Apple launched its iOS and Mac games subscription service at the tail end of 2019 and it has played host to more than 100 games since. However, the overall Arcade library has seemingly failed to "engage" with enough users. Apple, therefore, is said to be changing focus.
Indeed, it is claimed it has cancelled some Arcade games currently in development and is looking to others to reinvigorate the service.
Bloomberg reports that Apple informed developers of the new approach earlier this year, citing "people familiar with the matter". One of the platform's creative producers allegedly told some studios that their games lacked the level of engagement the company is now looking for. It is now focusing on games that have longevity and will hook gamers into paying for the service beyond the free trial period.
It makes sense. We can only speak for ourselves, but while Apple Arcade has some standout gems, the majority of games feel like the usual App Store fare but without ads or in-app payments. They are mostly great for short-term thrills, but rarely do we go back to them often.
As we say, there are a few exceptions. Newcomer to the platform, Beyond a Steel Sky, is a full-fledged console-style adventure game with deep, involving gameplay. The_Otherside also feels more like a console game than an app. And then there is Grindstone, one of the service's pacesetters from the beginning.
These are the games that will help Apple Arcade stand out amongst the free-to-play alternatives on Apple's usual store.
Of course, not everyone is the same - and some games won't work as well on an iPhone as an iPad or Mac if they are too complex. And we're not saying that the other games aren't worthy in their own right, but if you want someone to pay monthly for access to a suite of titles, you have to ensure they are getting something they can't seemingly get elsewhere for free.
So, for us, Apple's change in focus could be exactly what we've been looking for. And Apple's subscription model might end up making sense after all.