At a recently concluded spring conference, Apple launched its biggest game ever: Apple Arcade. This is a subscription service that allows users to access large game libraries on iOS, Mac and Apple TV on a monthly basis. As application stores and other mobile markets have become the dominant free games, although paid games are generally praised and loved by players, it is actually very difficult to compete with free games, so even the best paid games, the number of players attracted is still limited.
For this reason, Apple has partnered with some paid game developers to launch Apple Arcade, bundle premium paid games for monthly subscriptions. Players can subscribe to the service and play the full content of any game without any advertising or internal purchase.
Developers are generally cautious and optimistic about Apple Arcade and game subscription services, and Apple has always focused on providing quality services, which is very attractive to game creators. But because there are so many problems surrounding the service, there are also many potential concerns.
The first concern for developers is that subscriptions may reduce a large part of paid game sales, but this can be solved by the design of the App Store itself. Apple Arcade has its own independent tags in the App Store, which means that Arcade subscriptions may become another source of revenue for game developers, rather than replacing existing game sales systems.
Since the redesign of the App Store in 2017, Apple has been focusing on content guidance for editorial planning. This is especially important for small independent developers who are struggling with free games. A relatively unknown game can quickly become a popular game if recommended by Apple editors. Apple seems to be adopting a similar strategy for Apple Arcade games, focusing on beautifully designed games, which are usually built by more independent and persistent developers.
Developers see Apple Arcade more closely than a trend. Last week at the GDC, Google announced its Stadia streaming Game service. Microsoft's Xbox Live is starting to cross-platform. Sony continues to develop PlayStation Now, and even Nintendo has begun to focus on the exclusive services of Switch Online users. Platform subscription seems inevitable, not to mention Apple's abundant mobile game resources.