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Apple Arcade's debut heralds the launch of dozens of games on iOS (and Steam?)

Apple Arcade's debut heralds the launch of dozens of games on iOS (and Steam?)

September 19, 2019 | By Alissa McAloon

Apple has all at once opened the flood gates to Apple Arcade, its subscription library of semi-exclusive mobile games. Over 70 games launched all at once alongside the platform, still with many more on the way.

And, as some have pointed out, that all-at-once launch has led to a small influx of releases on platforms like Steam as multi-platform indies supported by Apple Arcade are suddenly made available on both platforms.

Apple Arcade was first announced back in March as a different sort of way for Apple-favoring players across iPhone, iPad, Mac, an Apple TV to access micro-transaction-free, premium games.

That original announcement noted that it can be difficult for premium games to get the same attention on the App Store as their free-to-play counterparts. Apple Arcade, in its own way, aims to address that, though dropping 70 games on the new platform in a single day likely brings some discovery concerns of its own.

But, on the developer side, sources have suggested that Apple is spending in the millions to fund games coming to its platform, though that report hasn’t been confirmed by Apple itself.

Apple’s somewhat unique pitch on Arcade is that the platform is heavily mobile facing, though any game released on the platform can also be played on other Apple-made platforms as well. Today's launch marks a major shift for how games are peddled on Apple's App Store, the only and only app storefront available to iPhone users.

Like other pay-for-access libraries out there, Arcade gives plays unlimited access to a catalog of titles so long as they remain a paying subscriber at $4.99 a month. A number of games for Arcade are exclusive to the platform, while others are more in the semi-exclusive category and won’t be found on other mobile devices.

Some, like Sayonara Wild Hearts, were announced for consoles like the Nintendo Switch long before publicly joining Apple Arcade’s roster. Others, like Mografi’s Jenny LeClue, were due for a PC launch for some time now and released on the platform alongside its Arcade launch. 

As some devs like Daniel Steger of Mount Your Friends fame have pointed out, the simultaneous launch of nearly 100 new games on iOS has caused a handful of awaited-indies to suddenly launch on Steam, like Mutazione, Hot Lava, and Overland.


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