"2016 was a record-shattering year for the App Store, generating $20 billion for developers, and 2017 is off to a great start with January 1 as the single biggest day ever on the App Store," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, today in a press release. That $20 billion earned represents a 40% increase over 2015 and was driven in large part by highly popular games like Pokemon Go. Indeed, the top grossing apps that Apple mentioned were all games: Pokemon Go, Clash Royale, Monster Strike, Fantasy Westward.
On top of that, Apple pointed out that Nintendo's Super Mario Run was the most downloaded app on both Christmas and New Year's Day. January 1st set a new record for the App Store with nearly $240 million in purchases on a single day. Since the App Store launched in 2008, developers have earned over $60 billion, Apple said.
In terms of geographies, the top grossing markets unsurprisingly included the US, UK, Japan and China, which saw 90 percent year-over-year growth. According to Newzoo, as of last May, the Chinese mobile market had already become the most valuable in the world.