This may come as a surprise, but the writing’s been on the wall for iFanzine for some time now. Over the past few years, like a number of other long-running iOS gaming sites, iFanzine fell into increasing financial difficulty due to dwindling (read: near non-existent) ad sales and external factors like Apple abruptly killing its App Store affiliate program. I tried everything I could think of to generate revenue and keep the site afloat during 2017 and 2018, but ultimately none of it was enough and here we are.
It’s pretty wild how many of us (TouchArcade included) were just holding on by a thread with the App Store affiliate program being the last remaining thing keeping them afloat. Apple killed the program back in August of last year. Previously, if you bought a game through a link on TouchArcade or any other similar site, that content creator got a few pennies on the dollar as a kickback from Apple. Not anymore.
If we didn’t have our similarly dwindling Patreon, we’d likely be in a very similar situation. It really blows my mind how there used to be such a thriving, vibrant third party editorial ecosystem surrounding iOS games which is now just … gone. This is not a good thing for a healthy market, and it’s baffling to me as to why Apple doesn’t do something to keep the people who have evangelized their platform the hardest around.
Either way, the creator of iFanzine is moving on to another project called Fierce Nice which is a gallery store specializing in limited edition, museum-quality prints and original works by Ireland’s top artists. It sucks to see things go this way, but wish Ruan all the best in his upcoming venture, which hopefully isn’t similarly squashed by a trillion dollar company on a whim.