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Apple Arcade wants to kill the monster with a free game that helped create iOS



Apple has created a monster. Free games have taken almost the entire store for the iOS App Store, creating a market dominated by scammy timers and cheap monetization schemes that have failed to handle any quality design, courier and promotion. But now (after years of profit from this system), Apple is here with the supposed treatment: Apple Arcade.

Apple Arcade promises dozens of high-quality, premium games that will focus solely on entertainment or art and not money-pushing players ̵

1; a type of game that struggles to find a place in today's app store economics. No ads, no blocking timers, no in-app purchases, not always internet connections. Pay Apple a monthly fee, and it promises access to hundreds of titles that will not be available anywhere else, plus a multiplayer game that lets you pick and play on your Mac, iPhone or Apple TV. And Apple is investing heavily in the service, not only paying for exclusive titles but actually helping finance development. It sounds like an interesting proposition on the surface – a combination of the most attractive features of the Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo's Switch, with the ability to work both on the move and on the big screen.

But Can Apple Put It For Free Before we can figure out whether Apple Arcade is light, we first have to look at how things got so bad first. Everything comes back on October 15, 2009 when Apple sent emails to its developers and announced that from this day free apps will also be allowed to offer in-app purchases – opening the door to overflow free games soon will take over the App Store . This was a quick example for Apple, which initially limited its pay-per-app purchases when it released its feature in June earlier this year. Or as SVP's iOS software then, Scott Forstall puts it on WWDC 2009: "In-app purchase is only for paid apps: free apps remain free."


Developers took almost no time: a premium platformer Rolando 2 for example, took advantage of the new rules to offer a free demo of the full game, allowing players to buy more levels a-la-carte if they enjoy the experience. But other games like the Ngmoco Eliminate went to a different free-to-play model offering a timer system that would limit the awards to players unless they bet real money. In the case of Eliminate there was no limit on how many players the game could play but once they had depleted the distributed resource in the game, they could not make further progress or unlock new items while waiting for the timer to restart or if they paid, they could continue to play immediately. It is obvious that one of these models has won, to the point where today's big titles such as Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery still rely on ripping money from impatient players who are eager to continue playing .

At this point, he was at a distance: By January 2011, the Flurry analysis firm estimated that free games accounted for 39% of iOS game revenue. By June 2011, this figure reached 65%, obscuring paid premium titles. The next year will be the release of freemium juggernauts like Candy Crush Saga (estimated to have accrued over $ 3.91 billion) and Clash of Clans (estimated at over $ 6.4 billion) which will shoot a golden tide of free games built around similar mechanics.

Today's free games dominate the iOS charts, at least when it comes to money: Apple's largest list has only one canvas title, Minecraft – which as one of the most popular games in the world and with Microsoft's possession is not exactly indie-beloved anymore – with the rest of the money coming from in-game purchases in free games. App Annie's ratings go even further: 50 of the best games, 49 are free to play ( Minecraft again is the only extra score, 48th in the charts). Sensor tower lists show just another paid title in the top 250 of the Groovy games in the App Store – Bloons TD 6, at number 202.


Apple's previous gameplay in enhanced reality has not done much to interrupt the free lock. The largest graphics are mostly the same as before. And it's not that premium titles completely fail – due to the fact that the App Store divides free and paid graphics together with Apple's courage in the App Store, there is still room for these paid titles – but the way the money moves , they just are not a focus for big developers. Why make a paid version of your game (even if this title would be better in terms of gameplay) when you can make one that will bring you a lot more money? Even Apple is not immune: it cuts off these IAPs and highlights many free games in the App Store, along with the paid ones. Do you remember when Apple prompts you to pre-register for Pokémon Go

Some games like Monument Valley 2 still managed to achieve success in the ranking, in the face of free play. But Monument Valley 2 also had everything in its own right: it was the long-awaited sequel to the popular game, it was announced at Apple's keynote, and it received the highest fee in the new iOS 11 A store Apple has specifically crafted to allow new games and applications to be emphasized. Still, studio director Ustou Dan Gray commented The Verge last year, "I think there is some plateau", referring to the premium market. After all, these success stories are more an exception than a rule, and there is a very different bar of success in paid mobile space compared to free play.

While developers are cautiously optimistic that Apple Arcade can turn the tide into premium games, there are still many unanswered questions about how it will work, how much it will cost, what Apple will cut, and what revenue it will look like. There are also fears that the service will be able to destroy paid game sales in the future or create a higher barrier for less well-established developers at the expense of renowned well-known brands.

Nothing of this is a particular problem for Apple – it takes a 30% reduction on all App Store purchases, whether they have extra life in the Candy Crush or Full Download Game ; with Odyssey . But Arcade is an idealistic approach for Apple; it is a company that wants to be known for promoting creativity and art without invading the pockets of its neighborhood customers to complete the building in Clan Clash . (A similar thread has gone through Apple TV's overloaded announcement of Apple TV Plus). Especially now, with growing concern about addictive free mechanics that actually causes real harm, it's easy to see why Apple would like to move away from these types of games.

And perhaps Apple Arcade can help with this, providing a new revenue stream for the company that allows it to highlight the best games on its platform, not just the best for displaying ads and making money. Whether Arcade can kill the monster Apple did, however, will have to wait to see it in action later this year.


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