Over the last few years, Apple has been significantly expanding on the services the company offers as a means of making their hardware more lucrative to consumers. While often overlooked, the iPhone and iPad make for extremely adept gaming devices. You can pick up an iPhone 7 even today and play most of the popular games on it, without it feeling like a sub-par experience. Gaming has always been an important aspect of iOS devices, and in order to further offer its users something unique, Apple created Apple Arcade. Here's a deeper insight into Apple's gaming subscription service, why its set up the way it is and what the developers have to say about it.
What is Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade is a monthly subscription service which contains a curated library of games. These games will not be available through the games section of the App Store. Games available in Apple Arcade are exclusive to the subscription service.
What makes Apple Arcade one-of-a-kind
This is an important aspect of Apple Arcade. Typically, when we think of a subscription service, we'd think it means unrestricted access to the service catalog. Since the App Store already had thousands of games, why wouldn't Apple just create a subscription where users had access to all those games for a monthly fee? Well, because they wanted to create an exclusive, curated platform that elevated the gaming experience. The thought behind Apple Arcade was to create a gaming service that offered exclusive games, many of which would be deemed "unlike any other."
What makes a game eligible to be a part of Apple Arcade
Apple has maintained a rather strict guideline for the app approval process for the App Store. For Apple Arcade, they take this a step further. Apple works closely with developers at varying stages of development in order facilitate the creation of a game that is fit to be an Arcade title. Another unique title is called Tint by developers named Lykke. It's a game whose premise lies in colour theory and is best played on an iPad using an Apple Pencil. Another title, and this one was showed off during the September event, is called Sayonara, Wild Hearts, an endless runner which is not like any other you would play. The voice-over in the game is done by Queen Latifah and the entire game is a music album comprising of twenty tracks which play out in totally unique levels.
Why would devs choose Apple Arcade
According to the developers of Cat Quest II, their first title was a paid game on the App Store, which made us question why they would launch the sequel as a "free" game. The developers have an agreement with Apple that guarantees revenue. However, the biggest reason for being a part of Apple Arcade is discovery. While it is true that the App Store now carries curations for most of the popular sections, especially games, it is still very easy to get lost in a sea of choices. The Apple Arcade section of the App Store continues to carry curations, but also gives these exclusive titles their own dedicated space.
As inclusive as possible
Apple had already enabled support for third-party MFI controllers some time ago, but very recently, also added support for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 controllers. So you've got controller support for a service which works on almost all Apple devices, such as iPhones as old as the iPhone SE, the iPod Touch, the iPad (and iPad Pro), Macs and even Apple TV. Developers have worked especially hard to ensure that titles which are available across all devices deliver a seamless experience. For example, Tint, was designed for the iPad, to be played using an Apple Pencil. Apple Arcade supports Family Sharing for up to 6 people. Take into account that if you start a game on your Apple TV, and for some reason need to leave home immediately, you can pick up right where you left off on the iPhone or iPad.