During a special event earlier today, Apple announced Apple Arcade, a new premium subscription game service for iOS devices that will bring gamers a curated lineup of the premium app store titles for a monthly fee. The service will include games from developers like Konami, Mistwalker, and Sega.
Apple Arcade is the latest initiative from a major tech company that hinges on the idea of games as a service. Google recently announced Stadia, a game streaming platform, that would do away with traditional console setups in favor of a setup run directly out of Google's servers and playable on anything that can use Chrome. While Apple Arcade is a less thorough shake up of traditional gaming industry norms, it will nevertheless be the first service of its kind, and one that will inevitably make waves for those developers with a focus on mobile gaming.
Apple Arcade will arrive this fall, and will be supported on iPhone, iPad, Apple computers, and Apple TV. The service will provide unlimited access to premium games for a monthly subscription, and was introduced on stage with a video that focused on game creators, including the legendary Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi. On top of deliberately curating the games available for the service, Apple will also be contributing to their development. Here's the reveal trailer of Apple Arcade:
According to Apple, all games available on the Apple Arcade subscription service will be playable offline, meaning they won't be streamed to phones but rather made available to users who are interested in them for download. The mobile game subscription service will also refreshingly forgo advertisements or in-app purchases, focusing instead on providing a competitive games library for users that includes over 100 games, with standouts like Overland, Where Cards Fall, and Sonic Racing among the many launch options. Like Google's presentation last week, Apple also failed to provide a price point for its service, which could indicate an exact price point is still in flux.
It's been a busy month for gaming, and Apple Arcade is the newest indication that the industry is looking to move in a new direction. Games as a service is preached by a lot of different successful developers and publishers, and it appears Apple buys that philosophy too. Although mobile gaming still carries connotations with it that will turn away fans, the same can't be said for the companies making those titles, as Apple and Google have both shown a keen interest in providing gaming experiences that can be accessed anywhere rather than traditional home setups.