Just days after Google revealed its Stadia streaming service, Apple revealed its own game-subscription service called Apple Arcade during a special streaming event. Apple Arcade will offer a wide selection of games that can be downloaded and played on iOS, Mac, and Apple TV.
Apple Arcade will launch this fall, using the App Store as its hub. A new tab will show up on the App Store when it launches, so users can easily browse the selection of Apple Arcade games. All games that come to the subscription service will be Apple exclusives. This is a point of confusion, though, as a few of the games shown, such as Sayonara Wild Hearts, will indeed launch on non-Apple platforms. Sayonara Wild Hearts was confirmed for Nintendo Switch prior to its Apple reveal. Perhaps Apple used the word “exclusive” with regard to these games not being available for Android users.
Even so, many of the games shown appear to have been designed with the streaming service in mind. Beyond a Steel Sky looks like an ambitious intergalactic RPG that’s playable on mobile and desktop. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy, is making a game called Fantasian for the service. He described it as “a game that shouldn’t exist. Every day is a challenge, creating gaming worlds by hand. We are building dioramas, photographing them and adding 3D characters. I’m a little scared of how many sets we are going to have to build in the end.”
At launch, Apple Arcade will boast more than 100 new games, with more being added to the service regularly. All of these are premium, typically paid games with no ads or microtransactions.
Even though it’s a subscription service, you don’t need to be connected to the internet to play your games (provided there’s no online multiplayer component). Family sharing will allow you to use the subscription across multiple connected devices, and parental controls will help you curate the content for younger users.
Apple did not reveal pricing details for the service during the event, but the service could be a great value for predominantly mobile gamers. Given the emphasis on premium, high-quality games, Apple Arcade could perhaps lure console and PC gamers into the fold as well.
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