Apple Canceling Some Apple Arcade Game Contracts to Focus on Hit Games That Will Draw Subscribers


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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple is shifting its Apple Arcade strategy and canceling contracts for some games while pursuing titles that it thinks will help it better retain subscribers, reports Bloomberg.

Apple earlier this year ended contracts with multiple game studios and let them know about its new approach to choosing games for the service. Some upcoming games Apple had planned to support didn't have a high enough level of "engagement" as Apple is now looking for games that will "keep users hooked."

In one call, Apple highlighted Grindstone as the type of game that it wants to see on the platform. Grindstone is a multi-level match-3 puzzle game.

So far, no Apple Arcade games have become major hits, and there's no word on how well Apple Arcade is doing. Some developers have speculated that Apple's strategy change indicates subscriber growth is weaker than expected, and Apple also recently began offering some people a second free trial month, which perhaps suggests that users aren't remaining subscribers for a long enough period of time.

In a statement to Bloomberg, Apple said that its vision has always been to try to "grow and evolve the Apple Arcade catalog" and that it has always planned to make changes to the game lineup based on feedback from subscribers.
"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 unveiled Apple Arcade in September 2019, pricing it at $4.99 per month. Apple Arcade games are available to all members of a family at that price point, and contain no ads or in-app purchases.

Since Apple Arcade launched, Apple has added new games on a near-weekly basis, and there are now more than 120 titles available. Apple has funded work on many games that have been created for Apple Arcade, spending between $1 million and $5 million on several titles so far.

Article Link: Apple Canceling Some Apple Arcade Game Contracts to Focus on Hit Games That Will Draw Subscribers


Jul 25, 2007
The people interested in gaming and willing to pay a monthly subscription fee aren't the people who are using a touch screen as their primary input device.

Apple has been chasing off gamers and game studios since the late 90's, is it any wonder they're struggling to attract them back to the ecosystem?
It’s pretty popular in my family. I don’t really use it, but my wife and kid do. And i like that i can let her (The kid :)) have anything in arcade without worrying about ads, in-app purchases, etc.


macrumors 68030
Aug 28, 2008
Beverly, Massachusetts
Seems Tim likes to throw stuff against the curved glass of their new campus and see what sticks. Apple Music is working, not sure about Apple TV+, but Apple News and Apple Arcade don’t seem to be magical and “enriching people’s lives”

Wish they would focus on their core products and stop releasing everything once or twice a year.

Edit: looks like Zen_Arcade beat me to it.


macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
New Hampshire, USA
Face reality and shut it down entirely.
The fear I have is that this is the type of game that Apple expects us to play on our ARM Macs.

Looking at Steam, the amount of OS X games is very small.

Those games will be able to be played but the great majority are Windows based that will not be able to be played on the new ARM Macs.

I guess the simple puzzle and iOS games will have to do once we all get ARM Macs :(.


macrumors 65816
Sep 15, 2009
Hermitage, TN
Grindstone is incredibly addictive. In fact I cancelled my subscription (I think I only had it for one month beyond the trial) once I completed it and have not bothered to resubscribe. I wish I could buy that game instead, because the rest of Apple Arcade has not been as appealing.
That's the one issue I have w/ these subscriptions services. There should be a way to completely buy one of the games that someone likes; instead they likely cancel the service as a whole and purchase nothing.
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macrumors G3
May 16, 2015
One killer game type that Apple Arcade will not offer is gacha games, or games with micro transactions. Hate all you want, this type is easily one of the most profitable model to date. Throws in some popular IP, twist it a bit or extend it, bang, you get players willing to pay several grands a month to roll those in-game stuff. Apple Arcade can’t allow those game to exist, so Asian markets are pretty much a no go. What’s next? I have no idea.
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