Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Business Side of Apple Arcade

Amanda Farough (via Dave Mark):

As it turns out, Apple is fronting development costs. This makes the relationship closer to a traditional publisher/developer deal. And Apple stepping in means these weird, interesting, oddball mobile games that might not have had a chance anywhere else have been given a platform that has the potential to house almost half of the world’s mobile market.


When a developer agrees to launch their never-released game on Arcade, Apple covers development and marketing costs, as well as providing technical expertise. This is part of how Arcade’s compensation works for developers, although Apple hasn’t provided any additional clarity as to the details of that revenue share or agreement. But we’ve learned that Arcade’s payment structure is consistent with how Apple approaches compensation with music, television, etc.

The most important thing that a developer needs to know is that because Apple doesn’t consider itself a publisher for Arcade (even though they do functionally act as a hybrid of platform holder, distributor, and publisher), developers retain the rights to their own games.

Eli Schiff:

Toxic Apple. If you cancel @AppleArcade free month trial subscription, you lose access the instant you cancel.

Unlike other apps which all let you continue access until the period is over, despite canceling.

Apple News+ does this, too.


Update (2019-09-26): scott:

It’s absolutely unbelievable how many indie devs whose projects I’ve been following for years have had those games move to Apple Arcade.

Someone at Apple is doing amazing work, I’m actually a little jealous this is someone’s job.

Benjamin Mayo:

Apple’s marketing describes the Arcade library as a collection of “groundbreaking” titles that “redefine” games. I don’t get that feeling. The games are not really innovative, they are pretty standard. It’s almost like putting the Steam indie catalogue on your phone. I haven’t seen any Arcade game so far that surprised me with an innovative premise. I don’t care. I like that the games are new releases, offering new content, and I like that they are fun. Being “groundbreaking” is not what interests me.

Update (2019-09-27): Juli Clover:

Less than two weeks later, Google announced its own gaming service called Play Pass, which also offers unlimited access to games. In our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with both services to compare them.

Both Apple Arcade and Play Pass are priced at $4.99 per month. Apple offers a one-month free trial while Google offers a 10-day free trial, but for the first year, Google is offering a deal that drops the price of Play Pass to $1.99 per month.

Update (2019-10-13): Michael Love:

The big question is if they’ll be able to keep up this pace - 200-300 new titles a year - long term, or if they’re just flushing out launch titles and the rate will drop once they’ve released their initial slate.

If Apple can release 5 new games every week forever then Arcade will potentially swallow almost the entire iOS gaming market.

And honestly that’s not inconceivable; 10 million subscribers = $600M/year, which could easily bankroll 200 games. 100 million = $6B/year and with that kind of money you can pretty much fund any talented developer who wants to make an iOS game.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

What's worse google announced competitive service which includes games and software as well (Google Play Pass) and those who join in first 2 weeks will pay $2/month. Maybe some users are happy that they will get tons of games/software for cheap but it also sends signals to users that the new pricing model is any software for $0.99/month. So how do you justify to user your pricing model of single app eg. 1Password for $2.99/month to user now?

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