During its “It’s showtime” event, Apple introduced a new service that offers a subscription model for games based on the Netflix model. Apple Arcade is supposed to offer games for iPhones, iPads, MacOS and Apple TV. At least 100 titles are to be available for release in autumn 2019.
According to Apple, all games offered will run on all of the company’s systems. Apple did not explain in detail during the presentation how a classic computer game with mouse and keyboard control should run on an iPhone. In contrast to the also recently introduced Google Stadia Apple Arcade runs all games locally. An internet connection is only required to download the games.
Thanks to the cloud connection, storage levels can be exchanged between the different platforms. It is so possible that families share content with each other.
So far, Apple has been able to win several well-known publishers and developers for cooperation, including Gameloft, Square Enix, Sega, Revolution Software, Konami and Devolver Digital. Will Wright, developer of Sim-City, was also hired to design a new game for Apple Arcade, but no details have been released yet.
So far the following titles are confirmed by Apple:
- The Pathless
- Team Sonic Racing
- Where Cards Fall
- Beyond A Steel Sky
- Projection: First Light
- Hot Lava
- Oceanhorn 2: Knights Of The Lost Realm
- Sayonara Wild Hearts
- LEGO Arthouse / LEGO Brawls
- The Artful Escape
- No Way Home
- The Brandwell Conspiracy
- Down In Bermuda
- Winding Worlds
- UFO On Tape: First Contact
- Frogger In Toy Town
- Doomsday Vault
- Kings Of The Castle
- Sneaky Sasquatch
- Atone: Heart Of The Elder Tree
- Enter The Construct
Exclusive marketing via Apple
Studios that want to offer their titles via Apple Arcade are not allowed to offer the games in parallel via other mobile platforms such as Google Play. The restriction will not make it easy for Apple to win high-caliber titles for the new platform, since despite the large user base, it is to be expected that the revenues that the developer will lose through exclusive marketing will speak against working with Apple.
For this reason, Apple has already announced financial support for developers. The marketing ban only applies to mobile platforms, so a game could still appear on Steam, for example, even if it is offered on Apple Arcade.
Besides the monthly price of the subscription, there are no additional costs for Apple Arcade, which otherwise make up the largest part of the revenues for mobile games. Pay-to-Win models, which sometimes pay high amounts for virtual items, do not exist at Apple Arcade. Advertising is also not allowed on Apple Arcade titles.
Apple Arcade will be released in over 150 countries, including Germany. Apple has not yet announced prices.