Burning $500 million to occupy the App Store, is Apple Arcade mixed?

Apple Arcade’s game subscription service, which has attracted widespread attention from game developers around the world, has just been on the market for six months, with more than 100 Mobile Games now available in the Apple Arcade game library. $4.99 monthly subscription (free for the first month), no ads and in-house purchases for the game, and multi-device sharing for the home.

Burning $500 million to occupy the App Store, is Apple Arcade mixed?

Although the service is not available in China, the miracle apple Arcade, which occupies the new Appstore’s “first-class menu, eye-catching entry position”, is something players and game developers are looking forward to.

Burning $500 million to occupy the App Store, is Apple Arcade mixed?

However, Apple Arcade has slowed the pace of new games significantly compared with its launch last September, adding only one game a week, or even sometimes more, to Apple Arcade since November 15, 2019, compared with the previous 4-5 new games a week. Not many people really know what Apple Arcade is making, because Apple has never released the data.

Globally, Apple Arcade’s absence from the Chinese market does disappoint domestic players and practitioners, but the now opaque running state and the dwindling number of new games are not only a question mark, but is Apple’s stance on running subscription services strong enough? Do these indie games that join Apple Arcade really make money?

Apple Arcade, high and low, hit by ultra-casual games

At last year’s Apple launch, Apple Arcade caught the eye of gamers around the world, and the subscription-based gaming service has given a host of independent game developers hope for Sugon amid the multiple challenges of increasingly crowded app stores, serious gaming exposure problems and high buying costs.

The success of the previous console platform subscription system has given developers a more expectation, after all, PS Plus, PS NOW, Xbox Game Pass, Switch Online and other membership services have been successfully verified very popular with players, And the quarterly revenue for these platform host subscription services has already exceeded $100 million. Apple, the platform leader in the Mobile game market, is rightly saying it will repeat the success of subscriptions in mobile gaming.

But previous reports from Sensor Tower show that after Apple’s Apple Arcade launch, the paid Mobile game market on the iOS platform has not only not seen revenue growth, even new game launches have declined significantly, and the first shock from Apple Arcade is that “the first shock” of Apple Arcade is that “the first shock” has been the “no. Whether the limited quality paid Mobile game is shunting the pay-per-view list is worrying the industry for whether it will lead to a stronger old game on the paylist and a new game.

However, Apple said at its launch that the goal of launching the service was to provide apple Arcade exclusive games (at least on the Mobile game platform) with more reachable users, and that games on that platform would not appear elsewhere in iOS and did not appear to appear elsewhere in Mobile Game platform.

Burning $500 million to occupy the App Store, is Apple Arcade mixed?

In fact, with the introduction of console subscription services such as PS Now and Xbox Games Pass, the subscription model can give more games exposure and allow core players to experience as many game offerings as possible at a lower price.

But even with the support of such well-known companies as Sega, Ubisoft, Capcom, Colome, Ustwo, Snowman and Simigo, Apple Arcade can’t always keep its players’ attention. Of course, the way a game is released every week does get enough attention for every game, even the unknown original game of an independent developer.

As of last year,media reported that Apple had invested more than $500 million in exclusive game content for Arcade. Over the past few months, foreign players have seen results (more than 100 games). However, to rekindle the enthusiasm for Arcade, more effort will be needed in Arcade’s own publicity and in the promotion of new games.

In GameLook’s view, apple Arcade’s new game supply is slowing in part because of the impact of the explosion of ultra-casual games, which reflects the complexity of the iOS game ecosystem.

While subscription fees do provide apples with more stable revenue and protect the interests of some of its co-developers, it is not known how large-scale new gaming markets Apple has created for Arcade game developers, and developers find it difficult to make a wise choice if they lack comparative and public data from a revenue perspective: give Apple exclusive access, Or issue it yourself.

By contrast, as the ad-realization model has matured over the past two years, ultra-casual games have become the most important option for small and medium-sized teams and independent developers, such as Voodoo’s distribution manager, who has revealed that the company’s agency’s game guarantees developers at least $1 million in revenue after sharing it, while Apple Arcade’s offer is also largely in this category, but revenue is capped by Arcade’s terms of cooperation. And Apple for the selection of the game’s quality requirements are more stringent, ultra-casual games regardless of the development time, quality or game completion is difficult to meet the standards of Apple Arcade, which led independent developers to unwittingly prefer the development of ultra-casual games.

While Apple Arcade is still growing, ultra-casual games can quickly deliver millions, tens of millions of users download, ultra-casual games, the obvious “achievement” of the fast-growing list, seems to be more attractive to developers than a few players can experience.

Who is the subscription system good for? Let developers who like boutique creations reduce anxiety

Objectively, Apple Arcade allows developers to focus on the fun of the game itself while reducing the anxiety about the game’s cashing out.

“At the moment, we don’t understand enough about the potential impact Apple Arcade will have on traditional Mobile games, and early performance has had little impact on buying or cashing out,” said Alex Malafeev, co-founder of Sensor Tower. But that could change if these services take hold in the coming months or years.”

Burning $500 million to occupy the App Store, is Apple Arcade mixed?

“At the moment, we expect most early adopters of Apple Arcade and similar services to be core players who are willing to experiment with new games that are different, which will add value to the gaming industry in the future.”

Clara Reeves, president of Hipster Whale, a developer of “Crossing the Road Every Day,” believes Apple’s Apple Arcade has brought new options to the small team, saying, “When it comes to free games, in-house is a big design challenge, and Apple Arcade has removed these things. You just need to focus on what you want the player to experience.”

Subscription services are also indeed popular with many boutique game developers, says Andrew Schimmel, a senior producer at the studio, who teamed up with Agens Games to create Skate City for Apple Arcade. We don’t have to think about how ads match the gaming experience, but we can focus on adding content to the game so that players can continue to enjoy the experience. We can continually change the game, and players don’t have to pay any further to get the new features we’ll add later.”

Singapore’s Mighty Bear Games is another bullish apple arcade, a food-themed game, says Simon Davis, studio CEO. The game was designed for Arcade from the start, so the best thing is that we don’t care about the cashing system, just do the funniest games, and spend our research and development time on integrated advertising or traffic-tracking APIs. As developers, it’s a more direct process in some way, and we love it.”

Several Apple Arcade game developers said that if it is a buy-out, developers do not consider long-term updates most of the time, but look at the performance of the game after the release to decide whether to make long-term content. But the subscription model allows developers to constantly improve the quality of their games and add functionality based on player feedback.

It’s just that developers’ good wishes seem to be encountering some real-world obstacles, such asmedia reports that Apple Arcade has failed to provide developers with enough product statistics, which makes developers who want to better adjust the game feel overwhelmed, and of course that doesn’t matter to those games that are released.

Developers can’t just talk about creative ideals, in terms of real-world revenue, in addition to Apple’s budget paid to developers to monopolize, Apple Arcade in the later income distribution is said to be more based on the length of the user’s experience to allocate, a closed game library ecology, How does the game get a continuous user itself to test Apple’s recommendation mechanism, and add the allocation elements of revenue latitude, such as frequency frequency, to want more, and more effort? This seems to have led developers to jump into a new trap.

And to look, in the next year many games will become old games, independent developers have always been the practice of the game from one hardware platform to another platform, in the process of the game’s reputation is growing, and earn the maximum profit. For Apple Arcade, the game library will not always be the same, with new games to join, and sooner or later games will be withdrawn, so the current exclusive terms seem to cut off the commercialization that these developers are used to, will Apple make additional plans for these games, or will it make other arrangements? Unknown.


Undeniably, exposure and access to users are challenges for all developers, and the Mobile game market is increasing as the number of games in the App Store and Google Play continues to grow. The emergence of Apple Arcade doesn’t solve this problem, given the monthly fee of $4.99 that is tied to an iOS device. But there’s no denying that because it’s a precise service for core players, it gives all game creators a fair exposure.

Of course, for developers, subscription payments, especially exclusive games, make it easy for developers to have no stretch of revenue, and how to keep developers’ enthusiasm for Apple Arcade is Apple’s biggest challenge if there is no more revenue support.

With entertainment subscriptions the norm, Apple Arcade is an interesting addition to the 3A system we’re used to, and while it’s still in its early stages, Apple has recently plans to invest more in marketing, such as recent TV ads and hiring for Apple. Arcade Marketing Project Manager and other measures.

For now, joining Apple Arcade is still likely to yield good results, but developers need to think carefully about what games can be done for the platform. As for how much impact this subscription service can have on the industry, it may be time to give an answer.