Apple isn’t brand new to the world of mobile gaming, but their approach to Apple Arcade mixes modern games-as-a-service sensibility with exclusive content.
It seems like ever since Netflix’s success, many had been wondering when the Netflix of gaming would come about. Even with subscription services like PlayStation Plus and Games with Gold offering console players first and third-party developers’ games for a fee, we haven’t seen anything where a service provider is funding games developed for the platform. That is until we heard about Apple Arcade.
Announced during today’s Apple Event live stream, the company revealed a new games subscription platform across mobile, Mac and Apple TV platforms called Apple Arcade. Coming later this Fall, the service boasts no ads, no in-app purchases, the ability to download games and play them offline, family support for six devices at no extra cost, and progress saved across platforms.
Following suit with Google Stadia, there were no details on a price point for the service, with more details promised later this year. Instead, Apple showcased some of the talent involved in Apple Arcade in a short trailer, with some games such as the long-awaited Overland coming to the platform in addition to their website, itch.io, and Steam.
However, some of the reveals for the Apple Arcade creators were truly surprises. For example, I did not expect the creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, to bring Fantasian to life in partnership with Apple, as they revealed a game that uses photogrammetry to transpose 3D characters onto photographed environmental backgrounds.
Apple touts more than 100 new games coming to the platform when it launches this Fall, including games from Klei Entertainment, Lego, Annapurna Interactive, Giant Squid, WayForward, Konami and more. The proof of concept is in the pricing, not pudding, as having continued buffet service of all these games should be worth it at the right cost.