Apple is spending big bucks in order to make its new gaming service a success.
According to a new report from The Financial Times, Apple is reportedly spending ‘several million dollars each’ on more than one hundred original games, pushing Apple Arcade’s budget above the $500 million dollar mark – before the service is even released to the public.
Apple said that it would launch the new gaming platform later in the year, but did not say how much it would cost – although it did confirm that one subscription would allow the whole family to play games, in a similar manner to its new Apple News+ subscription service.
The company will reportedly offer ‘extra incentives’ to developers who choose to keep their games exclusive to the Apple Arcade platform, although developers will be free to launch their games on games consoles like PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
The report indicates, however, that Apple Arcade games will not be made available on the Google Play Store, and that any publisher signing up with Apple must promise that their game will be ‘mobile exclusive’ to Apple and iOS.
If the company gets a big title on its hands, like the next Angry Birds or Candy Crush, that could prove tough for Google to compete with.
Rivaling freemium games
Apple is offering Apple Arcade as an alternative to the growing number of freemium titles that have dominated the App Store charts in recent years.
Rather than playing games that are littered with as or require in-app purchases to progress, Apple will allow users to pay a monthly fee (expected to be around $9.99/month) for access to its entire catalog of games.
Apple Arcade games won’t include adverts and in-app purchases, and developers won’t be able to access data on users’ behavior unless the user first provides consent.
For the first time, Apple Arcade will introduce cross-platform gaming in the Apple ecosystem, with all Arcade games being made available on the iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and the Mac.
It is expected that iCloud will serve as the cross-platform sync to save progress on titles, and users will be able to pick up where the left off and re-start a game on a new device.
What’s more, games can be downloaded, so users won’t need to access the internet to play.
The Cupertino firm has announced partnerships with publishers like Sonic and LEGO, although most of its partnerships will be with indie developers an titles.
Apple is also working with developers to ensure their games engines work across all of Apple’s operating systems.
By offering a $1 million to $3 million dollar advance before their title has even been released, Apple is giving developers the freedom to create great games.
When the Arcade launches, developers will receive revenue for gameplay, like News+, which is awarded based on user engagement, incentivizing developers to continually update their games to encourage plays.
Apple Arcade is expected to launch this Fall. Keep it AppleMagazine.com for the latest.