Report: Apple Considering Monthly Gaming Subscription Service

by Suriel Vazquez on Mar 23, 2019 at 11:41 AM

While Google is making waves in the gaming market with its Stadia streaming service, another tech giant is also looking how it can expand within the space: Apple.

Bloomberg reports the company, who is looking for new ways to capitalize on its enormous install base as its hardware sales begin to slow down, may reveal new subscription services to keep users spending after they've invested in their Apple hardware, and this could include a gaming subscription service.

The service would be less Stadia and more Xbox Games Pass. It would take several paid games (so no free-to-play games like Fortnite) on its iPhone and iPad app stores and bundle them together every month for a flat fee, letting users slowly build a library of games they don't own. The service would pay out to developers based on the amount of time players spend with their games.

According to Bloomberg, Apple could announce the service as early as this Monday, March 25. We'll see if that's the case. The company is also expected to roll out new video and news subscription services at that time, which makes a gaming subscription seem likely.

[Source: Bloomberg via Eurogamer]

For it users, The App Store has become synonymous with a philosophy of "pay as little for as possible, if anything at all." The appeal of many mobile games, even paid-for ones, is that they're low-investment; if you hate a game, you'll usually be out around five dollars at most. And with the deluge of microtransaction-laden games on the store, people try and then they buy. A subscription service is the opposite of that; you invest a monthly fee before you're given anything, and it's expected that you'll be into most of what you get. But while I'm not confident about the service's appeal, Apple likely has enough users to make the concept appealing even if just a sliver of them get into this. I'm also wary of paying developers based soley on time spent, since it could harm short-but-sweet games like Florence in the long run.