Financial Times: Apple pouring a fortune into original games

Yolanda Curtis
April 17, 2019

"Several people involved in the project's development say Apple is spending several million dollars each on most of the more than 100 games that have been selected to launch on Arcade, with its total budget likely to exceed $500m", reported the Financial Times this weekend. Apple is hoping to drive new and more predictable sources of revenue from online services as sales growth wanes for the iPhone. Apple is offering additional incentives for developers if their game remains exclusive to the service. In comparison, Apple retains 50% of the $9.99/month subscription fee it earns from Apple News+, and the remaining 50% is shared to publishers based on engagement with their respective content.

The report details how far the Cupertino brand is willing to go to eke out a strong lineup of games to encourage players to subscribe to Arcade.

It looks like Apple wants to keep the games limited to its iOS platforms, and even if the games were released to others, it wants to keep rivals Google and Microsoft out of the loop for these games. But to establish itself in the market, Apple is having to make substantial upfront investments without knowing whether Arcade will be a success. Mostly, though, the company focused on indie titles.

Taking a Page for Epic Games Store? Much like with what PC gamers are seeing from the EPIC Games Store, exclusivity is a big advantage, especially with high-profile titles.

With $1 million to $3 million advances paid upfront, developers will be able to invest toward high-quality games without worrying about money. This uses a subscription model which grants users access to hundreds of gaming titles. The full Apple Arcade launch lineup will represent the first true test, but as of now it certainly looks like Apple has a victor on its hands. Pricing hasn't been announced yet.

It's a subscription service coming to Apple's devices later this year that promises to offer premium gaming experiences.

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