of increased software sales. The Mac has seen steady momentum in outpacing overall PC market growth every quarter for nearly six years, most recently setting a new high with 12.9% of the market in the third quarter of 2011.

Overall, the Mac App Store remains heavily skewed toward Apple's own software, with the top six most popular apps and the eight highest-grossing apps in the store being Apple software. But given the volume of downloads on the store, a number of other developers are clearly seeing success with the store as it is proving popular with Mac users looking for ease of purchase and installation. According to our sister site AppShopper, there are currently over 8,900 apps available in the Mac App Store, making for a substantial library of content easily found and downloaded through the marketplace.

Top Rated Comments

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35 months ago
The thing is when Windows 8 brings the App store to Windows everyone will say "Apple did it first" when actually, Ubuntu did.
Rating: 26 Votes
35 months ago
There was never any doubt that the Mac App Store would be successful. The very idea is a no-brainer. Take the App Store model for iOS and just bring it to the Mac. Boom, you're done. There is no easier way to obtain software. It's all there in one, central location, easily accessible. It's ridiculously simple.

And look where it is now. Yet another Apple content distribution model is lighting the way forward.
Rating: 22 Votes
35 months ago
And still a year later, it is as boring and lackluster as ever..
Rating: 21 Votes
35 months ago
And how exciting is it that great apps like 1Password are dropping important features to fit in Apple's caged box?
Joseph Elwell.
Rating: 16 Votes
35 months ago
Haven't bought a single thing via the MAS.

It doesn't have everything - not even close.

I'm sure it's great for many people. I'm just glad that Apple hasn't (yet) locked down so much that they only allow Apps to be installed via their MAS. Because, quite frankly, that would make me leave the platform.
Rating: 12 Votes
35 months ago
I'll be honest, I don't really like the Mac App Store.

The regular app store for iOS was ingenious. However, I also like the simplified, easy-to-use nature of iDevices. While I'm on the road, and dealing with small screen real estate, I don't want to have to mess with all the things I would on a regular operating system.

However, on my computer, its a different story.

1. The apps on MAS tend to be a lot more expensive. I don't like that.

2. I like to be able to back up the installer and use it again.

3. While I really like Apple products, a 30% seems pretty greedy to me, especially for higher ticket items.

Maybe its just my resistance towards turning OS X into iOS, and the movement against the file system -- I really don't like how iPhoto or the Mac App Store works -- but I'm not onboard with this.
Rating: 11 Votes
35 months ago

You're missing one major point here. Steam requires you to be logged in to play the games, therefore internet access is required to play games you bought.

Not really.
Rating: 11 Votes
35 months ago

You're missing one major point here. Steam requires you to be logged in to play the games, therefore internet access is required to play games you bought.

No, it doesn't. And Aspyr is a Mac porting house, they don't make games, only port existing ones.
Rating: 9 Votes
35 months ago

A what distribution?

Thank you.

Yes, I've heard of them. Good ideas, poorly implemented, and wasted on the wrong operating system.

Hmmm. LTD - let me ask you. What is your total experience with Ubuntu and Synaptic? Are you basing your opinions on articles you read/3rd party experience or hands-on practical knowledge?

Why do you say they are wasted on the wrong operating system. Please define "wrong."

Oh - and while you're at it - please define how they were "poorly" implemented.

Thanks - I look forward to your insight.
Rating: 9 Votes
35 months ago
Bring Quake Wars to the App Store! Down with key discs!

It really is a great system. I’ve bought more games than anything else. I use Steam also, but the ease and painlessness of the App Store makes me like Steam a lot less than I once did.

And for 95% of people (non-techies) this is SO much better than downloading and installing something in two steps! People always get one step wrong, and end up running something from a DMG (or right out of a Zip on Windows) or deleting the real app after the download when they meant to delete the archive.

The thing is when Windows 8 brings the App store to Windows everyone will say "Apple did it first" when actually, Ubuntu did.

No, most people will simply say Apple did it right first, and yet people will claim that everyone thinks Apple was first period. :p
Rating: 9 Votes

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