Almost every big tech company is in the process to transition to a services company. Apple already offers Music on subscription, offers iCloud storage subscriptions and also announced iTunes+ overnight, a TV and Movie subscription service, as well as Apple News.
Apple are also adding an all-you-can-eat subscription service for gaming, much like Microsoft’s Xbox GamePass.
Apple Arcade will launch later this year and will feature over 100 new and exclusive games, including original releases from renowned creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright and dozens more.
Games on the service will go through Apple’s strict guidelines and the curated list of titles will be based on originality, quality, creativity, fun and their appeal to players of all ages. Apple Arcade will give customers the freedom to try any game from its handpicked collection of titles that are all-you-can-play, have no ads, ad tracking or additional purchases, and respect user privacy.
Apple is not just handpicking the games in Apple Arcade, but also contributing to the development costs and working closely with creators to bring the games to life.
The service will feature games from Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, LEGO, Mistwalker Corporation, SEGA, Snowman, ustwo games and dozens more.
“The App Store is the world’s biggest and most successful game platform. Now we are going to take games even further with Apple Arcade, the first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room.
We are working with some of the most innovative game developers in the world to create over 100 new and exclusive games to play across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. Apple Arcade games will be great for families, respect user privacy and will not have ads or require any additional purchases. We think players of all ages are going to love Apple Arcade.”Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
Subscription gaming is a great value proposition for the customer, offering a low-cost per month to play a catalogue of games, rather than front up the cash for each game and hope you love it. For Apple, they get to diversify income and smooth out revenue spikes and troughs.
Something fairly unique is the condition that there is no in-app purchases, quite a change from the App Store model.
Every game will be playable offline, and many games will offer support for game controllers. Because subscribers can play Apple Arcade games across iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, they can pick up where they left off in a game, even if they switch devices. Apple say new games will be added to the service on a regular basis.
Apple Arcade will launch in spring 2019 in more than 150 countries from a new tab on the App Store across iOS, macOS and tvOS. Developers interested in being considered for Apple Arcade should visit developer.apple.com/apple-arcade.
Pricing has not been released, a pretty important piece of information for a subscription service. Expect this closer to the release of the service.