Do you somehow still doubt that the App Store is a huge money-making enterprise, at least for a lucky few? Then consider the news that Tapulous, the development studio behind the wildly popular Tap Tap Revenge rhythm game franchise, rakes in a cool million every month. That’s not EA or Gameloft or someone similar that came in with a reputation. That’s an iPhone-specific development company.
If you’re not familiar with Tap Tap Revenge (you must not own an iPhone, or read our site very carefully), then you probably don’t know that it’s essentially a clone of games like Dance Dance Revolution and Rock Band, redesigned specifically for the iPhone’s unique interface. It’s fun, and incredibly addictive, which probably has something to do with its impressive degree of success.
Tap Tap Revenge has reportedly been installed more than 20 million times (although that isn’t necessarily unique installs) and people have played more than 600 million rounds. Rough estimates put the total install base of the game at one-third of all iPhones currently operating. Considering the iPhone’s success, that represents a hefty payday indeed.
The source of revenue stemming from the Tap Tap Revenge series is varied. Most of the apps themselves cost at least 99 cents, though Tap Tap Revenge 2.6 is free, and artist-specific special editions cost more. But the real money is made from ads in the games, and from a cut of the in-app purchases available in the latest version, which allow iPhone users to buy and download playable, often themed tracks from their favorite artists.
Obviously, Tapulous is the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of iPhone-only devs don’t make anywhere near that kind of scratch, but if nothing else, this simple rhythm game proves the money’s out there to be made.