Apple Arcade is a video game subscription service, which, as the name suggests, is owned by Apple. It was launched in September 2019 and offers a lot of exclusives.
A good launch in 2019
The service launched with 80 games, quite a few exclusives and is part of a service policy that is very important today at Apple, which launched in parallel with Apple TV +, for example, which offered original content.
In any case at the time when it started, we found it rather interesting since there was an editorial policy which was rather healthy, that is to say that it was games that did not have no micro transactions, no things like that, full games and most importantly games playable offline, all for $5.90 per month.
Almost two years later, we can ask ourselves the question of the evolution of the service. Today, there are more than 180 games including about 30 that were added very recently and it is true that it was a big group shot, with very interesting games.
So, there are games already known like Reigns, Monument Valley, Mini Metro or even Don’t Starve. But there have been some interesting new things like a PlatinumGames game called World of Demons or a game from Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy called Fantasian.
Today it is really a service with a lot of games, quality, and above all games for everyone.
Apple does not give subscription figures
All that is very good, but on the business side, we do not really know where it is since Apple has never communicated subscription figures. We absolutely do not know if Apple Arcade is profitable, especially since, on the other hand, we know that Apple often finances all or part of the development of a game to ensure its exclusivity.
So a few months ago, though, Apple recognized that you had to come up with more addicting concept games, so they didn’t exactly use that term, but you know what I mean, in order to retain their subscribers.
This was the case with, for example, the game Grindstone, a particularly formidable match 3 and which means that we remain subscribed since from the moment we unsubscribe, we no longer have access to the game.
If this statement, it still implies that the results were not up to their expectations. In my opinion, Apple Arcade, in fact, before being profitable, it is above all a product that is there for the brand image of Apple, which must show that it does not forget the video game.
Apple (also) wants to become a service provider
Apple Arcade for me is really a part of the cog in a machine that is much bigger. Today, Apple, of course, knows that it takes a lot of money on hardware, so with iPhones, iPads and even Macs, but it is a little behind the services.
So on the music and video side, it’s not easy to fight against behemoths like Spotify or Netflix, but today Apple Music is doing very well, and above all the company has the financial means to post there. Services is a sector on which the company relies heavily, in particular thanks to its Apple One subscription.
So Apple One is a global subscription that includes Apple Arcade, of course, but also Apple Music, Apple TV + and 50 gigabytes of iCloud storage, all for $17.70 per month. And we clearly feel that Apple wants to highlight this service in order to retain its customers, just to keep people in its ecosystem.
Video games and Apple: a complicated love story
In general, it’s true that Apple still has a fairly complex relationship with video games. Historically, especially on the Mac, this is something that has never been put forward.
Video games on the Mac are almost non-existent, but conversely, often the best mobile games are often, or in any case, arrive on iOS and then on Android even if today the two catalogs are generally equal.
There is another area where it is difficult to understand Apple: it is Cloud Gaming. Because yes, we remind that today there is no official application of Google Stadia or Xbox Game Pass on iOS. Why ? In large part because Apple has this sickly need to control everything on its platform, which is not the case with Cloud Gaming, which is created by other companies like Microsoft or Google.
Clearly, for me, I think that Cloud Gaming, if one day it arrives on iOS, it will be via a service simply made by Apple. Why not imagine a sort of subscription that we could call Apple Arcade + with in addition a selection of streaming triple A games from partnerships with other publishers.
In any case, we of course continue to follow the news of Apple Arcade and mobile video games overall on Globe Live Media.
Brent Dubin, known as the Gaming Giant among Globe Live Media staff, is the chief Gaming Reporter for Globe Live Media. Having attended all the major events of Gaming around the World, he is sure to give you exactly the update related to gaming World you are looking for.