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5. given 20k games ship per month on iOS alone while it's true that the majority make below $10k it's probably also true the majority make below $100.

On top of that, passive income suggests that you make it and then collect money with no work for ... 1+ years? Games generally make all their income in the first 1-4 weeks and so are unlikely to turn into passive income

Seriously, this. This post is so misleading, hah. All of this assumes traction.

The sad bit is that the party who can actually provide transparency in these matters (Apple) has an incentive to keep the numbers secret, so developers keep coming and taking a chance at launching an app.

I think a lot of people just build for themselves and publish as a final "I did it" effort.

Games are also such a flooded market and user expectations are high, but because the top 5 earn millions, small devs keep playing that lottery hoping to win.

It's a bit more accurate for non-game apps. Those are a lot more likely to have recurring revenue. Still "the majority below $10K" would probably still be true at $1k or even $100. And if you've got a 10k app it might take 10 years for that $ to trickle in. I'm an iOS dev by day, but I wouldn't do an indy iPhone app with any real hope of making money in it.

aren't there a bunch of sponsors and game-sites that buy non-exclusive game licences?

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