Apple has officially announced that its gaming subscription service will launch on September 19. For $4.99, Apple Arcade allows players to access a library of 100 premium games on their mobile devices. Users will first have access to a one-month free trial, so everyone can test it out and see if it fits with their lifestyles.
The service will bring an Arcade Tab to the App Store, where users will be able to see new games as they are added. Games that appear on Apple Arcade will mostly be mobile-only, though some titles will be available on consoles and PC. The announcement comes at the same time that Google finishes the final testing stages of its own subscription service, the Play Pass.
Both services are similar, though Google appears to also offer access to apps that are not games. However, specifics have not yet been released. At the same $4.99 price point, users of both Android and iOS devices will soon have access to premium games in an affordable subscription service. Assuming that both offer games without ads and microtransaction purchases, they may help relieve the market of games that bombard users with ads, pester them to buy at every turn, and demand access to personal information.
The Apple Arcade trailer features a number of impressive looking titles from a broad range of licences. The games featured in the trailer that are presumably available at launch are:
- Little Orpheus by Sumo Digital/The Chinese Room
- The Artful Escape by Annapurna Interactive/Beethoven & Dinosaur
- The Pathless by Annapurna Interactive/Giant Squid
- ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree by Wildboy Studios
- LEGO Brawls by LEGO/RED Games
- Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm by Cornfox & Bros.
- Sonic Racing by SEGA®/HARDlight Studios
- Box Project by AQUIRIS
- Frogger in Toy Town by Konami
- Projection: First Light by Blowfish Studios/Shadowplay Studios
- Mr. Turtle by Illusion Labs
- FANTASIAN by Mistwalker Corporation
- Enter The Construct by Directive Games Limited
- Beyond a Steel Sky by Revolution Software
- Sayonara Wild Hearts by Annapurna Interactive/Simogo
- Hot Lava by Klei Entertainment
The idea of a subscription service that provides access but not ownership to games is relatively new in the gaming industry. Right now, Microsoft is experimenting with its own version, titled the Xbox Game Pass for PC and Ubisoft has a service titled Uplay+. All of these subscription services allow users to pay a relatively small amount compared to the purchase of a single AAA game and grant subscribers access to a broad range of titles they might otherwise never experience.
For casual players who are simply to busy to devout a significant amount of time to justify purchasing games, these subscription-style services are a great new option. There is also the added benefit of filtering out the worst of the worst when it comes to mobile games, such as games that reward large cash purchases and are riddled with ads.
Hopefully, both Apple and Google find success in their models and we continue to see more similar services in the future.
Source: Pocket Gamer