We were expecting major news and TV announcement from today’s Apple events. But until very recently, we had little idea about another Apple Services venture: games.
Apple on Monday announced Apple Arcade, a new gaming subscription service tailor-made for iOS, macOS and tvOS. It’s similar to other cloud-based gaming subscriptions, but also fundamentally different.
The service will feature more than 100 new games that will be exclusive to the Apple ecosystem. These aren’t streamable cloud-based games — they’re full-fledged offerings designed to be downloaded from the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.
At launch, Apple Arcade will feature original games from renowned studios and creators like Hironobu Sakaguchi, Ken Wong, Will Wright and others. As mentioned earlier, these will be exclusives, so they won’t be available on any other platform.
While a full list of games hasn’t been announced, Apple did tease a few titles on its official Apple Arcade web page — including Where Cards Fall, LEGO Brawls, No Way Home, and Doomsday Vault.
Previously, we reported on the possibility of a “Netflix for Games” and Apple Arcade fits the bill. Subscribers will be able to stop and resume playing games across all of their Apple devices. There will also be no in-app purchases. All of the features, content, and future updates will be included in the fee.
As Apple alluded during its event, the App Store has quickly become one of the major platforms for games (mobile and otherwise). Apple is obviously looking to take advantage of that with Apple Arcade.
Which brings up another point. Apple Arcade isn’t just curated by people over in Cupertino. Apple said it would actually be contributing to the development of titles on the platform. It isn’t quite an “Apple Game Studio” announcement, but it’s certainly a step in that direction.
Like every other announcement made today, Apple made it clear that Apple Arcade would be built on a foundation of privacy. There’s no ads and no user tracking, and Apple said that the platform will respect its users private data.
Apple Arcade will be launching in the fall across more than 150 countries. While Apple didn’t share any pricing details for Apple Arcade, the firm did announce that access to the platform would be sharable between six family members.