Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Apple Arcade - Apple's Subscription Based Gaming Service

Apple has unveiled the innovation of gaming to enter into this industry with Arcade. It’s a subscription service in a nutshell that gets a user to access to a large library of games for a monthly fee, playable across iOS, Mac and Apple TV. As the app store and mobile markets have become dominated by free-to-play games, often at the expense of tag called premium titles, this presents a potential solution.

Apple has long been exhorted to give mobile gaming a new method of playing them. What all game titles will work on this? According to Apple, it will serve and feature over 100 exclusive games including original releases from renowned creators Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright and more. The Apple Arcade will also feature games from Annapurna Interactive, Bossa Studios, Cartoon Network, Finji, Giant Squid, Klei Entertainment, Konami, LEGO, Mistwalker Corporation, and SEGA games. “Sonic Racing” from SEGA and “Hot Lava” by Klei Entertainment will be launching on Apple Arcade. 

Apple said it will be available in more than 150 countries in fall 2019 (so probably September, with iOS 13 and new iPhones), but the company didn’t share pricing. Apple Arcade will work across the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV, and your progress with be synced between those platforms. There are no ads or in-app purchases, and it supports Family Sharing out of the box, so up to 6 family members can access the services for the same fee. 

In a swipe at Google and its upcoming Google Stadia game-streaming service, Apple said that you will be able to play all Apple Arcade games offline. Apple said that it’s working closely with participating developers to help them optimize their games for Apple’s devices and that it’s giving those developers the freedom to create their best work. From a business perspective, the most interesting thing about Apple Arcade isn’t that Apple is launching a game service, but that it’s becoming a game publisher, pitting itself against giants like Activision Blizzard and Electronic Arts. 

It features a collection of more than 100 games -- from independent game designers as well as gaming legends like Sim City creator Will Wright and Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi -- that will be exclusive to Apple Arcade. And the games will work in 150 countries, even without an internet connection. With Apple Arcade, the company is focused on mobile games, but it's clearly aiming higher. To get there, Apple's promising a more player-friendly experience along the way. In addition to promising to help fund game development, the company also said it won't include apps that charge for extra attempts at puzzles, power-ups and different looks for characters. Instead, Apple Arcade games will have all the goodies paid for with your subscription.

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