The next Netflix of… [fill in the blank] is far from a new or novel concept at this point, but while several subscription services deliver great experiences and value, many others miss the mark.
Microsoft has their own “Netflix of gaming” service: GamePass. GamePass enables members to download and play 100+ Xbox games for a low monthly fee. Considering most new games cost somewhere between $40-$60, a lower priced subscription model (between $10 to $15 a month) certainly seems to make sense for many gamers (myself included).
Apple Arcade is essentially the iOS version of GamePass, and subscribers pay $4.99 per month for access to around 100-ish games.
Many games on Apple Arcade have received positive feedback, and some developers and industry commentators have claimed the subscription payment model will ultimately give a voice to many smaller indie developers who don’t have enough established credibility to sell a game completely on their own.
To the positive, Apple Arcade games lack the freemium / micro transaction mechanics rampant in mobile gaming today (even in AAA titles like Call of Duty Mobile).
To the negative, having a hundred games to play at your fingertips, plus all the free to play mobile games, makes sticking with any one game for more than 5 minutes difficult. This, in turn, makes it hard to justify even $5 per month, when there are so many quality free options available. (this is assuming most mobile gamers are now used to the mobile game freemium model and know how to deal with it.)
If most (hopefully all) of these games support controllers and can be played on your TV via Apple TV then that is certainly one compelling reason to sign up, but doesn’t seem like a very sustainable competitive position on its own.
That being said, I still have A TON more hope for this approach versus the Google Stadia. Apple Arcade utilizes very stable, proven technology that consumers have grown accustomed to using, AND Apple has a MUCH better track record of supporting its products long term than Google does (I can’t overstate how important that last point is).
The good news is, for only $5 per month, it’s at least worth trying, and many of the games are fun. However, so far my favorite iOS games: Asphalt 8 & 9, COD Mobile, Vain Glory, PUBG Mobile, and Fortnite are all free to play, sooo….🧐
Only time will tell. But seriously at least try it for a month.
When you do give it a try, be sure to check out these games first:
What the Golf
Happy gaming! 🕹