At $152bn a year, gaming is the most profitable form of entertainment in the world. Not film, music or sport, but the pastime your parents would chide you for engaging in, saying, ‘Video games won’t pay your bills!’. Well, in 2019 they do, and Apple is hoping they will contribute in a significant way too.
Apple Arcade is the tech juggernaut’s latest attempt to keep us glued to our screens. The gaming subscription service offers exclusive (or strictly unavailable on Android) access to games for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV for £4.99 a month. Following the growing trend towards subscription model, Apple Arcade allows you to download games to play offline with no adverts, In-App purchases, or time limitations on gameplay. Why pay £50 for one game when you could have 100 for £5?
Apple’s goal is to give gamers the console experience on mobile, while offering more for less – hopefully boosting their product sales in the process. Although the industry remains uncertain about the potential impact of Apple Arcade’s encroachment on the console space, it is wary of the effect on high-priced mobile games. Developers of small independent premium titles will have to adapt to the changing market or accept losing out to the competition.
So what does this all mean for the gaming industry, will a new benchmark be set for consumer expectations around gaming accessibility and pricing as a result? Could Apple Arcade revolutionise the gaming industry in the same way that Spotify and Apple Music have left music listeners demanding the world for near nothing in return?
With the streaming wars upon us and the recent launch of Google’s response to Apple Arcade, subscription services for digital entertainment are rife. We’ve seen that consumers are already heading towards their peak subscriptions. How will all these digital entertainment services thrive in a world where consumers are becoming paralysed from an overload of choice for exclusive content?