Will Luton is a co-founder of Department of Play , a company providing services for the promotion of shareware products, game design and UX. In his column for Pocket Gamer, he presented his vision of the Apple Arcade service and how the company wants to change the image of mobile gaming with it. We chose the main thing from the material.
Apple Quality Games
Last week, Apple announced the cost of its service and showed some of the games that will be available on iOS, Apple TV and Mac. And thereby made many ask – for whom in general is this Arcade? With a lot of free apps in the store, players seem to have no particular reason to pay for a subscription.
The viability of paid games is extremely clear, and therefore most believe that making paid titles for the mobile market is equal to suicide. Mobile Minecraft in this case is an anomaly that stably stays in the top 50 in terms of profit.
While the majority of revenue from the App Store falls on shareware applications (45 billion a year, 33 of which come from games), the App Store editors promote paid projects and do not regret their awards (talking about the Apple Design Awards) to creators of premium indies such as like Alto’s Odyssey and Oddmar.
Obviously, Apple prefers stylish authoring games to mass shareware titles. The company wants games of that high quality and outstanding design, which would be consistent with the quality and design of the company’s products.
Returning control over user attention
Despite Apple’s position, the market constantly imposed its terms on the company – because of how the App Store was organized, because of its openness. Users want to download games for free and are willing to pay for them repeatedly, while moving from the App Store market to the closed market of a specific game.
Apple has actually lost control, and their editorial influence does not have much power – it has given way to other channels for attracting users.
Arcade is Apple’s obvious attempt to regain editorial control by offering something different from F2P. Arcade games should not contain in-app purchases, ads, or trackers to collect user information. It all looks like the App Store editors got together and decided to get rid of everything that she hates in free games.
This has led many people in the industry to not believe in the success of Apple Arcade, as if the Cupertino monolith is again ignoring market reality.
Arcade as the perfect service for children – no ads or micropayments
However, it is clear that users continue to be bothered by lootboxes, in-app purchases and data tracking. Is all this enough to make them “transfer” to a subscription? Especially for parents who are worried that their children spend time playing micropayment games.
I think this is unlikely, but still possible. Apple offers players to try Arcade for free for a month – which means that even one or two applications from the library may be enough to deter players.
And although many starting titles are essentially similar to premium games in the App Store, nothing prevents Apple from adding MMOs or three-in-one service in the future. Perhaps even adding there a rethinking of some shareware games – for example, the spin-offs of Candy Crush.
Conflict with established market conditions
While mobile games have not creatively developed over the past few years (without going beyond a rigid set of genres and small innovations), Apple as a curator is a good prospect. It is equally frightening and inspiring. The openness of the App Store, which contrasts with the markets of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, will come to an end if the Apple Arcade is successful.
With Arcade, the company wants to give F2P a fight. This service shows what type of game the company wants to give to its customers.
I think Arcade will not be able to find its audience, but the history of the gaming industry knows a lot of incredible cases. The success of Apple Arcade would have brought incredible changes for all of us.