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Apple Arcade’s iOS 13 beta launch surprises game developers

Apple Arcade Preview — Coming Fall 2019

Apple’s monthly gaming subscription service Apple Arcade isn’t scheduled to launch until September 19, but iOS 13 beta users were able to access it early this week. This news came as a surprise to many, but it also came as a surprise to some of Apple Arcade’s game development partners, as well.

On September 16, Sayonara Wild Hearts developer Simogo shared that it had no advance knowledge of the soft launch for Apple Arcade, and stressed that those accessing the game early should not spoil it for anyone waiting for the official release. The studio also said that it was likely not the “final” version of the game, so there could be a patch coming ahead of the official release date.

Hey yo. We worked very hard for the past four years on Sayonara Wild Hearts, and had no idea about the Apple Arcade beta-stuff that is currently happening, so please do us a favour and don't spoil the game for people who can't play it yet. Thank you! <3

— Simogo (@simogo) September 16, 2019

Publisher Annapurna Interactive expressed similar sentiments, revealing that elements of the game had been leaked. Sayonara Wild Hearts is, importantly, not an exclusive to Apple Arcade, so any leaks would also affect those waiting to buy the game for other platforms. It’s due to release alongside the service on September 19, and is also coming to Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. We’ve reached out to Annapurna Interactive to learn more on the situation.

Apple arcade games on stage | Apple September 2019 Event Keynote
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Not all of the games planned for the official launch appeared to be live when Digital Trends tried out the service ourselves. However, the majority of them are, and Dodo Peak developer Kyle Erf was enthusiastic about the game releasing early.

“We were briefed that a press embargo [ended] on the 16th but I don’t recall anything as exciting as a beta launch being part of that,” Erf told Digital Trends. “Which is totally understandable. I’ve worked at major tech companies and it’s hard to commit to specific dates like that for a million different reasons. Our team is happy they went through the effort.”

Apple Arcade features dozens of games that can all be played on a variety of devices, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Mac. The games feature cross-save support, and you get unlimited access to all of them for just $5 per month. Additionally, none of the games include microtransactions, so you can be sure the subscription price is the entire price. More games will be added on a regular basis, including multiplayer titles, and the games are also playable offline sans a few on Apple TV.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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