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Apple Arcade: What did Steam do, why can Apple do it?

via:博客园     time:2019/3/28 22:35:36     readed:257


文|丁鹏 Gamewower

In the early morning of March 26, Apple held the spring 2019 conference as scheduled. At this conference, Apple did not announce any content related to new hardware. It only released three subscription services and one entity of Apple News, Apple Arcade and Apple TV. Credit card Apple Card.

Among them, Apple Arcade is the most noteworthy. According to Apple's information, Apple Arcade is a game subscription service. After purchasing the service, users can play all the games under the Arcade category.

Apple hopes to open up a third game category and membership in the free mode, paid mode. As long as the player purchases an Apple Arcade member, all games under the Arcade category are completely open, without incurring any additional costs, and also avoid in-game ads and the like.

It looks a bit familiar, it's a bit like the video site model, paying to become a member, enjoying all the content on the site, and free of advertising.

Membership is not a case

In fact, the Arcade-like model is rare in the game industry, but it is not a case, the most representative of which is EA Access. This service only requires players to pay a certain fee on a regular basis to enjoy EA's many old games on the Xbox platform for free.

Later in 2016, EA launched Origin Access, a service based on the PC platform, which is essentially the same as EA Access.

In addition to free access to many games, players can also enjoy EA's upcoming new games, such as EA's Battlefield 1 released in October 2016. Members of Origin Access and EA Access can be one week before the game is officially launched. Play for 10 hours for free. And when some new games come online, Access can also be purchased at a more favorable price.


The only difference is that EA Access can only enjoy some of EA's own free games, while Origin Access includes some non-EA games.

By 2018, EA continued to upgrade its Access system and launched Origin Access Premier. The average Access price is $30 a year, while Premier is $100 a year.


Higher prices mean better service. In addition to playing all the games on the Origin platform, players have an extra few games. In addition, players can also play new games before the release.

By 2019, it was reported that the Access system would enter the PS platform. The first to expose the news was the Brazilian players who found the EA Access logo in the PS store in Brazil.

Later, a netizen posted a message, saying that PS4 and PSN were mentioned in the EA Access webpage code. The eye-catching thing is that in the code, there is even “Login your PS4 and connect your EA account”. In addition, you will need to use your PSN account to log in to purchase the EA Access subscription service.

Why is only EA able to do it?

But at present, there are no other game makers other than EA to launch such services, whether it is a third-party platform such as Steam, EpicGames Store, or a platform like Blizzard.com.

In fact, there are various problems in this. Blizzard Battle Network wants to launch such a service. It is obvious that the number of their products is not enough. Compared with EA, Activision Blizzard has too much difference in the output of the game. After all, EA has the title of studio shredder.

Therefore, it is extremely difficult to rely on Blizzard to support a platform. You can't let the player pay the annual fee of 100 dollars. After joining the membership system for 1-2 games a year, that is for the players. Words are unnecessary. You need to know that Origin Access has nearly 200 games and how many games are on the Internet.


The issue of Steam is much simpler. As a third-party platform, if Steam wants to do such a service, it needs to coordinate a large number of vendors, and it needs to be re-defined in the distribution of benefits. This involves a lot of complicated and cumbersome work. With this energy, I believe that G fat is more willing to do more than two activities, which is better than anything.

Therefore, as of now, only EA, which owns a large number of games, has built a membership system. In addition to paying for purchases, additional open source will make the old games shine.

However, now Apple has started a membership system as a third-party platform.

According to the press conference, Apple Arcade will be launched in more than 150 countries and regions this fall, and will be listed in the App Store as a new tab page, but the subscription price of the service has not yet been announced.

The Apple Arcade game subscription service already has more than 100 games, including "Hot Lava", "Where Cards Fall", "The Pathless", "Sonic Team Racing", "Beyond a Steel Sky", "LEGO" in the preview lineup. Brawls, etc., and all games are available offline, no ads.


In addition, it may include popular paid games on the App Store such as "My World", "NBA 2K" and "Grand Theft Auto".

In addition, Apple also announced the list of partners at the press conference, including USTWO, SEGA, Disney, LEGO, Gameloft and other well-known manufacturers.

What is the difference between the App Store and Steam?

Obviously, Apple's launch of Apple Arcade will encounter the same problems as Steam, how to coordinate the distribution of interests among vendors.

But unlike Steam, Apple Arcade will have less resistance. The difference is that Steam is a completely paid platform. The paid purchase system for PC games is extremely mature. In such a market, it is necessary to break the innovation. Extremely difficult, the resistance encountered will be great, because the original situation of interest will be broken.

But Apple Arcade is different. According to Apple's information at the press conference, the App store's current monthly traffic has exceeded 5 trillion, more than 300,000 game applications and over 1 billion users.


In such a huge platform, if all games are paid, it will be subject to the same resistance as Steam, but the problem is that the App Store implements a two-track system of free and paid.

And free games account for most of the traffic, which is very different.

Overseas users on the PC side have developed the habit of paying for games, and overseas game makers have been using this as a business model for decades. This model did not break even after the Chinese game makers introduced the free mode props charging model, because the habits have been developed, and the Chinese manufacturers' games were not capable of globalization at the time.

However, in the era of mobile games, the business model of overseas games has completely changed. The games made by SuperCell, King and other manufacturers are free game props charges, and have achieved great success.

Although the original paid purchase game mode continued on the PC side, it gradually developed the habit of free game for players. After this habit gradually developed, "Fortress Night", "Apex Legends", etc. The free end tour started fire again.


All kinds of phenomena show that in mobile games, both Chinese and overseas players tend to be free models, and the overseas paid-for-purchase model has collapsed in mobile games.

Therefore, despite the great success of the App Store in the past two years, it is mainly in the free game sector, and in the paid game sector, both the App Store and other platforms have achieved unsatisfactory results.

For example, the phenomenon-paid game "Monument Valley" in previous years has produced a very high heat in the world, but in 2016, Ustwo announced a data that generated revenue of only 14.4 million dollars in two years. .

A very good data, but how many successes like Monument Valley? And the income of Monument Valley is not worth mentioning any free game that has the same paradox effect.


The ecology of paid games is not a virtuous cycle in the App Store. Many open-minded businesses who are interested in this have broken their blood. The independent developers have occasionally succeeded, but most of the products have low downloads.

Because at the moment of setting up the payment, even if it is 0.1 US dollars, it has already created a threshold. Unless it is spread by word of mouth, this threshold will disappear, but the word-of-mouth communication needs to have a beginning, but the starting one is 0.1 US dollars. It has caused a lot of players who can bring word-of-mouth communication to disappear.

You know, today, on the mature PC side, paid purchases are almost limited to a variety of large manufacturers, all kinds of IP guarantees.

Unknown, no big IP and big factory guarantees, gradually developed free mobile game habits, resulting in paid games in the AppStore.

So Apple's launch of Apple Arcade will be much less resistant. Steam can't do anything he can do, because there is no complicated relationship in it. All manufacturers have huge troubles in paid games. Now Apple takes the lead. To solve this problem, these manufacturers will certainly agree.

Of course, the solution of the vendor-side problem does not mean that the problem of the player-side is solved. How to let the player re-enter the paid habit from the free habit is not solved in a short time.

Therefore, Apple Arcade, in theory, is just a window that Apple has opened for the payment sector, but it can't change the essential problem. It is just an attempt, a new revenue-generating sector.

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