Do you subscribe to Apple Arcade? For Apple users in China, the answer is no subscription, and Apple Arcade has not been available in the AppStore in China. But for overseas users, Apple Arcade is becoming more available, and a growing existential crisis has surfaced.
Apple’s Arcade gaming subscription service, launched at Apple’s launch last year, has a major responsibility to introduce a subscription-paying model for Apple’s iOS gaming market, introduce more innovative products, and change the bad image of Mobile Game. But the ideal plumpness can’t hide the bone of reality, hundreds of millions of dollars of investment, and ample content preparation, while impressing the global gamers, but the trend of high and low has not stopped.
Apple’s new policy cancels part of Arcade game development contract, demands increased gaming ‘participation’
Apple has released games on the Arcade platform every month since the game subscription service was officially launched, with 125 games available so far, Bloomberg reported on July 1. But the city’s hilarious products didn’t appear as expected, and not only did none of the 125 games become big hits so far, arcade’s subscriber growth has been lower than Apple expected.
To ease the current embarrassment, Apple decided to follow the trend of global gaming boutique, adjust the Arcade lineup based on user feedback, focus on finding high-quality games that can better retain users, and explicitly stated that “participation” will become the fundamental requirement of the game to stay or abandon.
Apple will almost certainly change its requirements to retain users. Arcade’s momentum in late 2019 is strong, thanks in part to a one-month free trial, an introductory offer that comes with the service, otherwise it costs $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. Of course, another important part of this momentum comes from good games, most of which are exclusive to Apple platforms.
How Apple measures player engagement in upcoming games may change the type of game we see in the upcoming game. It’s hard to see Apple going backwards without advertising or microdeals, but that could mean that mini-games like “Assemble with Care” may not fit in with Apple’s user engagement in the new direction. This may also mean fewer new games in the future, but players still want some good games to join in.
But making such a decision for Apple, which is not really a good thing for game developers, has spent tens of millions of dollars to support the creation of the gaming service, according to people familiar with the matter. So far, $1 million to $5 million has been spent on several games. Sudden abandonment means a lot of money, waste of time, at the same time, “dismissed” game companies are also uncomfortable, because of the cancellation of contracts, some developers even face the risk of bankruptcy, even if the game can be released on other platforms, but still not enough to make up for the loss of the Loss of the Apple market.
Moreover, Apple actually has a large portion of its profits from content services, rather than traditional hardware sales. So for Apple, how to boost user retention and make their continued subscriptions the next phase of Arcade’s toughest challenge, starting with a second free month, has ignited Apple’s efforts to save subscribers.
“Participation” into a life-and-death character? What do you do if you want to “live”?
In the face of Apple issued the “guest-by-guest order”, the game developers are not actually helpless, although the original only need to sit and take money, the united beauty of a flash into a bubble, first take money and then work under the “participation” criteria also appear to be somewhat pale and weak, but from the past experience and Apple’s current goal, “participation” is not actually as simple as the magic.
Apple’s current opt-out of previously signed-up products is essentially a game user who doesn’t perform well enough to bring real user growth to Arcade.
So how to increase participation will become the manufacturer wants the life-saving straw. At the same time to abandon the impact of internal purchases and advertising on the game, want to achieve the goal of making users obsessed, also means that the developers signed with Apple need to work the game.
However, user engagement is not a single-dimensional but a multi-dimensional form, in GameLook’s view, want to make the product to get better performance of game data, what is needed is the game of all aspects of the perfection and production team for the product content of the grasp, that is, the game adjustable, optimizeable ability.
First of all, the size of the game users and the game length, which is to determine the game’s merits of the basic data, the huge size of users determine stake in the game market, and the game duration from another aspect of the vitality of the game. Throughout the Apple Arcade market, fantasy-themed Open World’s “Sea Horn 2”, the classic puzzle “Monument Valley”, the funny “Golf What Ghost” are actually excellent performance with a good user size, player game duration is also guaranteed.
Second is the user retention rate, when the player gets a brand new game, the initial experience will become the core reason whether to continue to play, specifically, the first 60 seconds of players into the game is extremely important, in the past data analysis, GameWatch found that the game experience is as bad as 30%, if you want to ensure that users retain, improve player participation, the game should be given a good impression, and fun point, let them understand the core game, Highlights such as core system design.
In the social world we know that if your friends are in a game, there’s a good chance that the user will play it. There is a relationship, there is diffusion, activity and retention.
So cleverly incorporating social elements into the game, there may be a breakthrough from 0 to 1. In many successful Mobile game, without social, some users will quit after a day,” it is difficult to identify with the product, from the intimate play of “Glory of the King” in 2015, to the 2016 Royal War video sharing game, to the 2018 “Fortnite” and Youtube user interaction, in fact, using the key technology of the internet to improve the social experience of users, thus creating a unicorn.
From the current Arcade 125 games, all products in fact more or less can let players have a so-called sense of participation, family-like art style, play most of the puzzle, puzzle, simulation of the main operation, although these games have a mouthful of points, but also can not escape the “set of” strange circle, so that players staring at different colors, but the same style of mirror, presumably also in the Arcade set of curable” type of label.
To improve the game’s data performance, a full testing process is essential, developers need enough player feedback to improve the game’s data performance, in order to meet Apple’s so-called “participation” requirements.
However, it must be pointed out that at present, some games on Arcade do not have the possibility of data tuning, such as some very artistic products, they are the development team emotional game, like a work of art, from the plot, art style on the birth has been qualitatively stereotyped, it is difficult to carry out secondary processing, if Apple asked for modification, is not to interfere with the research and development of the creative name? Apple can only afford to pay for this kind of game.
What kind of game is Grindstone, which Apple remembers?
How do developers meet Apple’s user engagement standards? Still seems to be a bit of a blur, Apple Arcade’s business staff cited Capybara Games’ Grindstone as an example in an explanation to a developer, calling it an “attractive multi-layered puzzle game.”
Although Apple defines “Brave Gem Mountain” as “multi-layered puzzle”, the game itself is a line elimination with a form element, but the game as last year’s TGA best mobile nomination is naturally also a strong force.
The game’s eliminated monsters play the role of the player (warrior) destroyed. There is no upper limit for each time the player knocks down the monster, provided the color is the same and adjacent. The longer the path, the more enemies you bring down, and the more rewards. There are also boxes, gems, obstacles, and other obstacles on the map that affect the player’s planning route. The undestroyed monster enters a state of exasperation after a certain turn, and if the player stays around it, he will be attacked, losing his life value.
In each level, the longer the stay, the longer the items obtained will also increase, but this also means that the more difficult enemies will enter the map, the game is currently set a total of 150 levels of content for players, the difficulty is also increased with the level, if the life is exhausted to reach the exit is considered a failure to break through.
Media for it is also a compliment, generally mentioned “as a puzzle game, but has the action game of the pleasure of smooth and slippery.” “
It is not difficult to find, in order to ensure that the rhythm of the game to attract players to further game, “GrindStone” will play in two directions of deepening, on the one hand, the game required material can only be obtained in the level attack line, if the card pass can only come from scratch, increase the time of investment.
On the other hand, after completing the basic goal of the clearance, the player is free to choose whether to continue fighting, extending the upper limit of the single-game time.
GameLook believes that “Brave Gem Mountain” can become an Apple recommendation template, in fact, also hope that the platform can have more in line with the current trend of light medium games, to maintain the system simple without losing depth of the style, and then use the “time management method” to deepen user stickiness.
So Arcade’s real dilemma is that Apple to developers customized “sophisticated skit game” too much, and most of the game often can not let users spend time, power, so that players eat less will be hungry, eat more will be tired of the illusion, and the game lack of depth and re-play nature will lead to this kind of game user participation is low.
Ideal is very plump, the reality is very bone, Apple Arcade before the goal of laissez-faire not only let developers lose their own game high demands, but also let the game subscription service in a tepid state. The short-term revenue and user growth of Apple Arcade, with its commercial attributes, must be taken into account, contrary to the core of the work of art that was born in the free market, and the proliferation of homogenized products is becoming Arcade’s heartpiece, which also bodes well for the platform to change.
Zhou Yi has a word: poor is change, change the general, general is long. Apple in the upcoming game, how to measure the vague “participation”, we still do not know, is the commercial game to carry the big flag, or the main catch quality high-quality game, GameLook think Apple this step of “dangerous chess”, still worth looking forward to.