Video game fans have several different subscription service options across everything from Xbox One to PC, including Xbox Game Pass, EA Access, and PlayStation Now, but thus far Mac and iOS players have been left out of the fun. That will change soon with the launch of Apple Arcade, an ambitious program that will feature more than 100 games, including several exclusives.
Whether you’re playing on your phone, computer, or television, you’ll be able to access Apple’s vault of games, which includes titles from some of the biggest designers and studios in the industry. Here’s what we know about Apple Arcade, including its game lineup and unique features.
What is Apple Arcade?
Before we discuss what Apple Arcade is, it’s important to clarify what it isn’t. It is not a game-streaming service like the upcoming Project xCloud or Google Stadia, which means a stable internet connection isn’t required to enjoy your favorite downloaded titles. Of course, some kind of data plan or internet connection will be necessary to access Apple Arcade and download the games. Apple assures, however, that once the game is installed, you’ll be able to enjoy it offline at any time, sans a few titles when played on the Apple TV.
Apple Arcade is a monthly subscription service that gives its members unlimited access to a wide variety of games, all of which will receive free updates and content automatically. The service will be available across iPhone, iPad, Mac, as well as Apple TV, and the games included support cross-save. This means games you start on your Mac at home can be continued on your phone or tablet via the cloud.
Apple Arcade games will feature no ads, and there will be no microtransactions in any of them. A subscription to the service will give you access to the service along with up to five other people, and new games are promised to be added “all the time.”
Apple Arcade will support parental controls, so younger players can enjoy the age-appropriate games included in the program without accessing more mature titles. To find games for downloading, you will be able to use a new Apple Arcade icon located in the App Store itself, which will make finding the latest titles a breeze.
None of the games included on Apple Arcade will be available on the Google Play store, and Apple is reportedly paying quite the price to make this happen. According to the Financial Times, the company budgeted more than $500 million solely for securing games. Developers will reportedly receive a percentage of the program’s revenue based on the amount of time users spend playing their games.
Apple Arcade is being designed specifically for Apple devices, but certain games will still support physical controllers. As Apple said every game will be playable offline, we’re led to believe that there will be a single-player or local multiplayer component to all titles included on the list. If a multiplayer game is exclusive to Apple Arcade and you would like to play with your friends, they will need to have a subscription to the service as well. Apple also said that its games will “respect user privacy,” which is a hot-button issue, particularly for mobile games.
It has also been reported that though Apple Arcade games will never be allowed on Android devices, developers will have the option to also bring them to consoles or PC after a timed exclusivity period expires.
At launch in fall 2019, more than 150 countries will have support for Apple Arcade on iOS, Mac, and Apple TV.
Apple Arcade games look to take full advantage of the Apple ecosystem and the short, simple experiences that often dominate mobile gaming. However, titles are being designed by some major third-party partners, including Disney, Sega, Konami, Cartoon Network, Annapurna, Finji, Blowfish, Klei, Platinum Games, Cornfox & Bros, Mountains, Versus Evil, Devolver, Lego, Sumo Digital, and many more.
Apple also stressed that storytelling and design will be “pushed further than ever before,” so don’t expect an Angry Birds clone to make it into the program. Designers involved in the production of Apple Arcade games include Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons, Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Monument Valley designer Ken Wong, and The Sims designer Will Wright. Developers interested in being considered for inclusion can apply on the official developer website.
Apple says that Arcade will have over 100 games; however, only about 90 of those titles have been revealed. Below are the games confirmed for the Apple Arcade launch.
|A Fold Apart||Assemble With Care||ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree||Ballistic Baseball|
|Beyond a Steel Sky||Beyond Blue||Big Time Sports||Bleak Sword|
|Box Project||Card of Darkness||Cardpocalypse||Cat Quest II|
|ChuChu Rocket! Universe||
Cricket Through the Ages
|Dead End Job||Dear Reader|
|Dodo Peak||Don’t Bug Me!||Doomsday Vault||Down in Bermuda|
|Dread Nautical||EarthNight||Enter the Construct||Exit the Gungeon|
|Explottens||Fantasian||Frogger in Toy Town||Grindstone|
|HitchHiker||Hot Lava||Jenny LeClue – Detectivu||King’s League II|
|Kings of the Castle||Lego Arthouse||Lego Brawls||Lifelike|
|Lifeslide||Little Orpheus||Manifold Garden||Mini Motorways|
|Neo Cab||No Way Home||Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm||Operator 41|
PAC-MAN Party Royale
|Patterned||Projection: First Light|
|Punch Planet||Rayman Mini||Redout: Space Assault||Red Reign|
|Repair||Sayonara Wild Hearts||Shantae and the Seven Sirens||Shinsekai: Into the Depths|
|ShockRods||Skate City||Sneaky Sasquatch||Sonic Racing|
|Spidersaurs||Spyder||Stellar Commanders||Steven Universe: Unleash the Light|
Super Impossible Road
|Tangle Tower||The Artful Escape||The Bradwell Conspiracy|
|The Get Out Kids||
The Enchanted World
|The Pathless||The Pinball Wizard|
|Tint||Towaga: Among Shadows||UFO on Tape: First Contact||
|Way of the Turtle||WHAT THE GOLF||
Where Cards Fall
Apple formally announced a price for Apple Arcade during its September 2019 event. A family plan for Apple Arcade will be available at launch for $4.99 a month alongside a one-month free trial.
Apple Arcade launched early for iOS 13 beta users on September 16, complete with more than half the announced games. The beta wasn’t officially revealed by Apple, and a few developers behind some of the games have said they were unaware there was going to be a beta launch.
During the Spring event in March 2019, Apple revealed that Arcade will launch in Fall 2019. At the September 2019 event, Apple announced Apple Arcade will be available on September 19 in more than 150 countries.
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