For 10 bucks (or whatever) a month you can load the ipad up with games and not worry about microtransactions or scummy ads targeting your kids. "Curated" is a signal that can trust age recommendations and not worry about inappropriate content.
People who like casual gaming too.
I'm pretty sure that Apple will have problems with remaining their cut of the 9,99€ / month. If some f2P games aren't included, because the deal is not interesting enough for the publisher/game developer. EA, Nintendo, Niantic ( Google), Zynga, Epic and Microsoft won't partner up also.
Kids don't want to play curated games, they want to play what is popular or what they really want.
It's not like going to kid-friendly restaurants where you pick the destination. It's Minecraft, PUBG or even Farming Simulator ( my brother is buying an Xbox with only that game for his son) that they want to play this moment. They are not going to wait till Apple has the permission to publish it in the arcade service.
Limiting their options between “no games at all” or “the few games that Apple provides” is a good way to teach them that particular lesson.
Anyway, you can always gift them the popular game on a special date like their birthday or Christmas.
Having a $10 Subscription allows them to mess around with all the games without me having the hassle to think and worry about what they do with it. I am not a causal gamer, but I see this will have lots of appeal. 10M sign up would be $100M per month.
I didn't like so much the cinemaware rendition, I liked the original raid more.
Personally I think it's a decent move by Apple to change the perception of the App Store in regards to gaming. I waited in line for the original iPhone and watched the App Store go from quality $2-10 games to the dumpster fire it is today. The F2P games are all clones of each other and no one will spend a dime on anything else. A premium service that collects the quality games, respects user privacy, doesn't run ads, or have IAP is a nice idea to be honest.
I'm a handheld gamer through and through and always have one or two handheld consoles on me, so this is isn't a service that interests me. But I hope it can make those paid games more accessible.
Also concerned that the (rumored?) $9.99/month price tag is even remotely close enough to get these developers paid. Nothing easier about releasing on a mobile device - the games they showed off look like massive titles.
Microsoft has Game Pass. EA has Origin. Subscribe to both and they're both fantastic.
The game list could be virtually unlimited, but there's always a real, tough limit - my free time. I can still only play 1-2 games per month and I'd rather own a copy of it.
Having access to hundreds, to me, means I'll essentially play a game for 5 minutes, then the next one, then the next one... until I've had an hour of no real experiences. In this backlog culture, it'll be a miracle if anyone ever finishes a game again.
Didn't say the same thing for music? And yet how many buy CDs or download music anymore, compared to Spotify/Apple Music/YouTube/etc? An irrelevant (and aging) minority.
And at least for music it makes sense. One can and do listen to the same album 10 and 20 years on. And of course multiple times in the same year.
Whereas, after someone has finished a game, how often will they come back? And for what percentage of games? And how would a game subscription would hurt their occasional "lemme play this again for a couple of hours" trip down the memory lane?
Probably yes, though - paying to "own" something which can't be separated from the service it arrived on would sound ridiculous in this day and age.
I am imagining this as a '€10 entry to a all-free-to-play-arcade. I hope that joysticks with 4-6-8 buttons will come out so I can binge-play Street Fighter again after 20+ years!!
Video games will capture the attention of a person for hours in a month. I can see that a big chunk of the monthly fee going to a couple of titles.
I was born in the late 70s. That generation of gamers despise free to play games. I like the $5-10 titles on mobile and the $20-30 titles on Steam (I haven't bought a AAA title in a long time.) I don't have a ton of time to game, so I am not spending $120 a year on games. If this is a $9.99 service, it is a sweet spot and I suspect this demographic is larger than we imagine. Since price hasn't been announced, we'll have to see how much it will be.
Uh... my kids listen to the same damn song hundreds of times before they cycle to next. YMMV, and there's a large market out there that likes repetitiveness in their music.
That said, I agree that "no purchase barrier" is a huge step forward to getting me to try out a number of games just like songs.
It would make the old good games like "Sword & Poker" viable for developers. They would be incentivized to simply make more such games or add content so players keep playing.
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4301681 Eh, most people I know and in most discussions I've seen, people would prefer their shuffle not to play the same songs over and over. Otherwise why bother with shuffle? The thing is - people who want to listen to one song or watch one movie or play one game over and over and over are already served quite well. Just buy the damn thing and you have unlimited uses.
Gradually, we've seen the growth of services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, etc. because people do want variety, and they don't want to pay for every single song or movie or game (see EA Access, Xbox Game Pass, Sony whatever). Apple's game sub service actually isn't all that novel in general, it's just novel for smartphones where the industry has, over the past 9 years, moved primarily towards f2p, which actually gives people variety if they want it without having to pay for it, while also being able to consume the same game as much as they want as well.
It's also no accident that Steam has been so wildly successful through its sales, because that lets people try all kinds of different games without having to sell their kidney.
I share your reservations about this becoming the new normal for the industry, but so long as games on the service are still available with perpetual licensing, I don’t see a problem.
Really, the much bigger issue with iOS-based games has been with us for awhile, and that is OS compatibility. There are now games from the past decade that are effectively lost to time, no longer compatible with modern versions of iOS and not even available from the App Store on vintage hardware. Archival is a very hard problem on a managed platform.
I doubt it; stream boxes are probably 1-2 generations away meaning that online connections are going to be more integral to the experience.
The largest publishers makes more than half of their revenue off one game thanks to recurring payments from DLC, multiplayer content, or the brand new concept of battle passes and see no reason to create new IPs when the old ones still move millions of copies.
It won't be long until you need to pay some form of a subscription fee for most big budget / popular games (rebranded as a monthly battle pass or something so people don't get dissuaded / angry).
The good news is that indies are still around and there are still big single player games that are being developed to placate the crowd.
But mobile gaming has definitely been the extreme end of the most predatory business practices in video games and I see no reason that the rest of the industry won't follow suit.
What do you call Steam? Sure it's a-la-carte pricing, but you get all the good & bad sides of subscriptions - you don't own anything, you can play on multiple devices, etc.
Netflix for gaming is a big deal. I think it can work on the desktop but perhaps with a different pricing model. Also look to a v2 where "offline only" gets re-thought (possibly with DLC).
That said, it sounds like they're just going to give the money to the guys who make the games that are played the most. It's not like every developer will get 50 cents a download or whatever. So the big guys will get the real money, and smaller guys will fight for scraps at that price.
But at least it's a start.
Apple is probably eating the costs to get the subscription mindshare.
My kids enjoy tremendously Minecraft, Roblox and the Lego franchise games.
None of those require top-end graphics, yet offer engaging gameplay for a large audience.
It's not about getting spectacular graphics on MacOS, it's about even getting your renderer to work.
So yes, we graphics programmers do care about "anything else".
I would bet that there are many more commercially-viable games that support Metal than those that support Vulkan.
More than anything else, I think what I was responding to was the desktop-centric nature of the post I was replying to. This is not Apple's competitor to Steam or Stadia, it's a different way for Apple to monetize App Store games without IAP. Even with the current worldwide market share of each OSes, there are very few commercial Android-only games and a great deal more iOS-but-not-Android games. That's the market segment this is targeting, and what graphics APIs macOS supports are a footnote to that.
I'm not saying that I like the fragmentation, but on the other hand I'll happily use win32 system calls when programming windows and posix stuff if programming unixen. So it's not entirely cut and dried what is the expected amount of platform specific customization one is expected to be able to deal with.
Am I going to rewrite my OpenGL application to use Metal. No. I might update it to use Vulkan, and see if it works with the MoltenVK shim for MacOS X. But I'm afraid that Metal itself is a complete non-starter.
My guess is they are throwing a lot of money on this, to get exclusive launch titles. It would be nice to know from the early vendors what are the attached strings.
These are small annoyances, but it seems like a turn in the wrong direction overall. For years the Apple ecosystem gave me the feeling that I was paying a premium, but I got great hardware, great UX, and increasing more software for free. iOS, Pages, Numbers, iMovie, etc all became free over time. Yes, it all locked me into their world, but it was a great world largely free of ads an annoyances. Now that they are adding paid services to so many products they are eroding that feeling.
I’ll support this.
Do you mean games like Tetris that have no finished state? Or games like Factorio or Minecraft, which have a last goal but no “finished” state? Or do you mean like online multiplayer games where you play an endless stream of short games?
This seems like the definition of a perverse incentive, but if Apple is having a hand in making some of these games, maybe they can keep it under control. Or, maybe having users spend more time in Apple Arcade is their plan all along.
Obviously in the end it always comes down to profit generated per game but with a subscription service that can be hard or even impossible to measure.
Metrics for success can be playtime, number of times the game was completed, but also more diffuse things like whether critics like it or whether the press is writing about it.
So one would hope Apple picks a differentiated approach – but such an approach can be much harder to implement.
Most people I know who still play phone games usually play either really basic puzzle games or the auto-play esque gacha games that don't require much user interaction.
Otherwise, I can tell you right now what will happen: most developers will be (further) screwed by Apple’s Latest Arbitrary Hidden Process. And of course, big important devs will continue to be quietly given special treatment.
I have no faith in their “curation” either. Half the time they feature games that people would easily find anyway, e.g. the latest Angry Birds or Candy Crush or Lego game.
News+ was $9.99
Or do they?
How will the control works? Are they all based on some Middleware engine? Unity or Unreal? Are Apple having a hands in those development ( Finally! )? What kind of support are Apple giving to Game Developers where Apple has for the past 20 years completely neglect them. New Metal API?
I realize companies shift, but Apple has done a lot of shifting when it comes to gaming.
Apple is trying so hard to make up for the decline of iPhone sales on the back of other people. Only the big names will get a Payday at the beginning.
Sure, it can work on the beginning. But after a while, your gonna realize that you spent 120€/year on games. And it's the games you wanted to play on the PC where you would give > 50€/piece for.
Not some arcade gaming/TV you don't own.
You want to read the NY Times or something else, that hasn't partnered with apple.
For the TV, it's a good idea, but as the big names ( Netflix, Disney) didn't partner up. What are you going to pick? Netflix works everywhere ( Chromecast is nr 1, Android, Xbox, ...). I just think that it won't help them gain enough subscribers.
And in the end, if they want to keep their 15-30%, their partners will back out. Because they don't earn enough or you'll cancel your subscription because there is not enough content.
What they announced the last days, is all about upping a % here or there for revenue of "services". While I haven't seen anything spectacular about hardware in the last 5 years. Just look at the specs of the MacBook "pro". They forgot who made Apple big.
The top post of Apple today on HN is that they released a credit card in cooperation with Goldman Sachs... Seriously? What about your privacy there. It reminds me of iAd. We all know how that went.
Edit: ofc here come the downvotes. Please mention why you don't agree
Most games, if they are even released on Mac, run worse on a Mac compared to Windows PC.
And a lot of gaming accessories, like Razer mice, don't even work properly on a Mac.
iOS games are mostly at the calibre of killing time on the bus. Never something you sit down, at home for a dedicated gaming session.
EDIT: I also want to say that to any lurking iOS game devs - the most critical thing that seems to separate viral games from standard ones is the leveraging of a single (or a handful) or basic multitouch gestures.
Angry Birds: drag and release
Flappy Bird: tap
Super Mario Run: tap
Artificial buttons and joysticks are a bad idea - they do not translate well to a touch-based platform.
It's not as satisfying as physical but it isn't horrible.
Musicians only make money off concerts, not selling music. Writers literally don't make money any more. And I'm not certain if there was ever a time actors or directors made money -- outside of the EXTREMELY successful.
With Netflix really commoditizing the movie business, I wouldn't be surprised if the margin on movie production steeply declines in the near future.
So, my point is, yes this sucks. At the same time, doesn't it seem like the natural order of things?
I hope we can change the natural order of things. But maybe the value really is in the distribution and not production. As a self-described maker, it sucks to think that. But maybe it's the truth.
Im now discovering new indie games that I’m 100% sure wouldn’t buy to try them :)
Nintendo had better watch its back.
I see great opportunity for casual games. Think "Candy Crush", but where it's part of your monthly and you just get to play, without having to sending friends energy so you can get an extra round back when they accept.
On the other hand, the trend lately has been game companies telling people exactly how they have to play and Apple won't be able to resist that. If you want to play a different mode and Apple doesn't think you should, you won't get to, and modders won't be able to provide it.
If I were a game developer, I'd be wary as well of the usual pitfalls. Clones or Apple developments being anointed the winner by Apple. Core functionality to the game suddenly being disallowed. No transparency or recourse with Apple as publisher.
And still, gamers looking for high-quality AAA titles like Breath of the Wild probably aren't ever going to be satisfied with this more casual type of gaming.
I want a real apple tower again, dangit.
Stadia is much more interesting for gamers and developers than Arcade, offline gaming just doesn't matter enough when measured against the advantages Stadia offers, where devs can target modern PC specs, while Arcade devs have to deal with device fragmentation – being bound to the performance of Apples most commonly used devices, and ecosystem exclusivity on top.
1. Complete compatibility layer with DirectX12, fuck everything else. No one is gonna rewrite their games in Metal to start at this point.
2. Writing drivers for a few hundred existing graphics cards.
(And the likely) 3. Partner with AMD or NVIDIA to create an intensely powerful per dollar line of proprietary graphics cards that obliterate the competition.
Apple seems to like an adaptive experience with certain tasks being best accomplished on certain devices, progressively upgrading features, as the devices support more complex user input. They generally execute this near perfectly everywhere _except_ gaming.
I think this is a neat announcement, but will likely fizzle. I really, really, wish Apple would take gaming seriously. At this point their platforms are primarily for content consumption, not creation, ignoring gaming comes off as sort of pompous (though maybe I'm the pompous one, ha).
Maybe with the upcoming modular Mac Pro this will be fixed, but I'm not gonna hold my breath.
* Apple TV is currently garbage too because the standard outta the box input device (remote) is horrible gaming. They need to ship a system with a sanctioned controller, or make an enclosure for iOS devices.
Why, on earth, would I want to write a game in Direct X? Is there really a compelling reason not to use Unity or Unreal?
They're taking gaming seriously, but not for serious games. This is all designed for "casual" games that ios has dominated.
A compatibility layer w DX11/DX12 would be even better.