Apple Arcade pulls plug on games that don’t keep players hooked

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‘Grindstone’ is a hit on Apple Arcade
Apple Arcade allegedly cited Grindstone as the sort of gripping game it’s looking for.
Photo: Capy Games

Apple reportedly stopped paying for the development of multiple titles that had been headed for its gaming subscription service. The iPhone makers allegedly told the developers this spring that their creations just weren’t engaging enough.

Apple Arcade wants more gripping games

During calls in April, Apple told the makers of cancelled apps that they didn’t offer enough “engagement” to keep players sufficiently interested, according to a report by Mark Gurman on Bloomberg.

The company supposedly cited Grindstone as an example of what they’re looking for. This is a color-matching puzzler with a violent twist that’s one of the most successful offerings on Apple Arcade. Grindstone has lots of levels that can be played again and again.

It’s all about the bottom line

Game creators are paid by Apple during the development process. And they receive a share of the $4.99-a-month fee paid by subscribers to Apple Arcade. The more popular a game is, the more its creator receives. They can’t make money through in-app sales because they’re forbidden on the service.

And Apple needs games that keep players hooked to bring in those subscription fees.

When Bloomberg asked if Apple would confirm that it canceled some games, the company said “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.”

More about Apple Arcade

The 100+ games on Apple Arcade are playable on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. And many support external wireless  controllers, including select Xbox and PlayStation 4 ones, along with MIF controllers.

The subscription service launched last autumn, and Apple offered a one-month free trial. It recently began offering a second trial to some previous users.

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