Developers think Apple Arcade is disruptive — for better or worse

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Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade has plenty of promise -- but poses some big challenges, too.
Photo: Apple

Will Apple Arcade turn out to be the game changer that developers are hoping for? According to a new report… maybe.

Speaking to a slew of developers, a news report found that many are cautiously optimistic about what Apple Arcade could mean. In particular, it could help break the stronghold of freemium titles in the App Store. But there are still potential challenges.

The article, published by The Verge, is well worth a read. It’s based on interviews with close to a dozen mobile game developers. However, while everyone seems happy that Apple is putting emphasis on gaming, there are still some big questions that emerge.

Is this good for developers?

One of these is that the service could further reduce premium game sales. It could do this by channelling gamers willing to pay money for premium games to subscribe, rather than download individual titles. That could be additionally problematic if Apple sticks with a relatively small pool of high quality developers for Apple Arcade.

While gamers will want the best games possible, it could mean raising the barrier to entry for newcomers. “It is now more important than ever to be in conversations with the App Store team in order to even be considered to become part of that highest tier of games on the App Store,” said Adriaan de Jongh, co-creator of Hidden Folks. “As a developer of smaller games, I fear I can’t keep up.”

Apple has also yet to reveal how it plans to split the Apple Arcade revenue with developers. Appealing to the best developers will presumably mean giving good terms. But the unknown quality of Apple Arcade (including how many people will subscribe) could make it a tricky proposition. Similar things have been observed with Apple News, where some publishers have reported increased traffic — but not as much money as they expected.

Are you excited about Apple Arcade? How much would you be willing to pay per month? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.