What does "generates 5-6 figures each" mean in this sentence? (emphasis added)

All of our games have over 1 million downloads and the most recent few games generates 5-6 figures each.

It's an answer to a question about mobile games, and the revenue it generates.


"5-6 figures" refers to the number of digits in the amount they make. A five-figure number is from 10,000 to 99,999 and a six-figure number is from 100,000 to 999,999.

If they say 5-6 figures you can assume it means from 50,000 to perhaps 150,000, because 10,000 isn't really something worth bragging about, and anything more than 200,000 they'd probably want to brag about the exact number.

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    Given that they are talking about more than one game, the spread can be the full interval (10,000-999,999). One game has made 10,000, another has made 999,999. – Stig Hemmer Jan 16 '17 at 8:37

Talking about "figures" this way generally means numbers in the range with the given number of digits, or figures, before the decimal point, especially when money is involved. So someone with a "six-figure income" in America makes at least a hundred thousand dollars ($100,000 has six digits), but less than a million ($1,000,000 has seven digits). Since they're talking about success, and specifically financial success, we can tell that they mean the games make somewhere between 10,000 and 1,000,000 each, probably roughly in the middle around 100,000.

It's much less common to use this pattern when not talking about money, but saying it had "seven figures of downloads" would usually still be understood.


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