Revenue for Top-Grossing iOS Games Appears to Level Off Ahead of iPhone 5 Launch

On the eve of Apple’s expected iPhone 5 launch tomorrow, it appears that revenue for top-grossing games on the platform has leveled off in the last few months.

“Revenue levels for top games appear to be stable instead of accelerating,” said Peter Farago, vice president of marketing at Flurry, which serves analytics and ads in more than 100,000 iOS and Android apps. “Games on the higher end of revenue generation can certainly earn more than $3 million a month.”

The $3 million-per-month figure is the more or less the same as what we were hearing about four months ago in June.

A developer that reached the #1 top-grossing spot in the U.S. market within the last month told us that one could expect $40,000 in revenues per day after Apple’s platform cut and returns. (Returns refer to when a user buys an app or virtual currency and decides to return the purchase.)

“The dirty little secret is that with returns, Apple takes out the return amount and they still keep their 30 percent. So they hit hard,” the developer told us.

There are a couple reasons why we might be seeing slower revenue growth. First, consumers are likely holding off on purchases of new iPhones in anticipation of the iPhone 5. When consumers buy new iPhones, they tend to stock up on apps, especially if they’re new to iOS. Many will browse the top of the store and download whatever is popular, benefiting apps already at the top of the charts.

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