Enlarge / Apple Arcade on Mac.
For several years, Apple has been investigating subscriptions to increase sales in the face of slowing iPhone growth. This strategy saw a turning point this year: Apple TV +, Apple News +, and Apple Arcade became part of the company's subscription services, which included Apple Music, AppleCare, and iCloud.
But since this is a relatively new frontier for the company (at least in terms of emphasis), Apple is still testing the waters of different approaches. The latest of which is the launch of a discounted annual subscription to Apple Arcade at $ 49.99, saving $ 10 compared to the $ 4.99 monthly subscription that was introduced in September.
Apple Arcade offers subscribers Netflix-like access to around a hundred games on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV. While many games have flown under the radar or haven't shown much public impact, some like Sayonara Wild Hearts, Grindstone, What the Golf? And where cards fall receive rave reviews from consumers and critics, or achieve significant financial success through the service.
Arcade is the culmination of an effort Apple has made in recent years to address the game's detectability problem in the App Store for the company's devices. The iPhone app store has a lot of gems, but they have been difficult to find in the past or found in a sea of poorly made titles or playful titles with exploitative mechanisms and monetization schemes.
For the first time with iOS 12, Apple focused on curating people from the App Store. However, Apple Arcade launched iOS 13 in September to increase its appeal to end users looking for and wanting to play high quality mobile games. There was also an attempt by Apple to evangelize developers to offer their own individual app subscriptions, from which Apple would receive a cut.
Apple also experimented with subscription bundling by granting Apple TV + access to students who subscribe to Apple Music (reports are hoping to continue to introduce an Amazon Prime-like bundle in the future) and by offering a perpetual monthly extension AppleCare + subscription was offered as an alternative to its previously (and still) offered AppleCare packages for two and three years.