Documents from Epic’s trial against Apple have revealed profits publishers made from the release of games and game services.
The Apple vs. Epic trial has been throwing up all kinds of interesting pieces of information over the past couple of days, most of which have been centered on Epic’s business dealings. However, a recent document shared on Twitter by video game analyst Benji-Sales (via Segment Next) has revealed how much money several large publishers made off of video game sales and services in 2019.
All the big names are here including Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, Activision Blizzard, EA, and Epic themselves, with Sony leading the pack with a staggering $4.1 billion in profits. In fact, Sony’s profits in 2019 are almost double that of Microsoft and Nintendo’s profits in the same year, highlighting just how dominant the publisher has been over the past generation.
However, it’s worth noting that these figures don’t tell the whole story. Most platform holders like Microsoft and Sony usually sell consoles at a loss, yet these numbers only take into account profits from game sales. That means the overall profit publishers like Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo made from gaming are likely a lot lower than what is published here. It’s still an impressive amount of profit for Sony, but not as impressive as it initially seems.
It’s also likely that these numbers are currently much higher after the explosive increase in spending over the course of the pandemic. These numbers won’t take into account the recent success of Animal Crossing: New Horizons or the resurgence of Microsoft with the Xbox Series X|S and the ever-growing popularity of Xbox Game Pass. Tencent is still probably at the top, but the entire order of this list could have shifted dramatically since 2019.
If you’re wondering what other juicy pieces of information have come from Epic’s trial, we recently discovered that Epic wanted Xbox to remove Xbox Live requirements from free multiplayer games since at least last year. We also found out that PlayStation is the only platform that charges a fee to enable crossplay with other systems, something which Sony isn’t too pleased about having leaked.
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