Apple has announced Apple Arcade – a gaming subscription service for iOS devices, Macs and Apple TV. The service will launch this fall with 100 games, with beautiful graphics and storytelling and more games will be added regularly. The games will not have any in-app purchases or ads and will work without Internet access.
Apple Arcade – Apple finally gets serious about gaming
iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are some of the most popular gaming devices on the planet. Countless games, paid and free, have become popular thanks to the App Store. Despite the popularity and success, Apple never really seemed serious about gaming. Although games have been showcased at every Apple event to highlight the performance of iOS devices, Apple did not take an initiative to offer more. Game Center app was scrapped, and it’s unclear what it exists in its current form. Apple TV doesn’t sell with a controller and its remote isn’t optimal for gaming. Apple does not have a gaming network with features like profiles, chat, voice communication and streaming, although games are free to implement their own solutions.
Apple Arcade changes some of this. This ambitious offering includes Apple’s partnership with the likes Cartoon Network, Konami, LEGO, Sega and more to create exclusive beautiful games with immersive experiences and gameplay. The games will be truly cross platform – they will all work on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Macs and Apple TV. Gamers will be able to start playing on one device, and continue on another one from where they left off. Whether players will be able to play online multiplayer between these different devices is unconfirmed.
As per Apple’s standards, the service and games will not invade user privacy. Each Apple Arcade subscription will support Family Sharing which means that up to 6 family members can download these games and play on any device that they are logged into. Perhaps one of best features is that the games will work offline – something you rarely see in smartphone games, or even console games, anymore.
Although Apple claims that ‘Apple Arcade is the world’s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room’, gaming subscriptions already exist. EA Origin, Xbox Game Pass and PlayStation Now are some of the popular services on gaming consoles and PC. However, neither Google nor other Android OEMs have any gaming subscription service, which puts Apple in a unique position. When you consider the fact that no other developer can offer a subscription service on iOS devices, except Apple, this makes Arcade even more attractive.
I am excited for this service. Apple has some of the fastest mobile processors in the business and these games will, as per the preview video, take full advantage of these devices. But it is too early to be convinced that the service will be successful. There are many unanswered questions. What will be price of the service? How often will new games be added? What would be the play duration of each game?
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