Apple’s most important new subscription service may be Apple Arcade

“Apple’s forthcoming subscription mobile gaming service didn’t get much attention when it was announced alongside News+ and TV+ at last month’s event in Cupertino, California,” Adam Levy writes for The Motley Fool. “The subscription will give iOS device owners access to over 100 premium games for a single monthly price — no in-app purchases, no ads, just mobile gaming.”

“Apple is reportedly investing $500 million on content for Apple Arcade, according to the Financial Times,” Levy writes. “That’s certainly a big investment, but still not quite as much as Apple paid to develop original video content for TV+. But Arcade could turn out to be more important to Apple than TV+ because it’s going to cannibalize a business that’s already showing signs of slowing down, just like Apple Music cannibalized iTunes with great success.”

“For the first time since the start of 2015, and perhaps ever, Apple saw a decline in App Store downloads last quarter, according to data from Morgan Stanley analysts. While App Store revenue continues to climb year over year, the drop in downloads indicates Apple may struggle to grow App Store sales going forward,” Levy writes. “Gaming is the largest source of revenue in the App Store. Both premium games and games with in-app purchases are key to that growth. Apple takes a 30% cut from each.”

“Apple isn’t the first company to launch a subscription gaming service either, but it’s certainly ahead of where things were when it finally launched Apple Music,” Levy writes. “That could be key to ensuring continuous revenue growth from mobile gaming and dominating the industry.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Music was years late and not fully baked upon arrival and it still quickly displaced rivals to become the No.1 music subscription in the U.S., the world’s largest market for recorded music. Apple Arcade, othe other hand, is ahead of the game (or at least right on time), so we expect success to arrive rapidly.

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! šŸ™‚

Beyond device sales, the service itself holds much promise as games are now the most lucrative part of the entertainment business, Bradshaw notes that “Arcade could become bigger than TV+ in the coming years.” ā€”Ā MacDailyNews, April 15, 2019

Apple spends hundreds of millions to secure new video games for Apple Arcade video game service – April 15, 2019
Whatā€™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 ā€“ worldā€™s first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room – March 25, 2019

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]


    1. I think it’s more that if you like games, you’re going to subscribe and subscribe and subscribe and subscribe and subscribe to a whole lot of them forever.

      Like with music and movies, buying seems so outdated. It’s Netflix for games.

      If you like games, for one low price you’ll get to play a continuously growing selection of great ones. When you get board, you just try a bunch more to fine ones you like. This will help game discovery, which has a lot of friction in it right now. It will draw casual gamers more deeply into gaming.

      1. The format I might be tempted by is a subscription format with a purchase option for games you really like that would remain in your account if you should decide to cancel the subscription. There are many games I spend months on due to time constraints and would hate to have to pay a subscription for the length of time I would need to complete a title. Think Netflix DVD subscription model where if you like a title you can go out and purchase it after returning the rental.

    2. I guess it depends on what fraction of “forever” you intend to keep playing the game, right? (Note: math mistake glossed over for rhetorical flourish purposes.)

    3. Seriously, who the heck plays a game forever? After so many hours I get bored and move on to the next one. I canā€™t even count how many games that I have bought that I no longer play. I know itā€™s way more than many, many months worth of a subscription.

  1. I think the subscription model is a good idea as you will be able to discover more games not worrying much about the price you pay. But I think you should also have the possibility to buy the game. However, old games and older applications don’t run anymore on a new Mac OS. But again you have the choice to keep an older Mac with an older system and play that great old game… We are complicated creatures!

    1. Apple Arcade is for iOS but it is the same as with a Mac. A newer OS or iOS may not allow certain games to play anymore and if you buy that game you may have an option to keep it on an older device.

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