It is thought that Apple is reacting to the uptake of certain types of Arcade games and is adjusting its strategy accordingly. The Bloomberg report, citing people familiar with the matter, states:
“On calls in mid-April, an Apple Arcade creative producer told some developers that their upcoming games didn’t have the level of “engagement” Apple is seeking, the people said. Apple is increasingly interested in titles that will keep users hooked, so subscribers stay beyond the free trial of the service”.
The executive reportedly mentioned multi-level puzzle game Grindstone (currently on Apple Arcade) as the type of game it’s looking to bring in.
While Apple Arcade has been praised for its low £4.99/$4.99 monthly charge for a service with 120 games and no ads or in-app purchases, Apple is clearly still wanting to emulate the paid mobile games sector by making the titles it offers addictive. It appears Apple has not retained as many paying players as it had hoped.
Apple has not yet divulged Arcade subscriber numbers and may well never do. Bloomberg notes that it recently started offering people a second free month trial, hinting that it is trying to get people back onto the platform.
In a statement, Apple said:
“Apple Arcade has redefined what a gaming service can be, putting unlimited play at the fingertips of subscribers and their families across all their Apple devices. We are proud to have launched the first-ever mobile game subscription service that now features more than 120 games, many of which are award-winning and widely celebrated for their artistry and gameplay. The vision has always been to grow and evolve the Apple Arcade catalog, and we can’t wait for our users to try the games developers are working on now.”
It added it had always expected to make fluid changes to the game line up based on subscriber feedback.