Friday, October 25, 2019

GameClub Revives 70 Classic iOS Games

John Vorhees (via Federico Viticci):

There’s a terrific GameClub app that organizes the company’s catalog of titles in one place, which I’ll get into shortly, but the games can be downloaded separately, and you can subscribe whether you use the GameClub app or not. If you download a game directly, you’ll simply be prompted to subscribe to the service from inside the game.

Each game also includes a link to restore your purchase if you previously purchased the game on the App Store before it became part of GameClub. For example, that means that anyone who bought a game like Sword of Fargoal, which sat untouched for nine years before joining GameClub, can re-download a version that’s compatible with today’s Apple hardware for free and without signing up for GameClub. That’s possible because it’s the same game that was released long ago, just updated and re-released by GameClub. It’s also entirely in sync with GameClub’s preservation mission and demonstrates thoughtfulness and respect for users which match the love the company clearly has for the games they’ve restored.


If all of this sounds a lot like Apple Arcade, that’s because in many ways, it is. GameClub costs $4.99 per month after a one-month free trial, just like Apple Arcade. The subscription is managed through the App Store just like other app subscriptions, but that means that unlike Arcade, the subscription cannot be shared via Apple’s Family Sharing feature.

GameClub has a catalog of games that’s similar in size to Apple Arcade too. The company has signed over 100 classic games for the service, 70 of which are available today, and new games will be added weekly. Interestingly, GameClub has also indicated that the service will eventually include new titles too.


5 Comments RSS · Twitter

Lanny Heidbreder

Frenzic when

"Frenzic when"

Lord, yes please. There was a freemium rip-off of this that come out maybe last year or so that I kept seeing ads for but it looked like junk compared to Frenzic.

>GameClub’s preservation mission (...) subscription

This is cool, but a subscription service is not helpful for preservation.

Yep, that is a fair point. Perhaps the GameClub team would counter with something along the lines of "The monthly sub means we have enough money to keep this going and add more games as well." As someone who just added DS and PSP support to his retro game station, I am thinking emulators are my preference going forward, but at least these fellows are trying to keep iOS history from disappearing.

Not that I am particularly excited by the idea of yet another sub.

>I am thinking emulators are my preference going forward

Yep, emulation is the only sustainable long-term solution.

Fortunately, iOS apps were widely pirated even in the beginning. I put a game into the app store back in 2009. It barely sold any copies, but still managed to show up on piracy sites, which gives me hope that a large percentage of these early apps were pirated, and must still be stored on some servers somewhere. I'm not sure if there are any proper iPhone emulators yet, but there probably will be at some point. So there's a fair chance that much of this will eventually be able to be properly preserved.

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