Few companies can play kingmaker as Apple can.
As the owner of the App Store and host to some of the most closely-followed press events in the industry, Apple has the ability to shape the fortunes of companies by deciding who and what to show in its marketing materials and presentations.
From AAA-quality video games to art apps for the iPad, Apple has taken companies with potential and made them huge by providing the kind of exposure only available to one of the biggest players in the tech industry.
Remember Tap Tap Revenge? Apple included it in its April 2010 presentation on 'iPhone OS 4' to show how seamlessly the iPhone could switch between a resource-intensive game and other apps. Two months later, Disney bought its developer, Tapulous.
Apple featured Chair's Infinity Blade (then known as 'Project Sword') at its iPod event in 2010. The best-looking game for the iPhone or iPad at the time, Apple used it to show off the strength of the iPhone 4 and original iPad in its keynote and ads. When it hit the App Store, Infinity Blade made a whopping $US1.6 million in its first four days.
Apple used its sequel to show the jump in performance between the iPhone 4 and 4S at the 4S's unveiling in October 2011. That December, Infinity Blade 2 netted $US5 million in sales, making the franchise as a whole worth $US30 million for Chair Entertainment.
Apple briefly demonstrated Autodesk's Sketchbook Ink during the announcement of the first Retina iPad in March of 2012.
CSR Racing was shown during the WWDC 2012 keynote in order to show off cross-platform gameplay between Mac OS X and iOS.
Real Racing 3 was shown during the iPhone 5 launch event to demonstrate the power of the device's A6 chipset. The first free title in the series, it dominated the free app charts when it finally hit the App Store.
They put those cars on sale on October 23rd. As of this writing, they're still on backorder on the company's site.
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