When is Apple Arcade coming out

Pros & Cons: is Apple Arcade a boon for the gaming market?

Article from Mac & i issue 5/2019, p. 7

Per

In my eyes, Apple Arcade is a huge win. You can play as much as you want on the service. Thanks to the clear price structure, nobody has to weigh up whether a game is worth the money. From a short jump and run to an epic adventure, everything is included. A good 100 titles are expected to appear this fall.

The flat rate also puts an end to annoying freemium games and overpriced in-app purchases. Gone are the days when you had to pay for virtual diamonds, weapons or additional characters in a supposedly free game in order to get ahead. The whole family can play with the subscription for pocket money. Parents don't have to worry if their offspring is playing unsupervised on the iPad: All titles in Arcade are prepared in a child-friendly manner.

Even game developers who have only smiled at Apple so far are likely to be very interested in offering their apps on Apple Arcade. If a game makes it into the handpicked selection of the subscription service, Apple beats the drum for it and gives the developers a huge reach. Because the service runs on all major Apple platforms: from the iPhone to the Mac. Apple not only provides the sales platform, but also pays an advance for each exclusive title, as you can hear. Smaller studios can work on the games in peace and quiet and do not have to think about future financing. For larger studios, probably more will come out. If Apple Arcade wasn't worth it, well-known names such as Capcom, Lego or Sega would certainly not be on board.

Apple probably also pays monthly royalties. This gives developers enough incentive to maintain older titles and develop additional content later. In a full-price game, however, you would have to factor in the development costs and bug fixes. (hze)

Contra

For app developers, Apple Arcade is of course an offer that they cannot refuse - after all, it makes their games clearly visible on millions of devices. With this, Apple appears again as curator. Even in the normal App Store, titles that contradict the guidelines are rejected. Of course, Apple wants to keep as many Arcade subscribers as possible over the long term. But the offer must not offend. Apple is likely to influence manufacturers from the outset to please leave out sharp-tongued, political or otherwise risky game content.

Buy games are already a rarity in the App Store - Apple has caused ruinous competition with its focus on in-app purchases. We will soon see a two-tier app store: well-produced games with mass-compatible content in Arcade on the one hand, ad-financed free titles infected by in-app purchases with a programmed addiction factor on the other. In between there is hardly any space for experiments. It is precisely these gems that play with the medium and its possibilities that make a gaming platform so attractive to me.

The players will be counting: prefer a large, constantly growing selection by subscription than regularly deciding on a 5 euro title. The decision to subscribe could soon take revenge. On the one hand, the multiplayer mode only works via the Game Center. If the apple is missing on the device, it must not be on the playground. On the other hand: If the subscription expires, the game is gone, along with saved games and own creations. Many players invest a lot of time in their characters, virtual dwellings or their own levels. And if Apple and game developers fall out, no matter how many months you have paid off - the game disappears anyway. (imj)

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(hze)

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