Apple calls off some Apple Arcade game contracts after spending $500 million

Games Teahouse

July 1, 7:12 pm

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Original title: Apple calls off some Apple Arcade game contracts, after spending $500 million for prime spots in the App Store Source: Games Teahouse


According to a Bloomberg report, Apple Inc. is changing its game subscription service policy on Apple Arcade and has canceled some game contracts with developers. This is possibly due to Apple's dissatisfaction with the current game lineup on Apple Arcade as well as the service's overall performance.


Apple Arcade, Apple's video game subscription service, was officially launched last September and already supports over 120 game titles. The service is free for the first month and has a $4.99 monthly subscription fee afterward, with no ads or in-app purchases, and supports family sharing on multiple platforms.

Apple had high hopes for the Apple Arcade subscription service, promising to update 4-5 games per week when it went live, and some media outlets have reported that Apple has invested more than $500 million to gain exclusive game content for Arcade.

Unfortunately, the good times didn't last long, and Apple Arcade may not have performed to Apple's expectations. After last November, Apple Arcade's updates on games slowed down, going from 4-5 titles weekly to 1 per week, and there were even occasions when updates didn't occur.


According to insider sources, Apple canceled its contracts with a number of partnered game companies earlier this year, informing them of their reasoning and what should be done in the future.


In a phone conversation with developers in April, an Apple representative mentioned a specific example of the types of games that Apple wants, something along the lines of Grindstone, an engaging puzzle action game developed by Capybara Games.

News sources say that some developers whose contracts were cancelled by Apple are suddenly facing financial hardships, which compounded by the effects of the new Coronavirus, has poured salt on their wounds. The good news is that although Apple terminated their contracts, it is still paying developers based on the completed development progress. Apple also told developers that it will work with them on some games that meet the new requirements, as Apple Arcade is in desperate need for some games that will have players hooked.


It's clear that user retention and payment are the big issues facing Apple Arcade right now. At last week's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced an update to its Arcade service, adding multi-user support for the Apple TV, as well as a feature that allows users to view game progress on other devices.

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