The rumors were true, Apple Arcade is a thing, and it will be launching in Autumn this year for IOS and Mac. The service, which is similar to the Xbox Game Pass by Microsoft, allows players to pay a monthly fee and receive access to over 100 titles at launch with an ever-growing and ever-changing line-up of games.
In typical Apple fashion, they’re pretending that they’re the first to the party, with catchy call outs on their sales page such as “All in a gaming service unlike any other”, which of course isn’t true as the Game Pass has been at it for a while now. Saying that, the line-up of games actually looks pretty decent. The first game that stuck out for me was Beyond a Steel Sky, which is a sequel to the much loved Beneath a Steel Sky. Other games include Hot Lava by the same studio behind one of my favorite survival games, ‘Don’t Starve’, and Sonic Racing, as well as a whole host of other cool looking indie games.
One important note that should be highlighted is that any game that is added to the “curated” list of games for the service will be ad free and in-app-purchase-free. You will also be able to share your subscription with up to 6 family members.
It doesn’t look like Apple are going after what we would call the hardcore gamers with this service, partly because there are very few hardcore gamers that actually play on a Mac, but mainly because of the studios that they have partnered with such as Ustwo Games (the makers of Monument Valley) and the fact that the games they are offering are more tailored towards casual gamers. We can’t see them directly competing with Microsoft here, so there’s no reason both services can’t live happily together.
Whether this new venture is going to be a success for Apple or not is up for debate. Personally I can’t see it working out how they expect it to, but who knows.
Apple hasn’t indicated how much Apple Arcade is going to cost yet but it should be under a tenner. My best guess would be £7.99 per month, which for gamers who don’t really game too much may be a little steep.