Apple makes billions of dollars from selling mobile games, and now it is finally embracing the hobby on social media.
The company launched @AppStoreGames on Twitter today as a place where it will share information about new releases and deals. This feed will deliver content directly from Apple’s App Store editors, which is the same group of people who determine the Featured Apps you see when you boot up the marketplace. So far, the account has made references to Zelda (a series that is not yet on iOS) and shared promotions from mobile developers.
While this might indicate that Apple is finally starting to soften up about its approach to gaming — a medium it treats with some contempt — the timing of this Twitter accounts arrival is probably more telling even than that. Apple has an event planned for next week, and the rumor (as first reported by 9to5 Mac) is that the company will introduce a new Apple TV that will have a heavy focus on gaming. This means a full App Store for TV-based games, Bluetooth controller support, and more. Mobile gaming is worth $30 billion worldwide, and Apple’s store is responsible for the majority of that. Now, the company may try to expand on that by incorporating a different screen in your house.
Read everything we know about the next Apple TV right here.
— App Store Games (@AppStoreGames) September 3, 2015
Up until this point, Apple has established itself as a major player in the gaming space almost by accident. The App Store has produced dozens of popular and lucrative games on iPhones and iPads, and Apple has reaped the reward. The vast majority of spending on the App Store is for game content, and the company could potentially re-create that success on televisions with an Apple TV-style console.
If the September 9 Apple event does lead to a set-top box with deep support for gaming, we will once again watch the Mac company enter a market sector that others have failed to solve. In this case, the most notable example is the Android-based Ouya microconsole, which debuted to much hype after a successful Kickstarter. But that TV gaming system failed to find an audience and — even worse — failed to produce any successful third-party developers. That led to hardware manufacturer Razer acquiring the Ouya brand, store, and patents in July.