CUPERTINO, Calif. — Apple today announced a new subscription service called Apple Arcade for games across its platforms, including iPad, iPhone, Mac and Apple TV. The service will debut “this fall.” The exact price has not yet been confirmed.
The paid subscription service will feature games that are “not available on any other mobile service,” Apple confirmed, and it will launch with “over 100 new and exclusive games.” A sizzling array of flashy games appeared at today’s Apple event, and it largely focused on indie games that haven’t launched on traditional or mobile platforms yet. One notable exception: There was a brief recording of a seemingly unannounced Sonic the Hedgehog game.
By paying the subscription fee, players can access all games for as long as they want, with no limits or microtransactions. Shared family accounts can access the titles and parental controls at no additional cost. And the service’s multi-device support extends to allowing iOS gamers to pause an Apple Arcade game on their phone and then resume playing on another device, or vice versa.
As previously reported by Cheddar, Apple will be self-publishing games, but today’s event didn’t include any news about specific first-party titles or efforts.
Apple’s approach differs significantly from some of the new game services we’ve announced lately, most notably Google’s Stadia service, which was unveiled last week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference. Stadia focuses on streaming core games. like Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey and Eternal doom to mobile devices with streaming technology. Apple will simply offer free downloads of games that users would otherwise have to purchase separately. Apple pointed to this fact and said its games will work “regardless of your internet connection”.
For developers of mobile games, a position in this service can be very attractive. That’s because mobile games often live and die by whether, how and when they appear in the App Store — a call from Apple. Mobile developers often implement features that Apple wants to prioritize, such as augmented reality modes or shortcuts, to entice the company to use them. By joining the subscription service, these games can essentially land a featured spot – at least, as long as there isn’t one too many games in the service crowd them out.
This story breaks and we will update it as more information becomes available. Apple’s event is still going on and you can follow everything in real time via our live blog.