Apple spends hundreds of millions to secure new video games for Apple Arcade video game service

“Apple is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to secure new video games for its forthcoming Arcade subscription service, according to several people familiar with the deals,” Tim Bradshaw reports for Financial Times. “The substantial outlay to developers shows how seriously Apple is taking games as a new source of subscription revenues, despite the public paying more attention to its star-studded push into television and news.”

“It also reflects the increasing competition in Silicon Valley for exclusive rights to the best content, as the iPhone maker bids against other new games platforms from Google and Tencent, as well as the console makers Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft,” Bradshaw reports. “Some analysts predict games subscriptions could become a multibillion-dollar business for Apple within a few years. But to establish itself in the market, Apple is having to make substantial upfront investments without knowing whether Arcade will be a success.”

Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade

“Several people involved in the project’s development say Apple is spending several million dollars each on most of the more than 100 games that have been selected to launch on Arcade, with its total budget likely to exceed $500m,” Bradshaw reports. “Titles already announced for Apple Arcade include well-established brands such as Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, Cartoon Network and Lego, as well as new games from independent developers such as ustwo games, Annapurna Interactive and Bossa Studios. Most of those selected have previously proven successful on the iPhone’s App Store. Apple’s advances more than cover the cost of developing a typical indie game, according to people familiar with the terms.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Arcade only requires one hit that’s exclusive for a long enough period that it makes gamers without an Apple device strongly consider that factor when choosing their next personal computer, smartphone, tablet, or set-top box. Then, of course, once they get one Apple device, the light finally comes on and we all know what happens next! 🙂

Beyond device sales, the service itself holds much promise as games now the most lucrative part of the entertainment business, Bradshaw notes that “Arcade could become bigger than TV+ in the coming years.”

What’s the point of Apple Arcade gaming service of more than 100 games across iOS, macOS, and tvOS devices? – April 1, 2019
Apple Arcade could be a sleeper hit – March 28, 2019
Apple introduces Apple Arcade – world’s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room – March 25, 2019


        1. Strange then how there are comments like “Hopefully, Arcade will have something worth paying for.” and “Gaming on iOS devices sucks… Period.” and “The only thing worth gaming on the iPhone or iPad is stupid card and puzzle games.”

          Those are written as pronouncements when in fact it is just one person’s opinion. That’s exactly the problem I pointed out. I am right.

    1. Gaming on iOS devices sucks because there’s no physical controls. Period. This will not compete with other established gaming platforms because the experience is just so much worse.

      The only thing worth gaming on the iPhone or iPad is stupid card and puzzle games.

      No thanks.

  1. The last video game I played was Pong on a Magnavox Odyssey. OK, Airborne on a 512K Mac. How do you play these games? Don’t you need a hand-controller thingy? Are you going to be able to connect one to a Lightning/USB-C port on an iPad? Wouldn’t that make a lot of them better? I’ve seen people play Candy Crush and that kinda stuff with just touching. Seems OK, but Halo 5 seems a lot more interesting. Just wondering.

  2. I’ve basically been buying Playstations through the years just to play one game. Gran Turismo (1-6 and GT Sport). It’s probably rather foolish, but that’s how it was. I doubt any game Apple can offer will allow a person to hook up a steering wheel and pedals to it and I find that rather sad. It’s as though Apple tossed away a huge opportunity over the years by not supporting mainstream games.

    Apple could have capitalized on the early days of games like Airborne and Tank Battle but seemingly gave up and let Windows PCs have a commanding lead in gaming. I honestly don’t get it. It must have to do with company leadership and how they want to position their company.

  3. I suppose that a Mega Church is not making some sort of “Jesus Saves” game because there’s no money to be made. The winner would be the person who converts the most non-Christians to Fundie Christianity. Also based on points: Converting Moslems is 10 puts., converting Catholics is 5 pts., getting Fundies to testify is 1 pt.

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