Back in 2014, Gamezebo's April Fool's article tricked readers into thinking Apple was about to remove the ‘Top Grossing’ chart from the iOS App Store. Heavy on the satire, the piece made a great point about the permanence of certain titles at the top of said chart yet seemed too far-fetched to be taken seriously.
But as we all know, truth is stranger than fiction and users of the latest iOS 11 beta have noted that alongside an App Store redesign, the Top Grossing chart seems to have disappeared. It's still possible it will return for the full iOS 11 release but if it doesn't, what could this mean for the mobile games sector?
Whilst Top Grossing can be used to interpret what games are successful and what games most people are playing, it’s a measure of monetisation success only and this information is of questionable value to consumers. Removing the chart will have an effect on the visibility of some of the most popular mobile titles, but given the huge revenues involved, the publishers of such games often have the resources to get noticed in other ways.
The removal of Top Grossing is just a small part of a larger reshuffle that brings major changes to the way content is presented in Apple’s marketplace. After iOS 11, weekly features will become daily features, allowing more products the opportunity to get placed centre stage. The layout of the store will also change into a magazine-style format, with Apple playing a bigger role in the curation of what gets featured. In addition to the reduced focus on Top Grossing these changes could well provide smaller developers with a greater chance of making an impact, but on the flipside some studios may feel pressured to prioritise Apple rather than end consumers when creating their product. As Apple are experts in defining and understanding what their customers want, however, this may not be a bad thing.
With further uncertainty surrounding what the changes mean for developers’ ability to research app revenues, there are currently a lot more questions than answers when it comes to the App Store redesign. We’re hopeful however, that these changes will help keep the mobile gaming sector fresh and creative, so look forward to seeing what iOS 11 brings.