Users of iOS 13 or iPadOS will now be able to use Apple Arcade, the platform for Apple video games. The subscription price is $ 4.99 per month, in addition, Apple announced at its September event that it would offer a free trial month, as other platforms such as Netflix or Amazon Prime do.
First introduced at Apple’s spring press event in March, Apple Arcade is a subscription service that lets you play an exclusive selection of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV games as much as you want for a single monthly fee.
You may also be interested in knowing more about Apple TV + or of Apple’s new Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR.
What is Apple Arcade?
Arcade is a subscription service for games (mainly iOS, although it also covers tvOS and macOS). We could refer to it as the Netflix of video games, something that gamers have been waiting for years.
You will have to pay a monthly fee to have access to the platform and be able to play the games available on it for as long as you want.
This does not include all games on the App Store. Not even close. The sale is that this much smaller selection (around 100 games) offers quality and exclusivity – and after all, 100 games is more than enough to keep you more than busy.
The service is aimed at premium games, high-quality titles that are charged upfront rather than free games that are based on ads and in-app payments (like most games that abound on the App Store today. Apple Arcade will not include ads or additional payments.
Arcade is also not designed to compete with streaming Cloud-based like those from Microsoft and Sony, or the Google Stadia service announced in early 2019.
These types of services transmit games from the company’s servers; In Apple Arcade, games are downloaded to the device and can be played offline.
Apple says you’ll be able to start a game on one device and track your progress on another that is registered to the same account, but to achieve this you will obviously need some way for the devices to communicate with iCloud or (at least) with each other.
You will access Arcade from a dedicated tab in the App Store application.
Why is Apple launching this service?
iOS is the largest gaming platform on the planet, but it seems that this happened almost by accident, as a side effect of the unprecedented success of the iPhone. Apple has struggled to understand games and to keep the App Store free of shoddy and semi-cloned games.
Many creatively ambitious game developers and developers have abandoned iOS because it is so difficult to thrive.
This is what has led Apple to partially fund the development of games in Arcade, and this protective umbrella will allow niche and risk games to reach a wider audience without the pressure of having to change units.
Someone is less likely to pay five euros for a game they don’t know than to try it out if it’s included in Arcade.
What games are included in Apple Arcade?
There will be over 100 games, but we don’t have a complete list yet. Here we list some of the largest that we know of. (If you want to know which are the most promising and best looking, read our summary of best Apple Arcade games).
- The Bradwell conspiracy
- Fantasian (from Hironobu Sakaguchi, the creator of Final Fantasy)
- Frogger in Toy Town
- Hot lava
- Lego fights
- Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Kingdom (a sequel to the popular Oceanhorn similar to Zelda)
- Repair (for two games, of Monument Valley fame)
As the release date approaches we will have a more complete list of games, although it is worth mentioning that the list will not be static, that is, new games will be added on a regular basis.
It seems that some games will be written specifically for Arcade, and that they will be new and exclusive – Apple calls it “a collection of totally new games that will not be available on any other mobile platform or any other subscription service.” The games will not even be available to purchase on the App Store.
But it is very important to note the specific way that Apple uses the word “exclusive.” They are not on other platforms smartphone (i.e. Android), but they could be on all kinds of platforms – Shantae 5, for example, has been announced for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC, as well as Arcade, and most people would consider the Switch as a mobile platform.
Release date and price
Apple Arcade is available now for iOS 13, iPadOS, and macOS in 150 countries and costs $ 4.99 per month with a free trial month.
What devices are compatible with Apple Arcade?
Apple Arcade is available on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, although as we said in the previous point, at the moment it has only been released for devices compatible with iOS 13.