“Apple Arcade can upset the ecosystem of games premium”

After the music, the press, and soon the series, Apple is going to bring the video game to the subscription model. Available this fall, the service Apple Arcade will play more than 100 games in unlimited, no advertising, and on all Apple devices against a monthly subscription fee to the tariff still unknown. A method, according to Cupertino, to highlight games premium otherwise drowned among the 300,000 titles available in the App Store, freemium for the most part.

“The premium is very difficult on mobile, see almost impossible on Android, and this despite the fact that Apple has put forward a lot of games on the App Store, confirms Yoan Fanise, ex-director of content at Ubisoft, which was founded in 2015 DigixArt. There is a real brake to the purchase premium, especially on a new title we do not know anything, except the trailer and a few screenshots. “ The creator of the rabbids has made its music game Lost in Harmony freemium after a start in downloading for a fee.

In this context, Yoan Fanise welcomes with open arms Apple Arcade, which will, it hopes, will bring ” more diversity, [and games], sometimes, outside of the expectations of the market. “ An enthusiasm shared by Xavier Liard, the boss of the studio Playdigious specialized in porting games to PC/consoles on mobile (cultist set Simulator, Mini Metro, and soon to be Dead Cells) :

Playdigious focuses exclusively today on games premium, so the topic is particularly important for us because Apple Arcade can disrupt this ecosystem. I think the mobile is very well suited to this type of service, maybe even more than the PC or the console, because the players generally consider less time to learn about the games available.

What emerges from the exchange with the independent developers that we interviewed, it is that the subscription model is ” probably inevitable “, as we said Mattis Folkestad, creator of Milkmaid of the Milky Way.

Apple is not the first to launch in this niche. PC gamers and consoles are already aware of the Xbox Game Pass and the PlayStation Now that will give you access to a catalog of games for 10 €/month approximately. There are also Blacknut, close enough to Apple Arcade by some aspects : the service is available on computer, mobile and TV, and it is aimed at a family audience. Xavier Liard believes that it is the right target, because the hardcore gamers will continue playing other titles in any way.

But is it possible to convince the public at large without a Mario or a Fortnite in its catalog ? The question, then, is that Apple has clearly made the choice of focussing on the indie games.

Opinions differ : for Yoan Fanise, ” it will take a bridgehead, a Zelda, a House of Cards [to take an analogy with Netflix], in total exclusivity in order to attract players “. According to him, it is also necessary to appeal to gamers avid, with for example a good controller, because it is them that influence the movements towards such or such platform.

Xavier Liard, for its part, considers that the strength of the huge impact of Apple may be enough to impose the service. During the announcement of Apple Arcade, the Apple was not private to indicate that more than half a billion people visited each week, the App Store, where the service will have a tab full.

Mattis Folkestad does not occur pimpernel for Apple, ” they have the means to promote and finance such a service. “ According to the Financial Times, the Cupertino could be spending more than $ 500 million to contribute to the cost of development of games and negotiate exclusives — we already know that the exclusives will apply to the mobile, because Where the Cards Fall, the new game from the creators of Alto”s Adventure, will also come out on Steam.

The creators with whom we’ve traded up for themselves a parallel with Netflix : simple distributor, Apple could become a producer. Which is not without raising some concerns.

“The problem that could arise, and who are not there for the music, for example, is that the developers are paid for the number of minutes played, they are going to can be a designer of games based on this experiences the best are sometimes shorter “, is Mat’ Loz’, the author of Swim Out , and The Unic.

Overview of Apple Arcade at the press conference of march 2019.

“If Apple Arcade is required, then I think that the typology of games will evolve to correspond with the editorial choices of Apple and the business model of the service that determines the distribution of income. This will give even more weight to Apple “, abounds Xavier Liard.

Developers who fail to place their games premium within Apple Arcade is a risk for them to have even more difficulties to sell their creations.

“It is difficult to know at what point Apple Arcade is going to have an impact, but hopefully it will not be that positive as well as for players for developers “, says the boss of Playdigious. Apple will detail its service on the occasion of the WWDC. Otherwise, see you this fall for the start of a whole new part.