As was recently rumored, Apple is expanding its presence in the games industry with its own game subscription service. Named Apple Arcade, the service is designed to provide access to titles for mobile, desktop, and the living room. Unlike Google’s Stadia, however, it won’t stream the games from the cloud. You can watch a brief overview trailer below or check out our recap of what we know about Apple Arcade for more details about the new initiative.
Essentially, Apple’s service takes the form of a monthly subscription that provides unlimited access to a curated selection of paid titles on the App Store; it sounds sort of like Xbox Game Pass. Development partners include Sega, Konami, Disney, Sumo Digital, and Cartoon Network, among others, and more than 100 exclusive games will become part of the service. Additional games will also be added “all the time,” the company said, although an exact cadence for new releases was not shared.
Apple Arcade covers more than just iOS games, although these will work on devices like iPhones and iPads. Beyond that, you’ll be able to play on MacOS and Apple TV, meaning these games span mobile, laptops, and TV. And these versions won’t operate independently of each other; your progress transfers between the different platforms. In other words, you can move from playing something on your phone to your TV or laptop, for instance, which is not entirely dissimilar from the vision Google recently outlined with Stadia.
Apple went on to state that every game would be playable offline, while future game updates and DLC would be included at no extra cost. Apple Arcade will have its own tab on the App Store, and the games will be free of ads and microtransactions.
Apple Arcade will be available in 150 countries “this fall.” One key bit of information–how much it will cost–has not yet been shared. Apple says pricing and more details are still to come.
During the event, we got a brief look at a few of the games coming to the service, with more being confirmed afterward in a press release. Among the confirmed games are Sonic Racing, Lego Brawls, Oceanhorn 2, Overland, Fantasian (from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi), and Beyond the Steel Sky (which is being worked on by Dave Gibbons of Watchmen fame). We also got a list of Apple Arcade developers and publishers, including names like Lego, Disney, Sega, and Konami.
Apple – Introducing Apple Arcade Trailer
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Apple says it will be “contributing to the development costs and working closely with creators to bring the games to life,” suggesting it will do more than just pay developers for their games to be included.
“The App Store is the world’s biggest and most successful game platform. Now we are going to take games even further with Apple Arcade, the first game subscription service for mobile, desktop and the living room,” said Apple marking boss Phil Schiller. “We are working with some of the most innovative game developers in the world to create over 100 new and exclusive games to play across iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Apple Arcade games will be great for families, respect user privacy and will not have ads or require any additional purchases. We think players of all ages are going to love Apple Arcade.”
Unlike the recently announced Google Stadia, or PlayStation Now and Microsoft’s xCloud, Apple’s service is not cloud-based. The company also unveiled its new Apple TV+ service and a variety of exclusive original shows.
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