Mobile games first made it big not long after the debut of Apple’s first iPhone in 2007. While the initial batch of games were little more than disposable curiosities, they quickly evolved into a billion-dollar industry capable of taking on the solidly-rooted console market.
Yet, Apple’s App Store and Android’s Marketplace, which was soon replaced by the Google Play Store, suffered from a lack of quality control which would have busted the business had most of these apps not been free. In fact, the problem has grown to be so bad that, in 2019, most gamers disregard the mobile platform entirely.
However, Apple is set to change that with the September 19th release of Apple Arcade. A subscription service charging five dollars per month, Apple Arcade will grant users access to a healthy list of games, all of which will be playable on Apple TVs, Mac Books, and, of course, iPhones and other mobile Apple devices.
While some were skeptical of the service’s quality and scope, a recent update from the tech giant detailing some of the titles consumers can expect at launch has generated quite a bit of interest in the service. Apple’s got both major AAA developers and prominent indie studios on board and producing some all-new titles which make the offer outrageously tempting.
Though we don’t know the full extent of the games available on day one, we do know that Apple plans to launch with around one hundred games, some of which will entice even the most fervent Apple cynics.
Most notable of the bunch will be Exit the Gungeon, a spin-off of Dode Roll’s ultra-popular 2016 roguelike Enter the Gungeon. We can also expect Rayman Mini, a sized-down example of the popular platforming franchise, from Ubisoft, Shantae and the Seven Sirens from WayForward, and Various Daylife, a new RPG from Square Enix. There’s also Sega’s ChuChu Rocket Universe, Finji’s Overland, and Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe: Unleash The Light, as well as a ton of other promising projects.
Most of these games are definitely being developed with touchscreen interfaces in mind and appear to be bite-sized versions of previously-existing experiences. That said, while Apple Arcade probably won’t be able to challenge the likes of Steam in any real sense, it will certainly catch the eye of mobile gamers disillusioned by the state of the Apple Store. It’s also worth noting that some of these titles will be releasing elsewhere, meaning that an Apple Arcade subscription may not be necessary to play some of these upcoming games.
Still, this is a major step forward for a proprietor previously disinterested in the state of mobile gaming. As we all know, Apple hasn’t ever taken much of an interest in the video game sphere, and PC and Android devices have long been thought to be the de-facto platforms for gamers. That notion probably won’t change among the hardcore crowd, but Apple Arcade will definitely draw in some more casual players and introduce curious consumers to a bold new world the likes of which they may not have previously experienced.