Apple

Apple wants users to add its “Arcade” to subscriptions

Kimberly Adams Sep 20, 2019
HTML EMBED:
COPY
"Some of the games in Apple's new video game subscription service, Apple Arcade." Apple
Apple

Apple wants users to add its “Arcade” to subscriptions

Kimberly Adams Sep 20, 2019
"Some of the games in Apple's new video game subscription service, Apple Arcade." Apple
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Netflix, HBO, Disney and Apple are all fighting for a place in our TV streaming budgets. Now there’s another platform contending for subscriber dollars: the just-released Apple Arcade, which the company says has about 100 video games to play so far.

Apple already helped make “free-to-play” games like Candy Crush some of the most profitable apps. But Jeff Cohen, who follows the video game industry for financial services firm Stephens, said the fact most mobile games are free, at least at first, could be a barrier for Apple’s new service.

“Most people who are playing games are paying zero dollars,” said Cohen. “So while $5 for 100 games sounds like a pretty good value proposition, there’s no better value proposition, actually, than free.”

According to analytics firm Newzoo, mobile gaming will be the largest portion of the $152 billion gaming market in 2019.

Cohen said the service would likely appeal to families who want to control the games their kids are playing and avoid the risk of racking up in-app purchases and add-ons.

And while he expects the bigger game developers will want to keep making money off in-app ads and purchases, Cohen thinks smaller developers may see the Arcade as a good opportunity.

“It’s a really interesting time to see what consumers really want,” said Anthony Borquez, who teaches tech entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California and is the CEO of gaming developer, Grab Games.

He said he’s working to get some of his products into Apple Arcade. Borquez believes there’s a lot of opportunity for developers if tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon keep experimenting with different gaming business models.

“Hopefully the subscription model works out, not only for the consumer, but also the developer,” he said. But, he added, all of that will come down to what consumers will value — and pay to play.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.