The half-dead Apple Arcade, can it still be saved by Apple?

Apple Arcade has no new games.

At the Spring 2019 event, Apple announced Apple Arcade, a game subscription service, and at the time, Apple showed us the manufacturers and studios making games for Apple Arcade. We can see familiar faces in the lineup of game developers, such as SEGA, GAMELOFT, Disney, etc.

From the lineup of Apple Arcade cooperation alone, there are still a lot of experienced and familiar game makers that players know. Originally, I thought that Apple Arcade would create a “storm” in the handheld game market with the support of so many game makers and studios, but it turned out to be just the opposite.

Since the release of Apple Arcade, there have been no more than 200 games. And as of today, Apple has not added any new games to the Apple Arcade for two months. Until April of this year, Apple would add new games to Apple Arcade every Friday, a method of updating games similar to the way Apple TV+ content is released.

In April, Apple added two new categories of games to Apple Arcade, “Timeless Classics” and “Apple Store Greatest Hits. This represents a strategic change for Apple Arcade, which previously relied only on exclusive original games.

Are Apple Arcade games slow to update?
The advantage of the subscription service is that it gives more games exposure and also allows players to experience new games at a lower price. Despite the support of established game makers such as Ubisoft, Capcom, and Sega, the lack of blockbuster titles like Pascal’s Pact has led to mixed reviews of Apple Arcade by players.

The reason for the slowdown of Apple Arcade’s new games can be divided into the following three aspects.

  1. The partnership model is not transparent enough. Although the subscription fee can bring Apple stable income and protect the interests of some Apple Arcade game developers, the outside world does not know how large a new game market Apple has created for these developers, and from the perspective of revenue alone, Apple Arcade’s cooperation model lacks public and transparent data, so it is difficult for developers to make a choice whether to distribute their own games or give them to Apple exclusively. or to Apple exclusively.
  2. The explosion of super casual games. With the maturity of advertising cash model in recent years, ultra-casual games have become an important choice for many small and medium-sized teams and independent developers. Previously, Voodoo’s distribution manager said that the company’s agency games to ensure that the developer share, at least another $1 million in revenue, and Apple’s conditions are basically in this category, but the income is capped by Apple Arcade cooperation terms.
  3. Apple Arcade game review is strict. The difficulty for developers to make a super casual game and successfully pass the Apple Arcade review can be compared to the sky, because Apple’s review standards are quite strict, which leads to a huge majority of developers prefer to make super casual games.

In fact, there is a relatively minor reason, that is, overseas has become the hardest hit by the epidemic, and because of this, it has led to many small game studios developing games that failed to finish on time. Making the game itself does not depend on the technology alone, some times it requires team communication as well as joint collaboration, and video calls and voice communication are far less effective than talking in person.

Ultimately, Apple’s threshold for Apple Arcade is too high, and the treatment given is not so high that developers are more willing to make less demanding games.

Will Apple Arcade reign supreme in the future?
Apple seems to have noticed these problems, so it is no longer relying on exclusive games, but turning to ports of classic IPs and the introduction of truly great games, which is confirmed by the addition of two new game categories to Apple Arcade.

Previously, Bloomberg reported that Apple had changed its Apple Arcade game subscription service strategy, canceling development contracts with a number of game studios while seeking good games that would retain players. In a conference call in mid-April this year, the head of Apple Arcade told some developers that none of their upcoming games met Apple’s requirements and that Apple wanted developers to produce more playable games as a way to increase user stickiness.

Apple Arcade has introduced a lot of classic iOS games in April this year, which will remind gamers of their nostalgic memories of playing games on iPhone 3GS or iPad 2. For example, the game “Cut Fruit” was so hot that many players were addicted to it.

In addition to the return of classic games, App Store masterpiece is also worth looking forward to, it is not clear whether the previous games close to 3A masterpiece summary packaged into this category, or Apple and developers to jointly produce new game masterpiece.

If it is the first case, although it cannot attract more players’ attention, it can at least make up for the lack of game masterpieces in Apple Arcade. As for the second case, it is similar to the former, only the method is more perfect. Of course, the new game category can also alleviate the embarrassment of Apple Arcade’s slow pace of adding new games to a certain extent, while further expanding the game content.

The half-dead Apple Arcade, can it still be saved by Apple?

Arcade map

For the time being, Apple Arcade is still in the growth period, and when it matures, it may become the world’s largest game subscription platform.

There is no doubt that Apple Arcade has redefined the game subscription model. Compared with the membership subscription model for consoles, Apple Arcade is cheaper and not only has many exclusive games, but also will add more big games and classic games in the future. In addition, the biggest advantage of Apple Arcade is that it has high portable properties, similar to Switch, which can be used to play games anytime and anywhere, while the use of hosts and PCs is limited to the scene at home.

For Apple, games are an unfamiliar field. Apple launched the game for no other reason than for long-term benefits. Although Apple is not a game maker, it has become one of the most profitable game publishers in the world with its game draws in the App Store. Apple said that the App Store has more than 300,000 games on the shelves and has accumulated more than 1 billion players. Facing such a huge market, it makes sense for Apple to launch Apple Arcade subscription service and integrate game resources.

In addition, game quality and game experience are two different things, the game experience is closely related to the hardware, although Apple’s device performance has reached the standard of running high-quality games, but whether it can run smoothly throughout the whole process is another matter. And Apple is not omnipotent, not everything can be done better, it also has the time to roll over, for example, iOS 13 dark color mode, so far there are still many apps have not been adapted.

High-quality games are not only reflected in the gameplay, plot and character settings, but also the compatibility of the game. Previously, many players left messages in the comment section of Apple Arcade, the game is either flashing back or inexplicably black screen and, Apple Arcade is not only for iOS users, Mac and iPad are also supported. So, Apple launched the game subscription service is easy, want to do a good job still need to work hard.

Posted by:CoinYuppie,Reprinted with attribution to:
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