Apple announced a premium game subscription, Apple Arcade, for its App Store. This bundles together paid iPhone and iPad games that consumers can play for a monthly fee. The service is coming this fall, with the company still needing to tell us how much it’s going to cost.
Players will get more than 100 games on the service, and it will be available in more than 150 countries.
“We want to make gaming even better,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company’s press briefing today.
Subscriptions are popular in games these days. Sony offers its PlayStation Plus on the PS4 for $10 a month, and Sony also offers PlayStation Now cloud gaming on the PC and PS4 for $20 a month. Microsoft has its Xbox Live Gold service for $10 a month on the Xbox One and Xbox 360, and it also offers its Xbox Game Pass on the Xbox One for $10 a month.
On the streaming front, Amazon Prime gives you access to Twitch Prime, which otherwise costs $13 a month on the PC and Mac. Utomik also offers $6 a month service for instantly accessible games. And EA is offering its EA Access service for $5 a month. EA also offers Origin Access for $5 a month.
Subscriptions are a good way to get reliable revenue at a time when free-to-play games carry so much risk. Google is likely to charge some kind of subscription fee for its Stadia cloud gaming platform, but Google has declined to comment on that so far.
Ann Thai, senior product manager for the App Store, said there are 1 billion people who have downloaded games from the store. There are 300,000 games available. Besides paid and free-to-play games, there will now be a new subscription category.
“Competing with free is hard,” Thai said. “With a single subscription, you will get access to more than 100 new games.”
These games are exclusive to Apple Arcade. You can download and play any game from the app store.
You can play them on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV. Every game will be playable offline, so you can play anywhere, regardless of your internet connection. All game features are included, with no ads and no additional purchases. Parents can manage kids’ game time with controls.
Apple Arcade games cannot collect any data about you without your consent. It will be curated by Apple’s own team of editors, and your family will be able to share it for no additional charge.