Mac App Store Turns One Year Old, Aspyr Shares Numbers

mac app store icon 150Today 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.

civilization v banner
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.

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Top Rated Comments

ChazUK Avatar
164 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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KnightWRX Avatar
164 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.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Exhale Avatar
164 months ago
LAZY
But logical. Face the fact that Mac OS doesn't have the marketshare of Windows, or any of the consoles. Furthermore, the actual marketshare itself consists mostly of Laptops - many of those running on an Integrated GPU. Thats not even including those running older systems.

On top of this is a less efficient and much more limited graphics stack, that because of the way Mac OS operates does not permit for driver level optimizations and enhancements as is standard practice on Windows.

As a result, the number of people that can run modern games at a satisfactory level are few in number. And of those that can, they'll generally be content running it in Windows anyway (and possible on Linux).

Basically you increase complexity and decrease performance by porting to Mac OS, and you reach extremely few additional users by doing it.

For indie games its not as big of a problem due to their typical simplicity. The resource requirements as such are typically very low, any inefficiencies can be simply be overpowered, and advanced capabilities are rarely if ever used. Do note that most Indie games make minimal - if any - use of the GPU to begin with - so the weak GPU capabilities of Macs don't become an issue.

In addition, the typically low sales numbers (relatively) of Indie games means that even a few thousand sales to Macs will make a significant improvement. And due to the relative absense of games on mac OS, its easier to become visible to begin with, which is typically the biggest Indie challange.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nagromme Avatar
164 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
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HE15MAN Avatar
164 months ago
And still a year later, it is as boring and lackluster as ever..
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
OddyOh Avatar
164 months ago
wish list

It still doesn't have a Wish List feature, one year later.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)