| Apple Cancels Arcade Games in Strategy Shift To Keep Subscribers | #iphone | #ios | #mobilesecurity


Photographer: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg

Apple Inc. has shifted the strategy of its Apple Arcade gaming service, canceling contracts for some games in development while seeking other titles that it believes will better retain subscribers.

The Cupertino, California-based technology giant scrapped development contracts with multiple game studios earlier this year and informed them of the new approach, according to people familiar with the matter.

On calls in mid-April, an Apple Arcade creative producer told some developers that their upcoming games didn’t have the level of “engagement” Apple is seeking, the people said. Apple is increasingly interested in titles that will keep users hooked, so subscribers stay beyond the free trial of the service, according to the people. They asked not to be identified discussing private conversations.

Apple Arcade, which launched in September with a one-month free trial, charges $4.99 a month for unlimited access to a wide variety of games, including with some that support hardware controllers. Unlike many mobile games, Arcade titles eschew intrusive ads and don’t push players to pay extra to win or make progress. The approach won praise from video game critics.

Apple releases new games on Arcade every month, but none of the 120 titles has become a huge hit. Developers say the recent strategy change suggests subscriber growth has been weaker than expected so far. The company hasn’t said how Apple Arcade is performing, but it recently started offering a second free trial month, indicating that some users likely aren’t remaining subscribers for very long.

“Apple Arcade has redefined what a gaming service can be, putting unlimited play at the fingertips of subscribers and their families across all their Apple devices,” Apple said in a statement. “We are proud to have launched the first-ever mobile game subscription service that now features more than 120 games, many of which are award-winning and widely celebrated for their artistry and gameplay. The vision has always been to grow and evolve the Apple Arcade catalog, and we can’t wait for our users to try the games developers are working on now.”

Apple added that it has always planned to make changes to its Arcade games lineup based on subscriber feedback.



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