It was just before Spring when Apple announced they would be introducing their Apple Arcade service. Then on September 19th (an early version dropped on September 10), right before the Fall season, Apple Arcade was officially released!
Apple Arcade is Apple's new game subscription service. With gaming becoming such a huge industry, Apple is looking to position itself as the top platform both for gamers and developers. They've taken the popular route of offering the platform as a subscription, but in true Apple form, they've included some unique incentives to attract users.
Apple Arcade requires a monthly subscription at a cost of $4.99 / £4.99 / AU$7.99 / AED 19.99 per month. Up to six family members can play on one subscription.
● Controllers — Apple Arcade doesn’t have its own controller, but can pair with the following: PS4 DualShock and Microsoft's Xbox One controllers
● 100 titles released on launch date with dozens more added since that date
● Exclusive games you can’t get anywhere else
● Available on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV
Apple Arcade already has over 100 titles available on the platform. Popular games on Apple Arcade include:
● The Enchanted World
● Agent Intercept
● Where Cards Fall
● The Artful Escape
● Ballistic Baseball
● Lego Brawls
● The Pathless
● Hot Lava
● Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm
● Beyond a Steel Sky
Early reactions to Apple Arcade were cautious, particularly from developers. They weren’t so much concerned with the quality or availability of the games; their concerns were more broad. The fact that Apple made an effort to keep indie games prevalent in its app store was a win for lesser-known developers. Discovery is everything and Apple has made sure that remains a priority. However, Apple Arcade games are exclusive to the platform. What developers are hoping for is the freedom to eventually move their games to other platforms so they can find more consumers and potentially increase their revenue.
Overall, developers seem to be welcoming of the shift in gaming to subscription services. Sean Krankel from Night School Studios says, “It’s been awesome because our game is getting played by people who might not otherwise care about story games.”
The low cost and variety of quality games is already a draw, but there are more reasons gamers should be excited about Apple Arcade. First, there’s a new Apple Arcade tab in the app store. This makes it easy to access all the new games that are added every month. You also won’t have to worry about paying for any add-ons. Once you continue to pay your monthly subscription cost, you’ll have access to all the games and services associated with Apple Arcade.
A big feature for commuters is that Apple says all Apple Arcade games are available offline. So if you find yourself in a subway mid-play, you’ll be able to keep going without worrying about losing connection. It’s also worth mentioning that Apple is very involved in bringing the games to its platform. They’re actually funding parts of the development costs to help creators reach the kind of quality Apple Arcade is demanding.
In the spirit of competition, Google didn’t waste much time in announcing Google Play Pass. This is their version of a gaming subscription service to rival Apple Arcade.
Gaming is another industry that is being transformed by the subscription trend. Music, publishing, groceries; the list continues to grow and it’s become more important than ever to find ways to manage these subscriptions using apps like Butter.