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  • Writer's pictureKelsie Papenhausen

Aghanim Research Gauges Dma Awareness And Potential Impact On Direct-To-Consumer Distribution

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA 9 MAY, 2024 - Aghanim, a mobile gaming fintech company founded by the former CEO and CTO of Xsolla, today reveals fascinating new research among mobile game developers relating to the recently launched Digital Markets Act (DMA).


The research is based on interviews with 300 mobile game developers across the US, UK and Germany in the weeks leading up to the introduction of the Act. The new European Union legislation aims to ensure a higher degree of fairness and competition in European digital markets and designates a number of major tech corporations including Apple and Alphabet (Google) as “gatekeepers”.


The key findings of the study shows:


  • 62% of mobile game developers are aware of the Digital Markets Act

  • 82% have at least some understanding of how it will impact their business. Almost a fifth (19%) feel they have a complete understanding of the DMA’s impact

  • 31% of mobile game developers feel they will have more freedom under the DMA, though just 9% are confident they’ll be able to keep more of their revenue

  • Only 13% have ruled out making changes to their payment processes. A third (33%) have begun implementing them

  • Awareness of the DMA is highest in Germany (70%), followed by the UK (68%). Less than half (47%) of US developers are aware of the legislation. While the DMA is a European framework, it applies to US developers operating in the EU


Constantin Andry, Co-founder and Co-CEO at Aghanim, commented:


“This data shows that there’s an appetite for change among game developers. Yes, the platform holders instigated the $92 billion mobile games industry, but we need to be asking why game developers - the people who make the games - now only see about 10% of this.  With direct-to-consumer distribution, there’s an opportunity to ensure a further $18 billion of annualized value remains within the video games industry, with game creators, which will help soften many ongoing issues including layoffs. Otherwise, the business of making mobile games could soon become unviable.”


Konstantin Golubitsky, Co-founder and Co-CEO at Aghanim, added:


“The opportunity for game developers is to create a web-based game hub for their titles which provides added value for their most engaged and valuable users, keeping them coming back regularly. Ultimately, players spend where they see the most value, and our goal is to help developers provide them with the greatest value at the lowest cost.”


A key promise of the Digital Markets Act is to provide fairer competition and greater choice to gamers and game studios. However, Apple’s latest business terms introduced a Core Technology Fee which, for many game developers, cancels out the potential benefits of third-party distribution. Despite the game developers being surveyed before the introduction of the Core Technology fee, just 40% said Apple is a positive force for the games industry. 39% were neutral, while 21% felt Apple was having a negative impact. Since the introduction of App Tracking Transparency in 2021, game developers have increasingly explored direct-to-consumer platforms such as browser stores to supplement on-platform monetization with lower-fee options. 


An online survey was conducted on behalf of Aghanim by Atomik Research among 305 mobile game developers in the UK (101), Germany (103), and the USA (101). The research fieldwork took place between 18-22 February 2024. Atomik Research is an independent creative market research agency that employs MRS-certified researchers and abides by MRS code.



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