October 4th, 2019, 22:26 Posted By: wraggster
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Ustwo studio head Dan Gray said that Apple Arcade relieves the burden of having to explain to players that mobile games are really worth the Ł3.99 price tag. Gray said that making premium games has been a dangerous proposition for a number of years, and that even for a successful studio like Ustwo, it would still be dangerous to throw a game out there and charge Ł5. According to Gray, one of the positive things about subscription in general is there's no direct one-for-one value transaction.
I agree with Gray on all of these points. With Apple Arcade it's now up to Apple to convince players to pay for games. However, this merely solves a short-term problem that developers face, but in the long-run Apple Arcade and similar subscription services could be harmful to the games industry as a whole.
Like Gray, most developers that are part of the Apple Arcade launch line-up are very happy with their deals. Apple has probably paid them a substantial chunk of money for exclusivity, plus it's Apple's problem to sell the content to users. This eliminates the financial risk for developers, they get money upfront and can focus on production, and the marketing will largely be handled by someone else.
"This reminds me of the old days of boxed games, where publishers were the gatekeepers to store shelves" This reminds me of the old days of boxed games, where publishers were the gatekeepers to store shelves. Developers had to go through them to get games in front of consumers. When platforms like Google Play, Steam and the Apple App Store launched, developers were no longer dependent on others to release their games. They had the freedom to publish on their own terms, with complete creative freedom, and without having to share as much of their revenue.
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