Welcome to the Apple Arcade

Was debating whether to talk about this in GAMES I’M PLAYING or my own little thread but I think the $4.99 subscription service from Apple deserves its own thread. From a value proposition, I think is v good. Grindstone and Mini Motorways are so good and immediately justify the price. As someone that was buying an iOS game every other month, $5 ain’t bad. Those two games specifically are great mobile experiences that I could probably play with M&K input and they would feel good but playing dragging things around feels BETTER.

That said we don’t know what the developer deals are. WORD ON THE STREET is that the payout isn’t great…but I also have no idea so it is tough. They have the type of devs on this that I wouldn’t imagine that everyone is getting a rough deal.

I’m interested in where this platform goes. With the controller input and things like Oceanhorn 2, are they going to lean into some TV-centric experiences that are not at ALL the type of games you associate with Apple products. Will it be a consistent mix of games that are ideal for mobile as well as games that play on your iPhone but are ideal for the Apple TV? I don’t know, I’m incredibly curious. If we get more TV type experienes…I might buy an Apple TV? I’m not smart though. I make bad economic decisions. My wife got me into the iPhone biz but Apple Arcade could get me to take another step.

OKAY, what is everyone’s thoughts on the launch line-up, where do you think this is going?

Mass game library subscription services and game streaming will destroy the indie scene just like they did for film and music. It’s a way to make the platform more valuable than the actual software and it’s a way for these companies to become the center of everything and dictate what types of games get made and what is even financially viable because less people will make one off purchases because every bloody corporation in the world has a subscription service now and it’s sucking away all our money and the obfuscated prices make that hard to notice until it’s too late and we realize streaming has just become cable yet again.

I got no grudge against any devs taking part of this cause you need to get yours where you can in this hell industry, but the long term is horrifying if you like short narrative games or anything that isn’t a grindy or overstuffed mess.


I’m also worried that we’ll get more of the quantity over quality, like how Steam was before everyone published whatever they wanted on it. It just gets really …Thunderdomey for me in the long run, since I love discovering odd games off in the corner no one really talks about. Over-curated spaces tend to just stick to “Big Indie” in a way that covers up those voices.

The system of paying out based on total playtime gives me very little confidence in the way these services are being run.

A primary benefit of this format would be that you shouldn’t have to make padded out games for the sake of inflating value, since players have 200 other choices after finishing yours.

I’ve been playing Assemble with Care via the free trial, and it’s the type of joyful, short, low-stakes play experience that I wish most other games were.


I can’t wait for the return of the quarter eater with apple arcade. I don’t feel like this has changed in any way from the microtransaction game. The goal is still to form an addicting loop that will encourage the player to return because they feel like they’re always close to progressing to the next level, if only they had the thing they need. Now it’ll be time as opposed to the gimmick power up that the player needs.

That’s actually something I haven’t been a fan of in mobile game design. For as much as some narrow-minded types claim they’re not “real” games, I think the contemporary “complete the level and try to get 3 stars” format is too videogame-y.

It’s an iteration on traditional arcade design, probably because wider audiences are more familiar with the concepts of arcade games (levels and high scores) than current videogame design. The name Apple Arcade is really apt.

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